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Home :: Leg Sprain

Leg Sprain

Violent overstretching of one or more ligaments in the lower leg. Sprains involving two or more ligaments cause considerably more disability than single-ligament sprains. When the ligament is overstretched, it becomes tense and gives way at its weakest point, either where it attaches to bone or within the ligament itself. If the ligament pulls loose a fragment of bone, it is called a sprain-fracture. There are 3 types of sprains:

  • Mild (Grade I) - Tearing of some ligament fibers. There is no loss of function.
  • Moderate (Grade II) - Rupture of a portion of the ligament, resulting in some loss of function.
  • Severe (Grade III) - Complete rupture of the ligament or complete separation of ligament from bone. There is total loss of function. A severe sprain requires surgical repair.


  • Any ligament in the lower leg.
  • Tissue surrounding the sprain, including blood vessels, tendons, bone, periosteum (covering of bone) and muscles.


Stress on a ligament that temporarily forces or pries the tibia and fibula out of their normal location. Sprains occur frequently in runners, walkers, and those who jump in such sports as basketball, soccer, skiing, distance- and high-jumping. These athletes often accidentally land on the side of the foot.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain at the time of injury.
  • A feeling of popping or tearing inside the lower leg.
  • Tenderness at the injury site.
  • Swelling in the lower leg.
  • Bruising that appears soon after injury


Follow your doctor's instructions. Instructions are supplemental.

The doctor usually applies a splint from ankle to groin to immobilize the sprained leg.If the doctor does not apply a cast,tape or elastic bandage:

  • Use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day. Wrap ice chips or cubes in plastic bag ,and wrap the bag in a moist towel. Place it over the injured area. Use for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Wrap the injured leg with an elasticized bandage between ice treatments.
  • After 72 hours, apply heat instead of ice promotes, if it feels better. Use heat lamps, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads or heat ointments and liniments.
  • Take whirlpool treatments, if available.
  • Massage the leg gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.


  • For minor discomfort, you may use: Aspirin acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Topical liniments and ointments.
  • Your doctor may prescribe :Stronger pain relievers. Injection of a long-acting local anesthetic to reduce pain. Injection of a corticosteroid, such as triamcinolone, to reduce inflammation .

Home Diet

During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Increase fiber and fluid intake to prevent constipation that may result from decreased activity.

Prevention Tips
  • Build your strength with a conditioning program appropriate for your sport.
  • Warm up before practice or competition.
  • Tape vulnerable joints before practice or competition.
  • Wear proper protective shoes .
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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.