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Ankle injuries can happen to anyone at any age. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, which involve ligaments and bones in the ankle, but you can also tear or strain a tendon.
Ankle injuries are often thought of as sports injuries. Half of all ankle sprains occur during an athletic activity. But you don't have to be an athlete or even a "weekend warrior" to turn your ankle. A sprained ankle is an injury that occurs when you roll, twist or turn your ankle in an awkward way. This can stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue (ligaments) that help hold your ankle bones together. Something as simple as walking on an uneven surface can cause a painful, debilitating sprain. Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle. And more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries.
The symptoms of a sprain and of a fracture are very similar. In fact, fractures can sometimes be mistaken for sprains. That's why it's important to have an ankle injury evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.