Mayfair Foot Care


A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament. Ligaments are the tissues that connect bone to bone at a joint. A strain is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Tendons are tissues that connect muscle to bone.

Ankle injuries are among the most common sprains and strains, but strains are far less common than sprains. Every day in the U.S. 25,000 people sprain their ankles and more than 1 million people go to the emergency room every year because of ankle injuries. Ankle injuries are most common among men between 15 and 24 years old, because most ankle sprains occur during athletic activity.


There are many symptoms and signs that can be exhibited when straining or spraining your ankle, but the most common are:

• Localized pain of the ankle
• Swelling of the ankle
• Bruising of the ankle
• Limited range of motion
• A popping sound or sensation
• Intense pain at the time of the injury


Sprains are categorized to determine the type of treatment the injury should receive. The 3 classifications are grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3, which respectively coincide with mild, moderate and severe sprains.

Grade 1 sprains are commonly treated with the RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) method for several days. With a mild sprain you should be able to put weight on the ankle within one to three days to start strengthening and flexibility exercises.

Grade 2 sprains are also treated with the RICE method, but your doctor may choose to give you a splint or cast to immobilize the ankle. As you begin to regain range of motion and strength, physical therapy may be prescribed to help you regain your full range of motion and strength in the affected ankle.

Grade 3 sprains often involve a complete tear or rupture of a ligament and this often takes much longer to heal. Severe sprains are treated with full immobilization of the ankle and a much longer period of physical therapy. If the sprain does not heal after a period of time surgery may be required to repair the torn or ruptured ligament.