Torn ankle ligament

We’ll make your foot stable again

Ligament tear (ligament rupture) in the ankle joint is one of the most common sports injuries. It typically occurs when you twist or roll your ankle. A torn ligament is often painful and causes swelling in the injured foot, meaning that you can no longer walk without pain.

At Schoen Clinic, we employ seasoned experts specialised in sports injuries. Often, conservative treatment without surgery is sufficient for a ligament rupture. You’ll be in safe hands with our specialists, whatever your situation. Together, we can find a way to heal your injury without any after-effects.

Causes & symptoms

The ankle joint – how is it structured?

There is an upper and lower ankle joint. The upper ankle joint is located between your calf and ankle bone and lets you bend and stretch your foot. The lower ankle joint is located between your ankle bone and tarsal bone. This lets you move your foot sideways, allowing you to walk across uneven surfaces without difficulty.

The individual bones in your ankle joint are bound together by ligaments. They are activated by various muscles in the calf. The ligament connection between your tibia bone and fibia bone, as well as your external and internal ligaments, stabilise your foot.

Causes: how does a ligament tear of the ankle joint occur?

In 85% of cases, a ligament tear of the ankle joint happens due to the ankle rolling while walking. External forces, such as a foul in football, can also cause ligament rupture. In general, ball sports such as tennis, basketball and volleyball carry a high risk of injury. In addition, these types of accidents can lead to bone fractures or joint damages. Tendons can also be damaged.

Symptoms: signs of a ligament rupture of the ankle joint

After your ankle rolls, a sudden shooting pain typically occurs. The first signs of a ligament tear are severe swelling and bruising. You’ll often no longer be able to put your full weight on the foot because of the pain. Sometimes, a feeling of instability can also arise.

Initial measures for a suspected ligament tear

To prevent further injury, it is best to follow the RICE method:
  1. Rest: stop putting weight on the joint as quickly as possible.

  2. Ice: cool the affected area to combat swelling and inflammation of the joint.

  3. Compression and Elevation: apply a compression bandage and keep your leg raised. With these measures, you can slow down the swelling of your ankle joint. 
In addition, you should be examined by a doctor as quickly as possible so that they can establish the type and severity of your injury. Our specialists at Schön Klinik have years of experience in handling sports injuries and can recommend suitable treatment.


Diagnosis: how did the accident happen?

To make a reliable diagnosis, we ask you to describe the accident in detail, and we thoroughly examine your ankle joint. This helps us determine the type and extent of your injury. It might not be just a ligament sprain – it could be a ligament rupture.

X-ray images show the extent of the injury

We conduct an X-ray examination to rule out bone damages. The position of the bones, for example, may indicate damages to non-bone joint sections.

Checks provide security

Because we cannot directly examine your ankle joint immediately after the accident, an additional check-up will be needed after a few days. At the time of the check-up, your pain will typically have greatly decreased, allowing for targeted examination. Between examinations, your ankle joint will be placed in a splint and unburdened using underarm crutches. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also sometimes be beneficial. This provides a particularly clear view of any soft tissue or cartilage injuries.