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Ankles sprains and instability

What is an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains refer to damage of ligaments around the ankle. While an ankle sprain can be as severe as a tear, it can also be a stretching of the ligament which also leads to poor balance or instability. The most common mechanism of injury is by inverting the ankle, thereby stretching the ligaments. Once damage is done to the ligaments, physical therapy is often needed to help increase strength and stability to the joint.

What causes an ankle sprain?

  • Commonly caused by an inversion injury – the foot rolls underneath the ankle or leg
  • Landing from a jump incorrectly
  • Rapid change in direction

What are symptoms of an ankle sprain?

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Tenderness
  • Discomfort with activity