Font Size
A
A
A

Ankle Sprain (cont.)

Ankle Sprain Prevention

Ankle sprain prevention can be as simple as wearing the right shoes or as complicated as balance training for athletes.

  • Wear proper shoes for the activity. Always wear stable shoes that give your ankle proper support. High-top basketball shoes are a good choice. (High heels or platform shoes are not the best choice if you're trying to prevent an ankle sprain.)


  • Keep the ankles strong and flexible. Consult with the doctor or physical therapist for strengthening exercises.


  • When participating in a sport, consider having a weak ankle taped, as taping offers extra support. If you have repeated sprains, wearing an ankle brace while playing may help.


  • Make sure a playing field (or home environment) is clear of any holes or obstacles to help avoid injury.


  • If you have flat feet or bunions, consult a podiatrist as these conditions could lead to balance problems or instability of the ankle.

Ankle Sprain Prognosis

Most ankle sprains heal without complications or difficulty.

  • Surgery is seldom needed for torn ligaments. Ligament tears are often noticed when sprains fail to get better. If the diagnosis of a tendon tear that needs surgery is not made right away, the outcome of the surgery is the same as if the doctor did the operation immediately.


  • Recovery time depends upon the severity of the ankle sprain and possible accompanying injuries.


  • Exercises should be started to maintain flexibility and strength when the swelling has resolved and the patient can walk without pain.

Ankle Sprain Pictures

Picture of medial and lateral malleoli, the "bumps" on either side of the ankle. The medial malleolus is formed by the tibia, while the fibula forms the lateral malleolus.
Picture of medial and lateral malleoli, the "bumps" on either side of the ankle. The medial malleolus is formed by the tibia, while the fibula forms the lateral malleolus.

Ankle sprain. Picture of inversion injury of ankle. Note it is turned inward.
Ankle sprain. Picture of inversion injury of ankle. Note it is turned inward.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

REFERENCES:

United States. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "Sprains and Strains." Apr. 2009. <http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Sprains_Strains/default.asp#strain_k>.

Wolfe, Michael W., Tim L. Uhl, and Leland C. McCluskey. "Management of Ankle Sprains." Am Fam Physician 63.1 Jan. 1, 2001: 93-105.

Young, Craig C. "Ankle Sprain." Medscape.com. June 7, 2011. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1907229-overview#a0156>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Ankle Sprain

Pain Medications
Pain Medications The effects of pain medication are different for each person. Pain also varies in tolerance as well from person to person. There are several different pain medi...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Ankle Sprain:

Ankle Sprain - Treatment

Please describe the treatment for your ankle sprain.

Ankle Sprain - Diagnosis

How was your ankle sprain diagnosed?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Ankle Sprain »

A large percentage of musculoskeletal injuries observed in the outpatient setting involve the ankle.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary