Ankle Ligament Injury
Ankle ligament injuries occur due to twisting the ankle. Normally, the foot will collapse inwards and this means the ligaments on the outside are strained or torn. There are a number of types of ankle injuries, such as a slight over-stretching where only some ligament fibers are torn (grade 1 or 2). The ankle ligament can also be torn completely. The most serious form of ankle injury is where several ankle ligaments are completely torn (grade 3).
After you have twisted your ankle, the outer side of the ankle will mostly swell up. This swelling is caused by bleeding and the skin may become slightly discoloured. The outer side of the ankle joint will be painful and the pain will intensify when the foot is turned inwards. In some cases the ankle cannot bear any weight and complete rest will be prescribed.
Diagnosis will be determined based on a physical examination by a specialist. A number of aspects will be considered during diagnosis. First of all, there will be a manual test to rule out a fracture. In most cases an X-ray is only taken if it is thought a bone has been broken.
In cases where there has not been a fracture, the ankle injury is treated by application of a tape bandage or a brace. The advantage of this treatment is that the ankle ligaments are well protected but still able to move. This averts the ankle becoming so stiff, and it is able to heal more quickly. Unlike tape bandages, a brace can be fitted to match the individual's preferences regarding the amount of pressure and support. The brace can also be taken off temporarily, for example to allow you to take a shower or to swim.
Image 1: Moment of ankle sprain
Image 2: Different grades of ankle sprain