Ankle sprains are caused by an unnatural twisting or force on the ankle bones of the foot, often resulting in one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle being stretched or torn. If not properly treated, ankle sprains can develop into long-term problems.
Treatment includes resting the ankle and applying ice to reduce swelling. Compressive bandages also may be used to immobilize and support the injury. More serious ankle sprains, particularly in competitive athletes, may require surgery to repair or to tighten the ligaments.