Ankle sprains

Ligament injuries to the ankle

Identifying an ankle sprain and how we might be able to treat it

What happens when you sprain your ankle?

The ankle joint is strengthened by ligaments on the inside and outside part of the ankle, as well as an arrangement of ligaments that bond together the fibula and tibia bones. These ligaments and the soft tissues surrounding them can be stretched or even torn if you roll or severely twist the ankle, resulting in a sprain.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of an ankle sprain? icon plus

    The symptoms of a sprained ankle will depend on how severe the sprain is. You may experience:

    • the sound of popping or tearing when the injury happens
    • pain
    • swelling
    • bruising
    • lack of normal movement
    • trouble supporting your weight
    • the feeling that your ankle will give way
  • How is an ankle sprain diagnosed? icon plus

    Your GP or consultant will check how much pain, bruising and swelling you're experiencing, how much movement you have, and whether you can stand on it. They'll also ask you about when and how you injured your ankle, and if you've had similar problems before.

    If it's especially painful, you may have an X-ray to check whether there is a fracture, and sometimes an MRI scan is needed in the diagnostic process.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    You will be asked to rest your foot, then depending on how serious your sprain is, your doctor may recommend further rest or physiotherapy. Surgery is only likely to be performed to repair the injured ligaments in severe cases.

Our foot and ankle consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts, specialising in diagnosing, treating and managing foot and ankle conditions, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our foot and ankle consultants are supported by teams of musculoskeletal physiotherapist, with experience in working with individuals to strengthen and improve muscle capacity. 

Our locations

From complex ankle and foot surgery to straightforward orthopaedic scans and procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book a foot and ankle appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced foot and ankle consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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