The majority of ankle sprains are low sprains that can be managed conservatively, but orthopaedic referral should be arranged if a high sprain is suspected. Referral is also warranted for any patient with an ankle sprain if symptoms are not improving as expected or if concomitant injuries are present.
Ankle sprains are common, accounting for 3 to 5% of emergency department presentations.1 They are frequently caused by a sporting or dancing injury and are often the result of a twisting mechanism leading to inversion of the ankle. They are more common in patients with ligament laxity. Females experience a higher incidence of ankle sprain compared with males (13.6 vs 6.94 per 1,000 exposures).1