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3 Sprained Ankle Types: Here’s How to Tell Them Apart

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Ankle sprains are common injuries among people of all ages, but that doesn’t mean every sprain is the same. In fact, there are three primary types of sprains. During your initial evaluation, your orthopedic doctor will perform a careful evaluation of your ankle to determine the type and severity of your sprain so your treatment can be customized specifically for your needs.

What is a sprain?Twisted angle

A sprain is an injury that affects a ligament, a strong, fibrous band of tissue that connects one bone to another. Most sprains are caused by twisting movements in the ankle that occur when walking or running or during a fall. Less often, a sprain can be caused by a car accident or other injury caused by a direct blow to the ankle.

Sprained Ankle Types

There are three types of ankle sprains, depending on which ligaments are involved:

  • Inversion sprains are the most common. In an inversion sprain, the ankle is twisted inward and bends or “rolls” on its outer side, stretching the ligaments on the outer portion of the ankle.
  • Eversion sprains occur when the foot and ankle roll or twist in the opposite direction, with the foot twisted outward and away from the other foot, stretching the ligaments on the inside of the ankle.
  • High ankle sprains are the least common of the three sprained ankle types, occurring when the ligaments in the upper portion of the ankle are twisted during rotational movements of the leg and foot.

Understanding the differences between sprained ankle types is very important for determining the best course of treatment, and it’s also important for helping you understand what you can expect during your recovery. If you have ankle pain and swelling, delaying care can result in more serious damage and long-term disability. Take that first step toward better joint health. Call Southeast Orthopedic Specialists at 904-634-0640 and schedule a consultation and evaluation today.

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