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Acute Ankle Sprains

MTM > Acute Ankle Sprains


  • The ankle joint is made up of 3 bones, the talus in the foot and the tibia and fibula in the leg
  • The joint in brief is held together by the following ligaments
  1. Anterior Talofibular ligament
  2. Calcaneofibular ligament
  3. Deltoid ligament (made of 3 smaller ligaments)
  • The inside ligaments of the ankle are much stronger than the outside ligaments, therefore the majority of sprains are the outside (lateral) ligaments


  • The most common cause of an ankle sprain is landing awkwardly, whether that while running or jumping and rolling it
  • We have certain rules which we follow which determine whether or not an ankle should be X-rayed
  • The muscles around the ankle will go into spasm in order to protect the ankle joint while it undergoes its recovery, this is important early (due to its protective nature) but can become problematic later without physiotherapy input

What to do:

  • Normal principles of soft tissue injury management should be followed
  • Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation
  • It is important to put as much weight through the ankle as tolerated as this increases early healing- unless of course your Physiotherapist thinks its broken!
  • Physiotherapy management
  1. Our initial goal is to reduce pain and inflammation, in this Phase your Physiotherapist may do some Ultrasound, taping or gentle soft tissue release around the ankle to reduce swelling
  2. Once settling, your Physiotherapist will do some soft tissue release to the muscles that cross the ankle as well as mobilizing the joint, this will increase ankle mobility and therefore function
  3. Once full mobility is restored the next goal is to strengthen the Ankle. Your Physiotherapist will guide you through a rehabilitation program focusing on improving Strength, Balance and Coordination around the ankle
  4. Once you are back at sport, keep doing the exercises as it is great prevention for future sprains