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About Ankle Sprains

An ankle sprain occurs when the strong ligaments that support the ankle stretch beyond their limits and tear. Ankle sprains are common injuries that occur among people of all ages. They range from mild to severe, depending upon how much damage there is to the ligaments. Without proper treatment and rehabilitation, a more severe sprain can weaken your ankle—making it more likely that you will injure it again. Repeated ankle sprains can lead to long-term problems, including chronic ankle pain, arthritis, and ongoing instability. Our orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine providers work with you on developing a specialized treatment plan with your goals in mind with a team dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

A sprained ankle is painful. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Instability of the ankle—this may occur when there has been complete tearing of the ligament or a complete dislocation of the ankle joint.

Ankle Sprain Treatment at UT Health Austin

Upon evaluation of your ankle, including possible imaging, your sports medicine provider will discuss nonsurgical treatment options as an initial approach to healing the injury and improving function. These options often include activity modifications and rest, support braces, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, physical therapy and strengthening exercises. In more severe cases physical therapy and rehabilitation may also be included in treatment to help prevent stiffness and rebuild ankle strength to prevent chronic ankle problems. Your care team will walk you through the risks and benefits as well as what to expect throughout your recovery process.

About the Sports and Injury Clinic

The UT Health Austin Musculoskeletal Institute Sports and Injury Clinic includes experts in hip and knee orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine specialists, physiatrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, and social workers. This team enables us to provide the right care for the right patient at the right time. For some patients, nonsurgical interventions such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, medication and injections can help improve pain and function, while surgery may be the best course of action for others. Whatever your needs, our team is here to listen and work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.