A sprained ankle, although not taken as seriously as a broken ankle by many, can be a serious injury and should be treated properly to prevent further injury or pain to the patient.
The most common cause of a sprain is "rolling" on the ankle. This means you've turned the foot in or out much more than it should be and this pulls on the ligaments, the fibrous tissue that holds everything together. If you pull too hard on the ligaments, you stretch them and they can tear.
Minor sprains don't usually cause a lot of damage, but if it is a severe sprain, where the ligaments are torn through, the ankle can become unstable because there is nothing to hold it up properly. This could result in ankle damage, particularly if you roll your ankle again.
Erik W. Edomonds, MD, et al. Anterolateral Ankle Impingement in Adolescents: Outcomes of Nonoperative and Operative Treatment. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. March 2010. Vol. 30. No. 2. Pp.186-191.
*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.