An ankle ligament tear is an injury and severe form of ankle sprain. Ankle ligaments are the tough bands of tissue that help hold and stabilize the ankle bones together. When the ankle rolls or twists in an abnormal and awkward way, the ligaments can stretch further than normal, and in some cases, even tear.
Ankle ligament tears may have symptoms similar to those of an ankle sprain. These may include:
• Pain, especially when placing weight on the affected area
• Swelling and bruising
• Stiffness and restricted mobility
Your doctor will typically begin diagnosis for an ankle ligament tear with a physical examination. The doctor will look for swelling and tenderness, as well as your range of motion and signs of pain.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend imaging to diagnose an ankle ligament tear, these may include:
• CT scan (computerized tomography)
• MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Treatment for an ankle ligament tear may begin with immobilization and physical therapy in minor cases. However, unlike minor ankle sprains, treatment of a severe ankle ligament tear may require surgery to repair the torn ligament. Physical therapy may also be required as part of the recovery plan following a surgical procedure.