J Korean Foot Ankle Soc.  2015 Sep;19(3):81-85. 10.14193/jkfas.2015.19.3.81.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Ankle Sprain

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, School of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon, Korea. koreafoot@gmail.com


Acute sprain of the ankle requires comprehensive history taking and physical examination in diagnosing the type of severity and deciding on the plan of treatment. Literature supports functional treatment as the treatment of choice for grade I and II injuries. During the acute phase, the goal of treatment focuses on controlling pain and swelling. PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation) is a well-established protocol at this phase. There is some evidence that application of ice and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs improves healing and speeds recovery. Then the functional treatment (motion restoration and strengthening exercises) is administered to progress the rehabilitation appropriately in order to facilitate healing and restore the mechanical strength and proprioception. Early mobilization has been shown to result in more rapid return to work and daily activities than immobilization. Grade III injuries still generate controversy in terms of the best management available, and more studies on early mobilization, cast immobilization, or surgery are needed. Even the Cochrane reviews published to date are not conclusive.


Ankle; Sprain; Strain; Functional treatment; Proprioception

MeSH Terms

Ankle Injuries*
Early Ambulation
Physical Examination
Return to Work
Sprains and Strains



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