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Knowing Ankle Sprains: For The Athlete. Charles Caltagirone. Tibia. Fibula. Talus. Ankle Boney Anatomy. Lateral View. Medial View. Ankle Soft Tissue Anatomy. Lateral (Inversion) Sprains High ( Syndesmosis ) Sprains Medial (Eversion) Sprains. Different Kinds of Ankle Sprains.

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different kinds of ankle sprains

Lateral (Inversion) Sprains

  • High (Syndesmosis) Sprains
  • Medial (Eversion) Sprains
Different Kinds of Ankle Sprains
different grades of ankle sprains

Grade I- minimal swelling, discoloration, instability, and minimal impaired gait. Only the anterior talofibular ligament is injured.

  • Grade II- moderate swelling, discoloration, instability, and moderate impaired gait. The anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular ligaments are injured.
  • Grade III- Severe swelling, discoloration, instability, and inability to walk with proper gait. The anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular ligaments are injured.
Different Grades of Ankle Sprains
lateral ankle sprains anatomy

Can happen in any sport

  • Commonly called “Rolling Ankle”
  • Usually effects the anterior Talofibular Ligament (ATF)
  • Can effect the Calcaneofibular ligament (CF) and Posterior Talofibular Ligament (PTF)

Anterior Talofibular Ligament

Lateral Ankle Sprains Anatomy

Posterior Talofibular Ligament

Calcaneofibular Ligament

causes of lateral ankle sprains

The foot is placed in forced inversion

and plantar flexion

  • It can be from an unstable/irregular surface
  • Also caused by forced trauma
Causes of Lateral Ankle Sprains


  • Pain*
  • Discoloration*
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Inability to walk
  • Ankle Instability

*The most common symptoms



R.I.C.E- Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

  • Performing therapeutic exercises
  • Taping techniques
  • Ankle Braces

This is called a closed basket weave

high ankle sprain anatomy

Occurs to syndesmosis joint

  • Anterior Tibiofibular

Ligament (Anterior TibFib)

  • Posterior Tibiofibular

Ligament (Posterior TibFib)

High Ankle Sprain Anatomy

The posterior TibFib ligament is not shown here, but it would be in the same spot just on the posterior aspect of the leg.

causes of high ankle sprains

The foot is placed in extreme eversion

and dorsal flexion

  • Oppositewhat a typical ankle sprain
  • Usually from landing on another

players foot

Causes of High Ankle Sprains

Pain on the syndesmosis joint

  • Swelling (over the joint)*
  • Discoloration*
  • Deformity
  • Redness
  • Inability to walk
  • Pain in eversion and dorsal flexion
  • *Most common symptoms

Symptoms are at the syndesmosis joint.



  • Therapeutic exercises- differ from lateral ankle exercises because one wants to avoid eversion and dorsal flexion exercises.
  • Tape Application

This is an example similar to a high ankle tape application. The purpose is to help the tibia and fibula stay together at the syndesmosis joint.

medial ankle sprain anatomy

Posterior Tibiotalor


Anterior Tibiotalor


Deltoid ligament

Medial Ankle Sprain Anatomy
causes of medial ankle sprains

The foot is placed in extreme eversion

  • Usually occurs with a high ankle sprain
  • Generally more serious than a lateral ankle sprain
Causes of Medial Ankle Sprains


  • Discoloration*
  • Pain*
  • Redness
  • Warmth
  • Inability to walk*
  • *Most common symptoms

Notice the eversion of the ankle



  • Therapeutic exercise- Avoiding eversion exercises
  • This injury is usually serious and

a tape application will not work

Common exercises performed with therabands


Ankle sprains can range from not serious to very serious

  • They can also occur at different areas of the ankle depending on the mechanism
  • For non serious ankle sprains the individual can be taped and return to activity
  • For serious ankle sprains the individual may need surgery
  • They are very treatable and many athletes have come back to have excellent careers after
  • Here are some helpful links about ankle sprains:
  • Lateral ankleHigh ankleMedial ankle