INTRODUCTION: Injury of the lateral ligament complex of the ankle joint occurs in about one in 10,000 people a day, accounting for a quarter of all sports injuries. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatment strategies for acute ankle ligament ruptures? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to November 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). RESULTS: We found 38 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: cold treatment, diathermy, functional treatment, homeopathic ointment, immobilisation, physiotherapy, surgery, and ultrasound.