Ankle Sprain


Ankle sprains are sustained by 'twisting' your ankle often in sport but also down a kerb or a step for example.

There is acute pain with swelling and bruising around the ankle. However you are usually able to weight bear as the bone is intact.

Occasionally a small piece of bone can be pulled off with the ligament (Avulsion fragment) which can be seen on an X-ray.

Usually Sprains will settle with simple measures such as rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) and self managed.

If however the swelling and pain is significant it is best to get it checked at an emergency department particularly if it doesn't settle.  X-rays are sometimes indicated.


With a confirmed Sprain the key message in my opinion is to 'Do what DOESN'T Hurt'.  

A simple but practical advice that means to weightbear  only once you can with little or no pain and begin to rehab as it settles.  This can mean using a brace temporarily for some people or even an Aircast boot (or similar) but not always.

The best support is a physiotherapist who can guide your rehabilitation if no surgery has been indicated and the vast majority of sprains settle with simple rehab.

'Chronic ankle sprain' suggests one or more of your ankle ligaments has not regained its full strength and length.  It is often felt as nervousness about the stability of your ankle particularly on uneven surfaces and occasionally actually giving way unexpectedly.  It can be associated with pain either at the front of your ankle or behind depending on associated structures involved.

If this occurs it is worth seeking specialist help such as myself in case further intervention or imaging is required such as MRI.



Next steps...

If you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss your foot or ankle problems with Mr Williams, then please contact us.