Ankle sprains occur when the ankle is twisted or forced in a way that stretches or tears one or more ligaments. The severity of the injury depends on if the ligaments are stretched, partially torn, or fully torn.
Symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, bruising, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended in order to repair a torn ligament.
If left untreated, it can become chronic. Chronic lateral ankle pain occurs most commonly from an improperly healed sprained ankle or other injuries.
Treatments include over the counter or prescription medication, physical therapy to build muscle strength, steroid medications, ankle braces, and immobilization (in the case of fracture).
Treatments for mild cases involves immobilization of the foot and ankle. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the loose bone or cartilage.