What Is It?
A foot sprain is a tear of ligaments, the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones to one another inside a joint. Sprains range in severity from Grade I to Grade III.
- Grade I — The injury is fairly mild, causing microscopic tears or stretching of the ligaments.
- Grade II (moderate) — The ligaments may be partially torn, and the stretching is more severe.
- Grade III (severe) — The ligaments are completely torn, so the foot may be unstable and no longer able to bear weight.
Because the foot bears the entire body's weight with each step and contains numerous bones and joints, you may expect the foot to be at high risk of sprains. However, sprains of the foot are fairly rare, except in people who participate in certain sports or occupations that subject the feet to abnormal twisting motions or bends.
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About the Author
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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