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A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Ankle sprain - series

Last reviewed: April 13, 2013.

Normal anatomy

The ankle joint connects the foot with the leg. The ankle joint allows the foot to move upward and downward and in an inward and outward motion. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments surround the ankle providing the stability the ankle joint needs for walking and running.

Normal anatomy

Type I ankle sprain

The most common way the ankle can be injured is by an ankle sprain. When an ankle is sprained ligaments on the ankle are either stretched, partially torn or completely torn. The most common type of sprain is an inversion injury, where the foot is rotated inward. Ankle sprains can range from mild, to moderate, and severe. Type 1 ankle sprain is a mild sprain. It occurs when the ligaments have been stretched or torn minimally.

Type I ankle sprain

Type II ankle sprain

Type II ankle sprain is a moderate level of sprain. It occurs when some of the fibers of the ligaments are torn completely.

Type II ankle sprain

Type III ankle sprain

Type III ankle sprain is the most severe ankle sprain. It occurs when the entire ligament is torn and there is great instability of the ankle joint.

Type III ankle sprain

Review Date: 4/13/2013.

Reviewed by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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What works?

  • Interventions for treating defects of the joint surfaces of the ankle bone in adultsInterventions for treating defects of the joint surfaces of the ankle bone in adults
    Osteochondral defects are limited areas of damage to the lining of a joint. These defects involve the joint surface (chondral) and also the bone underneath the surface (osteo). The ankle is composed of three bones named the tibia (shin bone), fibula (the other lower leg bone) and talus (ankle bone). This review just looks osteochondral defects in the talus. Such defects occur mainly after trauma. They are rare but can result in pain and significant disability.
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