WHAT IS THIS AND WHY HAS IT OCCURRED?
A sprained ankle or twisted ankle as it is sometimes known, is a common cause of ankle pain. A sprain is stretching and or tearing of ligaments (you sprain a ligament and strain a muscle). The most common is an inversion sprain (or lateral ligament sprain) where the ankle turns over so the sole of the foot faces inwards, damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
A medial ankle sprain is rare but can occur particularly with a fracture. This happens when the ankle rolls the other way, so the sole of the foot faces outwards, damaging the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.
The most common damage sustained in a sprained ankle is to the anterior talofibular ligament shown towards the front of the image opposite. This ligament, as the name suggests, connects the talus (ankle bone) with the fibula (smaller of the two bones in the lower leg). If the sprain is severe there might also be damage to the calcaneofibular ligament (connects the heel bone to the fibula) which is further back towards the heel. This ligament only becomes injured in more severe injuries due to its increased strength and laxity whilst the toes are pointed (a common position for ankle sprains).
PATIENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES FOR ANKLE SPRAINS