Skip to main content

Ankle Sprain, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017



  • Injuries to ligamentous supports of the ankle

  • Ankle joint is a hinge joint composed of the tibia, fibula, and talus.

  • Injuries may range from stretching with microscopic damage (grade I...


Signs and Symptoms


History may predict the type of injury found and should include: 
  • Time of injury

  • Mechanism

  • The presence of a “pop” or “crack”

  • History of previous trauma

  • Relevant medical ...



Immobilize ankle as necessary. 

Initial Stabilization/Therapy

  • Prevent further injury; avoid weight bearing if painful.

  • RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)

Ed Treatment/Procedures



Admission Criteria

An isolated ankle sprain should not require admission. 

Discharge Criteria

An isolated ankle sprain may be safely discharged from the ED with appropriate treatment...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • The Ottawa Ankle Rules may decrease the need for radiographs.

  • Immobilization with an elastic bandage dressing coupled with an air stirrup splint followed by early functional therapy...

Additional Reading

  • Beynnon  BD, Renström  PA, Haugh  L, et al. A prospective, randomized clinical investigation of the treatment of 1st-time ankle sprains. Am J Sports Med.  2006;35:1401–1402.

  • Ho ...



  • 845.00 Sprain of ankle, unspecified site

  • 845.02 Sprain of calcaneofibular (ligament) of ankle

  • 845.09 Other sprains and strains of ankle

  • 845.03 Sprain of tibiofibular (ligament), distal of ankle

  • ...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.