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Michigan Sports and Spine

Ligament Sprain

Overview
The ligaments of the ankle hold the ankle bones and joint in position.  They protect the ankle joint from abnormal movements especially twisting, turning, and rolling of the foot.  A ligament is an elastic structure. Ligaments usually stretch within their limits, and then go back to their normal positions. When a ligament is forced to stretch beyond its normal range, a sprain occurs. A severe sprain causes actual tearing of the elastic fibers.

Causes
Twisting, rolling, or turning of the foot beyond its normal motions

Symptoms
Loss of balance when the foot is placed unevenly on the ground
Inability to stand on the injured foot
"Popping" sound
Pain and swelling

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI

Treatment
RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
Cast or brace
Physical therapy
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
Surgery (rare)

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00150

 

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