J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2014 Feb;49(1):7-12. 10.4055/jkoa.2014.49.1.7.

Conservative Management of Ankle Sprains

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea. dakjul@korea.ac.kr


Ankle sprains are the most common sports related lower extremity injuries. Lateral ankle sprains are most common in ankle sprains. The staged treatment is recommended for the acute lateral ankle sprain. First treatment for acute ankle sprains focuses on control of pain and swelling: protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (PRICE) is a well-established protocol for treatment of acute ankle injury. The second phase of treatment is allowed ankle range of motion (ROM) with stirrup brace and the third phase is the exercises which increase ROM and muscle strength around the ankle joint. Adequate treatment for acute lateral ankle sprain can prevent the occurrence of chronic lateral ankle instability. The chronic lateral ankle instabilities have two categories: function instability and anatomical instability. Functional exercise for improving proprioception and strength of peroneal muscle is the first line treatment for chronic lateral ankle instabilities instead of early surgery. Early functional exercises could improve the ankle function, protect the repeated ankle after acute lateral ankle sprain, and improve the symptoms of chronic lateral ankle instabilities.


ankle; sprain; conservative management
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