This animation illustrates and compares the severity of an ankle sprain (Type I, II, III).
While playing basketball, this player sprained his ankle. Probably not a good idea to play without shoes! Symptoms of a sprain include swelling and discoloration near the affected area.
A sprain occurs when a ligament is inflamed or torn. Ligaments, such as those of the ankle, are bands or sheets of regular, tough fibrous tissue that connect bones together.
Here is the normal state of the ankle and its ligaments. Depending on the severity of the injury, the ligaments may be mildly injured and inflamed as in a Type One ankle sprain; partially torn, classified as a Type Two sprain; or completely torn, making it a Type Three sprain.
Treatment for a Type One sprain should include Rest, Ice, Compression and immobilization, and Elevation of the affected area. This is easy to remember if you think of the acronym RICE. If you suspect a ligament is torn or completely severed, see your health care provider for treatment.
Reviewed last on: 10/6/2008
Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.