ChildrensMD App

Download our free symptom checker for iPhone, iPad, iTouch.

Ankle Sprain: Overview

What is an ankle sprain?

An ankle sprain is a common injury that results from twisting or turning the ankle past its normal range of motion. This causes stretching or tearing of the ligaments (the band of tissue that connects bones at the joint) that support the ankle.

Sprains can be caused by twisting an ankle either inverted (ankle rolls inward) or everted (ankle rolls outward). The injury may occur during a sport, while walking or during any physical activity.

Who sprains their ankle?

An ankle sprain is a common sports injury often seen in sports that require sharp, sudden twisting of the foot, such as soccer, basketball, football and tennis. Performing activities on an uneven surface (such as trail running) increase the risk of an ankle sprain.

Ways to prevent ankle sprains include:

  • Proper warm up prior to exercise or sport activity
  • Using caution while performing any activity on an uneven surface
  • Maintaining good muscle strength and flexibility
  • Being properly conditioned and trained to participate in your sport

Helpful resources for sprained ankles:

Next: How We Treat

Main Number:

Print E-mail Share

Need Advice for Your Young Athlete?

Check out our sports articles, written by our Sports Medicine experts. You'll find advice and tips for parents, coaches, trainers and young athletes.

Request an Appointment

Use our online form to set up an appointment.