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What is an ankle sprain or ankle injury?

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The ankle joint, which connects the foot with the lower leg, is injured often. An unnatural twisting motion can happen when the foot is planted awkwardly, when the ground is uneven, or when an unusual amount of force is applied to the joint. Such injuries to the ligaments or tendons of the ankle happen during athletic events, while running or walking, or even doing something as simple as getting out of bed.

Ankle injuries can be painful and can make it hard to carry out your daily activities.

Author: Howard A Blumstein, MD, FAAEM, Assistant Professor, Surgery; Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Editors: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Department, Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, VA.
 

SOURCES:

eMedicineHealth: "Ankle Sprain."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: "Ankle Sprain."

HealthyChildren.org: "Sprained Ankles."

UptoDate: "Ankle Sprain."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 25, 2020

Author: Howard A Blumstein, MD, FAAEM, Assistant Professor, Surgery; Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Editors: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Anthony Anker, MD, FAAEM, Attending Physician, Emergency Department, Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, VA.
 

SOURCES:

eMedicineHealth: "Ankle Sprain."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: "Ankle Sprain."

HealthyChildren.org: "Sprained Ankles."

UptoDate: "Ankle Sprain."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 25, 2020

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What causes an ankle sprain?

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