Ankle sprains are common. Approximately two million ankle sprains occur each year in the United States.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing injury that is specific to ligaments. In the ankle, the ligaments that are on the outside of the foot are most commonly affected. This occurs during inversion injuries such as “rolling” an ankle.
A sprained ankle will often be painful, swell, and have bruising after a fall or twisting injury. Ankle instability is a chronic condition that results from a partial or complete tear of one of the ankle ligaments that did not heal. If you sprain the same ankle multiple times, you are more likely to have ankle instability.
You should call the doctor for a sprained ankle if your child cannot bear weight on the injured ankle, has ongoing ankle or foot pain after a healed injury, or has significant swelling and bruising in the ankle area.