Ankle Sprains: What Updated Guidelines Mean for You

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Apr;51(4):161. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2021.0504.


Ankle sprains are the most common foot-ankle and sports-related injury for which people seek medical care. People of all ages sprain their ankles. Four in every 10 first-time ankle sprains occur when playing sports. Acute ankle sprains are usually accompanied by swelling, pain, and difficulty walking. Chronic ankle instability is diagnosed when a person continues to have problems with tasks like walking or playing sports 1 year after the original injury. People with chronic ankle instability say their ankle feels unstable or like it "gives way." The JOSPT published updated clinical practice guidelines on diagnosing, managing, and preventing acute ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability in the April 2021 issue. We share what the experts found and what it means for you or for someone for whom you may be caring. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2021;51(4):161. doi:10.2519/jospt.2021.0504.

Keywords: ankle; ankle sprain; chronic ankle instability; clinical practice guidelines.

Publication types

  • Patient Education Handout

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / therapy*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic