Acute Ankle Injuries

What is an Acute Ankle Injury?

An acute ankle injury is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. It can occur following a sporting or exercise induced incident or in some unlucky cases, just from walking on uneven surfaces or losing your balance and falling. 

There are two main types of acute ankle injuries, a high ankle injury and a low ankle injury. The more common of the two being the low ankle injury, specifically an inversion ankle sprain. An inversion ankle sprain occurs when the ankle rolls outwards and injures the ligaments connected to the bones on the outside of the ankle. The opposite can be said for the second type of low ankle injury, an eversion sprain. This injury is caused by the ankle rolling inwards and damaging the ligaments of the inside ankle complex.  

A term used to describe the condition of recurrent ankle sprains is chronic ankle instability. This has the potential to cause issues long term and may need the assistance of health professionals to manage. 

How does it present?

The signs and symptoms of an acute ankle sprain will vary depending on the severity but in most cases immediately following the mechanism of injury you will experience pain in the ankle. Other presentations may include bruising, swelling, tenderness to touch and ankle instability. Ankle instability will usually occur in higher grade injuries where the ligament/s have been torn and/or bony trauma has occurred. 

What treatments can you try at home?

The simple treatment procedure to follow if you have injured your ankle is the RICE protocol. Rest, ice, compression and elevation. Icing for 15-20 minute intervals and using an elastic bandage or ankle guard as compression can help reduce swelling. 

How can The Feet People help if these at home treatments don't work?

If the at home treatments listed above are not providing relief or the injury was quite severe, we as podiatrists can help in several ways. Following the appropriate management with the RICE protocol, we can develop an exercise program to maintain mobility and gradually increase strength and stability back in the ankles. We can also assist with appropriate footwear options and assist in reducing pain with strapping or footwear modifications. 

Someone recovering from a nasty ankle injury or a sufferer of chronic ankle instability may require the use of a brace either short or long term. There are many over the counter braces at your disposal but there is one brace that is more recent to the Australian market and is breaking ground in the way we can treat and manage acute and chronic ankle injuries. 

The EXO-L brace is custom made using a 3D scan of your ankles. This brace restricts the most common injury motion of the lateral ankle sprain whilst still allowing for ankle dorsiflexion, eversion and plantar flexion. This is something that no other brace on the market has to offer. The EXO-L brace is brought to you by Brace for Innovation. The Director,  Suzanne Goodall who is the Physio for the Australian Men’s Hockey Team as well as Powerhouse Physio in Canberra will be in Brisbane on Monday October 21st at The Feet People CBD for fitting consultations. Please see the link below for more details of the EXO-L brace.

If you are someone who has recently suffered an acute ankle injury or are dealing with long term issues related to previous ankle sprains, there are many ways we can assist you on your journey back to enjoying the activities you love. Make an appointment with us here at The Feet People, we look forward to meeting you. 


Peters, R. (2019). The Difference Between High & Low Ankle Sprains. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].

Haddad, S. (2019). Sprained Ankle - OrthoInfo - AAOS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Sep. 2019].