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Sprained ankle statistics - What is the chance of you spraining your ankle?

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

Have you ever suffered from a sprained ankle injury? I hope not. I did, and I am interested in how often people with different demographics such as age and gender suffered from the same injury. Also, what sports make players more prone to sprain their ankle. Therefore, we gather some numbers from various researches and share them with you. Niche enough? If you share the same interest, don't hesitate to contact us, and you are more than welcome to add in extra information.

Australia (General Population) - sprained ankle

The general population living in South Wales was randomly selected to participate in a telephone interview about their ankle's health. 36% participated in the interview, of which 8.3% suffered from a history of a sprained ankle injury. More than half of those who sprained their ankle suffered from chronic symptoms for more than ten years. The most common chronic disorder is occasional pain in the ankle. Also, 62.9% of people did not participate in any health care consultation after their injury.

Argentina (Rugby) - sprained ankle

A whole weekend in the middle of the Argentina rugby competition season was randomly chosen in six years from 1991-1997 (except 1996). Players in any rugby club grades affiliated to the Argentine Rugby Union were eligible to participate in the research. There was an average of 32% of provincial unions that took part in the study each year. In total, the research collected 38933 players' data in the six years, with 924 cases of injuries, of which 106 were ankle ligament injury.

Denmark (General population) - sprained ankle

Study on the general population for a one-year duration. Sprained ankle happened in 7 per 1000 person-years. The incident occurred more frequently in young men and women above 40 years in comparison with their counterparts. 61% of the accidents were inversion sprained (injured the outside aspect of the ankle).

Greek (Professional basketball players) - sprained ankle

The research collected injuries data from female professional basketball female players in two-years time. A total of 204 players participated in the study, with 32 cases of sprained ankle injuries resulted, of which two were severely sprained that required more than seven sessions missed.

Hong Kong (Uniform group members) - sprained ankle

Five hundred ninety secondary school uniform group members had interviewed about their experiences of a sprained ankle injury. Among them, 9.15 % recalled a sprained ankle history, of which 70.4 % was inversion sprained (injured the outside aspect of the ankle). Half of the accidents happened in scree ground, whereas half occurred during the downhill. Older age, overweight, leaders of the uniform groups, history of a sprained ankle and other lower limb injury, wearing shoes with the wrong size, and using hiking poles increases the risk of injury.

About half of the interviewees reported residual problems after sprained, of which 25 % was ankle pain.

Netherlands (General Population) - sprained ankle

The researchers collected the general population's injuries data who visited the 17 emergency departments that implemented the National Injury Surveillance System in the Netherlands hospitals. The 17 hospitals represent 12% of all injuries sample data of the emergency departments in the Netherlands. In 2010, there were 43237 cases of ligamentous injuries of the ankle in the above mentioned 17 emergency departments with an average cost of 823 Euro per case.

United Kingdom (General population) - sprained ankle

The general population who visited the emergency department at Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton hospital were studied for a one-year duration. Among them, 5.27 to 6.09 per 1000 person-years suffered from a sprained ankle. 14% of those sprained ankles were severe, which was defined as not bearing weight at the first consultation, tenderness in the lateral ankle but without fracture.

United States (General population) - sprained ankle

From 2002-2006, sprained ankle data was collected from the general population visiting emergency departments (randomized selected) using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. For every 1000 person-years, 2.15 of them suffered from a sprained ankle injury. Sprained ankle accidents occurred most frequently in teenagers from 15-19-year-olds. A young male from 15-24 years old (1.53 times) and a female above 35 years old (2.03 times) sprained their ankles more frequently than their age-relevant counterparts.

Of all the injured recorded, about half of them happened during sports, of which 20.3 happened during basketball. Also, 26.3% of accidents occurred due to falling from the stairs.

United States (College sports team players) - sprained ankle

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System collected injury data from college sports team players, including baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling. The surveys were taken from 1988-1989 to 2002-2003, with 15 years of game seasons. All colleges in the NCAA institutions were allowed to participate; the participation was voluntary. The researchers target to collect 10% to 15% of sample data from the NCAA colleges. Athletic trainers in the school were responsible for submitting data to the research team.

We summarise the data about sprained ankle injuries in the following chart.

For your fact check:




Hong Kong


United Kingdom

United States

USA National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System

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