An ankle sprain can happen by simply stepping on an uneven surface, or stepping down on an unusual angle. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral or outside part of the ankle. When the foot twists, rolls or turns beyond its normal motions, a great force is transmitted upon landing. This causes the ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range in an abnormal position.
There are varying degrees of ankle sprain, which your podiatrist will be able to diagnose after a quick examination.
Grade 1 sprain: Slight stretching and damage to the fibres (fibrils) of the ligament.
Grade 2 sprain: Partial tearing of the ligament. If the ankle joint is examined and moves in certain ways to suggest abnormal looseness (laxity) of the ankle joints.
Grade 3 sprain: Complete tear of the ligament. If the podiatrist pulls or pushes on the ankle joint in a certain way and there is gross instability.
Ankle sprains can be diagnosed fairly easily due to the fact that it is a common injury. Your podiatrist might also suggest the following: