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Ankle Sprains

The lateral ankle ligament complex is comprised of the anterior talofibular ligament, calcaneofibular ligament and the posterior talofibular ligament.

Ankle sprains are the most common sports related injuries to the lower extremity. An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments which stabilize the ankle joint.  The severity of the sprain correlates with the extent of damage to the ligaments during the injury and are classified by the as follows:

Grade 1: Slight stretching and some damage to the ligament fibres
Grade 2: Partial tearing of the ligament
Grade 3: Complete tear of the ligament

Depending on the severity of the injury determined by your specialist, treatments will range from immobilization and protection to surgery in the chronic cases.  It is important to note of any bruising, audible "pop" or "snap" and pain on the inside of the ankle associated with an ankle sprain, as this has been shown to correlate with the severity of the injury. 

Medial Ankle Sprains

Medial Ankle Sprains are less common, and are often associated with severe lateral ankle sprains, and/or ankle fracture

Common associated Injuries

During the mechanism of ankle sprain, there are a number of structures that may be injured as well. 

Bones: Fracture of associated bones during and ankle sprain include the Medial malleolus, Lateral Malleolus, 5th Metatarsal, Cuboid, Anterior process of the Calcaneus,  and your foot and ankle specialist will examine them during your visit

Tendons: The perineal tendons around the ankle can be strained in an inversion injury

Nerve: Many nerves cross the ankle joint, and can be stretched during the injury resulting in abnormal sensations.

Cartilage: Injury to the cartilage of the ankle joint can occur, and is associated with persistent deep ankle pain.

These associated injuries can occur and can have long lasting symptoms after the ligaments of the ankle have healed.  Your foot and ankle specialist will examine them during your visit.  Advanced imaging such as stress x-rays, CT scans, and MRI's may be required to evaluate the ankle and will be discussed with you.

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