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The job of the ligaments is to hold the ankle bones and joint in position. The ligaments protect the ankle joint from extreme movements like twisting, turning, and rolling. But when your foot moves at an extreme angle relative to your ankle, the intense force causes the ligaments on the outside or inside of your ankle to stretch beyond their normal capacity. The damage can be microscopic tearing of the fibers in the ligament, or a complete tear of the ligament. The result is pain, swelling, and bruising.
Ankle sprains are not to be taken lightly, because if left untreated, they'll weaken the ankle, making it more likely that you'll injure the ankle again. Repeated sprains lead to arthritis, long term pain, and weakness in the ankle joint.
Ankle sprains come in three grades, based on how badly the ligaments are damaged. Symptoms and treatment vary according to how serious your sprain is.
Symptoms of ankle sprains
Treatment of ankle sprains
Treatment of all ankle sprains involves rest, icing, and elevating the injured ankle. Over the counter pain medicine is usually sufficient to control pain.
How to avoid ankle sprains
It's difficult to control circumstances in which you might roll or twist your foot, but you can take some precautions to minimize the damage
Dr Teichman explains all about ankle sprains in this video