font size

Definition of Ankle sprain

Ankle sprain: A common musculoskeletal injury in which the ligaments of the ankle partially or completely tear due to sudden stretching. This typically occurs when the ankle is suddenly "twisted" in a sports activity or by stepping off an uneven surface. The pain is initially severe and can be associated with a "popping" sensation. Immediate swelling over the area of injury often occurs as the injured blood vessels leak fluid into the local tissue. Partial tears retain some ankle stability, whereas complete tears lose stability because the strapping ligaments no longer brace the ankle joint.

Initial treatment is with ice, rest, and limiting the amount of walking and weight bearing on the injured ankle. The leg can be elevated to reduce swelling, and crutches are often recommended to avoid further trauma to the injured ligaments. Antiinflammatory medications can be given to reduce local inflammation. Severe injuries are placed in immobilization casts. Surgery may be needed for complete tears. Physical therapy programs are part of the rehabilitation process, incorporating strengthening exercises of the lower leg muscles.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24348
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

Arthritis

Get the latest treatment options

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations