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Ankle Sprain


An ankle sprain happens when 1 or more ligaments in your ankle joint stretch or tear. Ligaments are tough tissues that connect bones. Ligaments support your joints and keep your bones in place.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.


  • Painful scar tissue may form in your ankle, and you may need surgery to remove it. Surgery to repair your ankle sprain may damage the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels in your ankle. After surgery, you could get an infection. Your ankle may feel stiff and you may get arthritis, which causes joint pain and swelling. Even after treatment, your ankle may be weak, and you may have problems walking.
  • Without treatment, a sprain may cause weakness of your joint or problems with movement. Your symptoms may worsen over time. The soft tissue in your ankle may become trapped between bone and the injured ligament. This may increase your pain and further decrease your ankle movement. Your ankle may become very weak, and you may feel that it gives out on you when you walk. Ankle weakness may increase your risk for other injuries and cause bone and soft tissue damage in your ankle. Severe swelling inside your ankle and leg may damage your nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.


  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Td vaccine is a booster shot used to help prevent tetanus and diphtheria. The Td booster may be given to adolescents and adults every 10 years or for certain wounds and injuries.


  • Support devices: You may need a brace, cast, or splint to limit your movement and protect your joint. You may need to use crutches to decrease your pain as you move around.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
  • Surgery: You may need surgery to repair or replace a torn ligament if your sprain does not heal with other treatments. Your healthcare provider may use screws to attach the bones in your ankle together. The screws may help support your ankle and make it stable. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about surgery to treat your ankle sprain.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.