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While ankle injuries are common in sports, you don’t have to be an athlete to twist your ankle. The most common ankle injury is a sprain, but there are other injuries that can occur as well.
The ankle is where three bones meet: the fibula, tibia and the talus of the foot. The ligaments in the ankle connect the bones to each other and support and stabilize them. The muscles and tendons move the ankle. Take a look below at a few different ways the ankle can be injured.
A sprain is damage to the ligaments in the ankle. Oftentimes, sprains occur when the ankle rolls inward, leading to damage in the outer part of the ankle. Ankle sprains are very susceptible to re-injury. Initial treatment of sprains includes rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Most of the time, sprains will resolve in a few days, but severe sprains can last for a few weeks.
Strains occur in the muscles and tendons of the ankle. They can either be inflamed because of overuse or torn from a trauma. Inflammation of the tendons is called tendinitis. Symptoms of a strain can be similar to that of a sprain, including pain, inflammation and limited ability to move the ankle.
An ankle fracture occurs when there is a break in one or more bones. To determine whether a bone has been broken, a doctor may want to take an X-ray. If a stress fracture is suspected, other imaging scans, like an MRI, might be taken. Scans will help the doctor determine if the ankle needs a brace, cast or surgery.