Disruption of the medial and/or lateral ligaments in the ankle. An ankle sprain usually occurs when the foot rolls over on the outside of the ankle. When this happens, the ligament most commonly damaged is the anterior talofibular ligament. In many cases the calcaneofibular ligament is disrupted at the same time. Ankle fractures are caused by the same type of event that can cause a sprain. Any ankle that is severely swollen and painful should be X-rayed to rule out a fracture. The main treatment for an ankle sprain is rest, ice, compression, and elevation (see RICE). Modern rehabilitation techniques involve an aggressive approach, which emphasizes early mobilization of the joint to accelerate recovery (for example, by wearing a splint that prevents the ankle from rolling over, but allows up and down movements). See also sprain.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.