Foot & Ankle Injuries

The foot and ankle function as one to provide stability and support for the weight of the body in standing and during movement. Injuries to the foot and ankle are extremely very common in people of all ages.  Foot and ankle injuries can be caused by poor biomechanics, poor footwear, direct trauma, weakness or insufficiancy of the muscles/joints/ligaments surrounding this complex area.

The most common mechanism of injury is rolling or spraining the ankle.  During a simple ankle sprain there is stretching and tearing of ligaments, commonly those on the outside of the ankle.  This commonly causes swelling, bruising and tenderness of the area and pain during weightbearing or walking.  In more complex and serious sprains there may be damage to the ankle joint itself including breaks or fractures of the bones which make up the joint.  Ankle sprains are graded according to the following:

Grade 1 ankle sprain:

  • Stretching or mild tearing of ligaments
  • Little or no functional loss - the joint can still function and bear some weight
  • Mild pain, swelling and joint stiffness  

Grade 2 ankle sprain:

  • Severe tearing of the ligaments
  • Moderate instability of the joint
  • Moderate to severe pain - weightbearing is very painful
  • Swelling and stiffness

Grade 3 ankle sprain:

  • Total rupture of a ligament
  • Instability of the joint
  • Severe pain
  • Severe swelling


If an injury is sustained a Physiotherapist can accurately assess and diagnose the area and determine the best method of ankle treatment.