Sprains and bruises are the most common injuries among athletes. However, it is clear that you do not have to be an athlete to get a serious ankle sprain. A curb, a stone or just a bad step causes the elongation of the ligaments that surround the ankle when an injury occurs. A sprained ankle refers to a tear of the ankle ligaments. The most common ankle sprain occurs in the lateral or external part of the ankle. It is a very common injury that affects many people during a wide variety of activities. It can occur in the context of an ankle fracture (that is when the ankle bones also break). However, it is more common for it to occur in isolation.