Medial Ankle Sprain


Medial ankle sprains occur significantly less than the lateral variety. The major reason for this is the deltoid ligament is significantly stronger than the lateral ligaments, because of this strength complete ruptures are extremely rare. As the medial ligaments are stronger than the lateral ligaments when you injure them the injury is generally more substantial resulting in a longer recovery time. The recovery period is approximately double that of a lateral ligament sprain.

Medial ligaments are injured by:

  • Gradual wear and tear that causes degeneration over time.
  • An awkward fall or accident.
  • A blow to the outside of your ankle that causes your ankle to roll inwards.

A medial ankle sprain tends to occur more frequently in people as they age, as with the aging processed the ligaments will be more brittle and less flexible. An accurate and careful diagnosis is required as frequently a medial ligament sprain will be confused with a tibialis posterior strain as they are both located in the medial ankle and resist ankle eversion.

Sometimes the lateral and medial ligaments can become damaged at the same time and occasionally may occur in conjunction with fractures.


Signs and symptoms of a medial ankle sprain:

  • A traumatic incident involving the ankle rolling inwards (eversion).
  • Pain on the inside of the ankle.
  • Rapid swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Difficulty weight bearing.
  • Instability of the ankle, the ankle may try to roll inwards.


Physiotherapy treatments of a medial ankle sprain may include:

  • RICED (Rest, Ice, Compression, elevation and diagnosis).
  • Exercises to restore movement, these need to be started almost immediately for the fastest recovery.
  • Massage to reduce swelling.
  • Specific massage techniques to stimulate ligament recovery and remodelling.
  • Mobilisations to the ankle joint to restore full movement and to stimulate ligament recovery.
  • Mobilisations with movement.
  • Strengthening the stabilising ankle muscles.
  • Proprioceptive rehabilitative exercises to regain stability of the ankle.
  • Sports specific rehabilitation.
  • Strapping/bracing to ensure another injury doesn’t occur.