An ankle sprain is a common injury characterized by torn ligaments in the ankle resulting from overstretching beyond their limits. The severity of a sprain depends on the number of affected ligaments and the extent of the ligament tear. Sprains can range from tiny tears to complete tears in the fibers that make up the ligaments. Symptoms of a sprained ankle may include:
Pain, both at rest and with weight-bearing activities
Tenderness to touch
Instability of the ankle, or feeling that your ankle is giving out
Conservative treatments like ice, elevation, over-the-counter medications and simple rehabilitation exercises can help heal most sprains. However, if symptoms persist despite noninvasive treatments, surgery may be an option to repair or reconstruct the injured ligaments. A chronic or untreated ankle sprain can make a person more prone to injuries. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to arthritis.