Ankle Sprains

The Professionals at West Vancouver Foot Clinic Help Sprained Ankles

Ankle Sprains and Treatments

Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur when ligaments are stretched or torn. The ankle sprain is the most common athletic injury. Nearly 85% of ankle sprains occur laterally or on the outside of ankle joint.

Anatomy of the Ankle Joint

The ankle joint is made up of three bones. The bones are called the tibia, fibula, and talus. These bones form a socket in which the ankle joint moves. Ligaments connect the tibia, fibula, and talus to each other.
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Ankle Injury Symptoms

Ankle sprain symptoms vary depending on severity. Often the ankle is tender, swollen and discolored. The ankle can be quite painful to touch. Ankle sprains are classified by “types”, and range from mild to moderate to severe. Classifying ankle sprains helps the Podiatrist diagnose the specific structures involved in the injury. This also helps determine appropriate treatment plans for each type of ankle sprain. Diagnostic X-rays or specialized X-ray views of the ankle and foot may also be used to reveal any fractures, dislocations or instability of the ankle joint.


Initial treatment includes rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). The “RICE” method promotes healing, decreases pain, and reduces swelling around the ankle joint. Most ankle sprains heal in three to eight weeks. Conservative treatment of many foot and ankle problems often promotes pain relief. For example, ankle-strengthening exercises following the injury help prevent recurrence of injury. Most of these exercises can be done at home after appropriate instruction. Ankle supports and braces or taping around the ankle joint is especially helpful for individuals participating in sports.


The adage “it is better to break an ankle than sprain one” need not apply if the injury is appropriately diagnosed and treated. If properly treated, the rehabilitated ankle can tolerate normal activities and the stress of participating in sports.

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