The foot, a complex structure

La Clinique du Pied

Ankle Sprain

La Clinique du Pied

The ankle sprain is the most common injury in trauma. Each sprain is likely to cause a ligament injury, it is the lateral ligaments of the ankle that are most often affected (sprain in supination). In most cases, this is a partial injury to these ligaments, associated with a tear in the ankle joint capsule. This is what causes the swelling and hematoma often present after such sprains and what causes the pain. The sprain is diagnosed by a clinical and radiological examination, aiming above all to exclude associated bone lesions.


In the absence of bone damage, conservative treatment is implemented. This is to immobilize the ankle with a flexible splint allowing walking, to be worn for 6 weeks day and night. It combines an anti-inflammatory treatment in the form of ice and a local anti-inflammatory cream. Taking oral anti-inflammatory drugs may be advised for a few days. Walking is based on pain. It is not uncommon to have to unload the foot using two crutches in the first few days after the sprain, to ensure optimal primary healing. After the first 6 weeks, the injured ligaments are most often healed, and physiotherapy treatment aimed at re-educating the ankle is prescribed. It's about regaining confidence on your ankle before resuming your professional or sports activities gradually.