Patient Guide: How to Tape an Ankle

Orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists update guide on ankle taping  

ROSEMONT, Ill. (Aug. 22, 2014) – Nearly everyone sprains an ankle at some point in their lives, and some people suffer from recurrent ankle sprains. This ankle injury frequently benefits from taping, and members of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) have updated the article How to Tape an Ankle at FootCareMD, the AOFAS patient-education website.
A sprain overstretches and sometimes tears the ligaments around the ankle. Sprains cause pain, swelling and bruising and occasionally instability when walking. A sprained ankle can be taped to give ligaments as much support as possible as they heal.
The updated How to Tape an Ankle article includes step-by-step photo instructions for ankle taping that you can follow at home. You’ll need some simple supplies and an area for the patient to prop up the affected leg. Before taping an ankle, keep these points in mind:  
  1. You should always use a pre-wrap and then apply adhesive tape over this wrap.
  2. Before wrapping, put the ankle in a neutral position with the foot at a 90-degree angle to the leg. This will ensure that the ankle is in the proper position when you’re done taping.
  3. It may take some practice to learn how to tape an ankle, so don’t be frustrated if you have trouble the first time. Just try again, closely following each step.
  4. If the sprain is very painful or there is a lot of bruising, see an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist to rule out anything more serious, such as a fracture.   
FootCareMD also includes articles on How to Use Crutches and How to Strengthen your Ankle After a Sprain. Visit the site often for new articles and advice from orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists.
About the AOFAS
The  AOFAS promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through the education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities.
About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in orthopaedic foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage and treat trauma of the foot and ankle.
Jennifer Hicks
Director of Public Education