A ligament is a fibrous band of connective tissue which attaches bone to bone, and usually serves to hold structures together and keep them stable. A tendon on the other hand, is a fibrous connective tissue which attaches muscle to bone.

What is a ruptured ligament?

A sprained ankle is a very common injury among people of all ages. It is estimated that 25,000 people experience this injury each day. Ankle sprains are usually caused by an injury that places stress on a joint or ruptures the supporting ligaments.

A ruptured ligament is a less common occurrence. A ruptured ligament indicates a severe sprain. The ligaments in the ankle hold the ankle bones and joint in position, providing stabilization and support. Rupturing occurs when the ligaments tear completely or separate from the bone, impairing proper joint function.

What causes sprained ankles?

  • Physical activities including walking, basketball, volleyball, soccer and other jumping sports.

  • Contact sports such as football, hockey and boxing

  • Falls, twists, or rolls of the foot that stretch beyond its normal motions

  • Uneven surfaces or stepping down at an angle

How are sprained ankles treated?

In some cases to treat a severe sprain with a ruptured ligament, surgery or immobilization may be needed. Most ankle sprains need a period of four to six weeks to heal properly. During this time, a cast must be used to protect and support the ankle. Physical therapy may also be recommended to help decrease pain and swelling and ultimately prevents chronic ankle problems

If you believe you have an ankle injury, you should have it checked out by one of our sports medicine specialists. Meanwhile, you can use the simple RICE method to treat the injury until your appointment.

  • Rest

  • Ice

  • Compress

  • Elevate

Tips to prevent injury

Follow these simple tips to help prevent a sprain or rupture:

  • Stretching and warming-up before physical activity

  • Wearing shoes that fit properly

  • Paying attention to walking, running or working surfaces