A wrist sprain is a common injury for all sorts of athletes. All it takes is a momentary loss of balance. As you slip, you automatically stick your hand out to break your fall. But once your hand hits the ground, the force of impact bends it back toward your forearm. This can stretch the ligaments that connect the wrist and hand bones a little too far. The result is tiny tears or -- even worse -- a complete break to the ligament.
While falls cause of a lot of wrist sprains, you can also...
You heard a popping sound at the time you sprained your ankle.
You have moderate pain or severe swelling or bruising around your ankle.
You can't walk or put weight on your affected foot, or your ankle feels unstable.
You have redness, swelling, or pain in your leg or groin. These can be signs of a blood clot.
You have no improvement in your ankle after 1 week.
Your swelling and bruising last more than 2 weeks.
Also be sure to contact your doctor if you have a cast or splint around your ankle that feels too tight. If the cast hurts, pinches, or feels like it is digging into your skin, it may be too tight. If your foot feels numb or your skin feels cool, call your doctor immediately.
If your pain is mild and you are able to put some weight on your foot, you may follow the recommendations in the Treatment Overview and Home Treatment sections of this topic. Initial treatment and rehabilitation exercises ensure that your ankle heals properly. If treatment recommendations are not followed, your ankle may stay weak and unstable.
Who to see
For evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of an ankle sprain, you may see: