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Sprained ankle vs twisted ankle explained


If you have injured your ankle in an accident, you might be wondering what the difference is between a sprained ankle vs twisted ankle. A twisted ankle happens when you go over your ankle, causing initial pain that subsides fairly quickly. But a sprained ankle involves damage to ligaments, which can vary in severity. Pain, swelling and inability to put weight on your ankle are all signs that you have sprained it. Most sprained ankles involve damage to the talo-fibula or calcanao-fibula ligament, and if you have suffered a severe sprain (such as a Grade 3 sprain), then you may even need surgery to make a full recovery.


What’s the treatment for a sprained ankle vs twisted ankle?

Although a sprained ankle is much more severe an injury than a twisted ankle, the treatment method for a sprained ankle vs twisted ankle is much the same. PRICE therapy at home will normally be recommended by your doctor. This stands for:

  • Protection
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Keeping your ankle elevated, using ice to minimise swelling and bruising and wearing a compression bandage can all be helpful. Most sprains get better faster if you keep walking on them, although with very serious sprains your doctor may recommend resting your ankle for a few days. Although surgery isn’t generally needed for sprains, if you suffer from ongoing symptoms like numbness in your toes or swelling that won’t subside, you may need to have an arthroscopy, to remove inflamed tissue or loose cartilage from the joint, or undergo repair of your injured ligaments.


Will I get the same amount of compensation for any type of ankle injury?

The amount of compensation you’ll receive if you make a personal injury claim after your accident will take into account the severity of your injuries. So you’re likely to receive more compensation for a fractured or sprained ankle then you are if you have simply twisted your ankle. Accident Advice Helpline takes into account factors such as loss of earnings, if you have taken time off work, as well as the impact your injuries have had on your life – for example if you’ve been left unable to play sports for several months.

You can take the 30-second test™ on our website to get an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to, then give Accident Advice Helpline a call on 0800 689 5659 to find out more about making a claim.