Sprained Ankle: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

A sprained ankle is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle. In a sprain, the ligaments supporting the ankle joint become partially or completely torn.

Signs and symptoms of a sprained ankle include pain, swelling, and tenderness of the ankle. Other associated signs and symptoms can include the inability to bear weight on the ankle, inability to walk, and bruising of the skin around the injured area. A pop or tear can sometimes be felt at the time of the injury. The signs and symptoms can vary in severity depending on the extent of damage to the ligaments.

Causes of a sprained ankle

Sudden stretching due to a twisting movement, such as occurs when playing sports or stepping off on an uneven surface, most commonly causes an ankle sprain.

Other sprained ankle symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.