More Than Just An Ankle Sprain

ankle sprains

Ankle sprains are fairly common (especially with so many running events going on these days) and an athlete can expect to get back to sport within a relatively short time of around 3-8 weeks. That’s for grade 1 or 2 ankle sprains. Ankle sprains rater grade 3 are another matter altogether.

Grade 1 Sprain

Defined as mild damage to a ligament or ligaments without instability of the affected.

Grade 2 Sprain

It is considered a partial tear to the ligament, in which it is stretched to the point that it becomes loose.

Grade 3 Sprain

A complete tear of a ligament, causing instability in the affected joint.

Related Injuries With Ankle Sprains

So if you have been following advice on treating and rehabilitating ankle sprains but it just doesn’t seem to be getting better, then it is quite likely that you have injured more than just your ankle ligaments; usually the ligament connecting your outer leg bone (Fibia) to the bones in your foot (Tarsals).

Common injuries related with ankle sprains include:

1. High Ankle Sprains

Like the name suggests these are injuries to the ligaments at the higher front of the ankle which join the Tibia and Fibula together. They tend to be more difficult to treat than standard ankle sprains.

2. Pott’s Fracture

This a break in the bone on the outside of the ankle. The bony lump which can be felt there is the end of the Fibula bone.

3. Osteochondral Lesions Of The Talus

This refers to a tear in the cartilage which sits on top of the Talus (ankle) bone within the joint.

4. Avulsion Fracture

In some cases, instead of the ligaments tearing, a force can cause a tendon attachment to pull off a little section of bone. This is an avulsion fracture.

5. Peroneal Tendon Injury


The Peroneal tendons run behind the outer ankle bone and then on to the outside of the foot. These tendons can be torn when the ankle is forced over, causing peroneal tendon injury.

A Second X-ray

Generally speaking, we don’t advocate unnecessary X-rays. However, in a case beyond a mild ankle sprain, an X-ray can help rule out fractures. If one is taken during the early days of a sprain, the swelling can sometimes mask the fracture. So if the swelling and pains persist, a second X-ray may be needed.

Experiencing ankle pain? Click here to find out more about physiotherapy for ankle pain relief and how Core Concepts can help