How Long Does It Take Sprain Ankle To Heal

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How Can Capital Orthopaedics Help With A Torn Ligament

Ankle sprain: how to heal as fast as possible

The team at Capital Orthopaedics is highly experienced at diagnosing and treating all ankle injuries.

Our consultant orthopaedic surgeons, led by internationally renowned surgeon Simon Moyes, work with top sports medicine professionals, physiotherapists and an in-house radiologist to ensure that you get the right diagnosis and most effective treatment.

All of the treatment plans are designed around your personal needs and lifestyle whether youre a professional sportsperson, a busy parent or an older person wanting to maintain your mobility.

Our aim is to get you back to your sports and everyday life with the least intervention, in the quickest time possible, and the lowest chance of re-injury or ongoing problems.

If you have injured your ankle and are suffering from ongoing symptoms, contact the team at Capital Orthopaedics here for more information or to book an appointment with one of our musculoskeletal experts.

Do Torn Ankle Ligaments Require Surgery

Many torn ankle ligaments recover well with a short period of rest, ice, compression and elevation , followed by a physical therapy programme focussed on building the strength around your ankle and improving mobility or an Aircast boot for complete tears.

In more severe cases, such as a complete rupture, or if there is bone or cartilage damage, surgery may be necessary to restore strength and stability.

What Are The Best Ways To Speed Up The Recovery Process From An Ankle Sprain

There are a few key things you can do to in the first 48 hours speed up the recovery process from an ankle sprain:

  • Rest: This is the most important thing you can do to ensure a speedy recovery.
  • Compression: Wrap the ankle with an elastic bandage or compression wrap to help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation: Prop the ankle up higher than the level of your heart to help reduce swelling and promote blood flow.
  • Movement: You want to get the ankle joint moving as quickly as possible after injury.
  • After the first 48-72 hours, there are additional steps that need to be taken in order to speed up the recovery process from an ankle sprain.

    You must focus on building strength and stability around the ankle, as well as working on balance and proprioception.

    This will build stability and confidence using your ankle in the future. This will also establish a proper range of motion under load to prevent stiffness.

    Speaking of which, learn more about treating stiff joints.

    More on this below.

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    Grade Ii: Moderate Ankle Sprain

    6-12 week recovery time. This is where youve partially ruptured one of more of your ankle ligament. Grade II ankle sprains come with acute pain around the ankle joint, and visible swelling. You may also notice bruising around the ankle, and down into the foot. Initially weight bearing will be uncomfortable, and the action of walking will be painful.

    Dont be alarmed that the bruising tracks down into your foot thats simply gravity having its effect on the bruising. There may possibly be a little joint instability around your ankle, but not always.

    Because of the more substantial damage to the ankle ligaments in a Grade II sprain , the recovery process will take longer.

    Your ankle sprain rehab may take up to 12 weeks, before you can return to full sport. The process will being with treatment to manage the pain and reduce the swelling, before moving on to focus on building strength and stability around the ankle, as well as working on balance and proprioception.

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From An Ankle Sprain

    How Long Does a Sprain Take to Heal &  What are its Home Remedies?

    It depends on the severity of the ankle sprain, but it usually takes a few weeks to recover from an ankle sprain. This time is needed for the ankle to heal properly.

    If the ankle sprain is more severe, it may take a few months for the ankle to heal sufficiently

    Ankle sprains can range in severity and take different amounts of time to recover.

    Recovery time depends on the level of injury and may include medication, physical therapy, and stability devices.

    The ankle sprain recovery process takes 2-8 weeks and may take longer for those with more serious injuries.

    It may take up to 12 weeks for full post-operative recovery from a Grade III ankle sprain.

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    Grade Iii: Severe Ankle Sprain

    4-6 month recovery time. The most severe type of ankle ligament sprain is a Grade III rupture, where there is a complete tear of the involved ankle ligaments. A Grade III ankle sprain will come with a large amount of swelling around the ankle and foot, and acute pain when moving the ankle.

    It will likely be too painful for you to weight bear on the injured ankle for the initial few weeks after the injury, and significant joint instability will be present when tested.

    Because of the complete rupture of the ankle ligaments in a Grade III ankle sprain, surgical repair is usually required. Post-operative rehab can take up to six months, before you will be ready to return to full sport.

    So as you can see, the treatment, rehab and recovery time needed for any ankle sprain will vary greatly depending on the severity of the sprain.

    Bruising Around A Sprained Ankle

    All bruising is a form of internal bleeding. If youve sprained your ankle seriously, the damaged ligament tissue may well cause some bleeding beneath the skin, which will show as bruising. As previously mentioned, this sometimes ends up looking like a bruised foot, because of the way gravity causes the blood to pool below the site of your ankle sprain. Again, the more bruising, the more severe the ankle sprain often is.

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    Ankle Exercises And Stretches After A Sprain

    Certain exercises can rehabilitate your ankle. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a series of movements designed to restore strength to the area so you avoid future sprains.

    Balance and stability training, as well as stretches designed to improve flexibility and range of motion, are especially helpful. The sooner youre able to start exercising your foot, the better. This will help promote healing. But dont overdo it!

    Here are a few exercises to try when youre able:

    • Walk, either with or without crutches.
    • Trace the alphabet with your toe. This encourages ankle movement in all directions.
    • Stand on one leg for 25 seconds to one minute to improve strength.
    • Sit on a chair with the foot of the affected leg flat on the floor. Move your knee from side to side while keeping your foot flat. Do this for two to three minutes.
    • Stretch your calf by placing your hands flat on a wall and positioning the injured leg behind you. Straighten the leg and hold for 25 seconds. Do this two to four times.

    You can also talk to your doctor or physical therapist about using resistance bands in your exercise and recovery routine.

    Your ankle is uniquely designed to support your body weight many times over when you walk, run, and engage in day-to-day activities.

    Your ankle is made up of:

    The ankle joint is formed by three bones. It works like a hinge to allow your foot to move easily in all directions. These bones are called:

    What’s The Best Way To Prevent Ankle Sprains

    How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Sprained Ankle?

    Ankle sprains are a common injury, and the best way to prevent them is by doing ankle exercises to improve strength and flexibility, using proper footwear and avoiding dangerous activities.

    Focus on unilateral exercises like lunges and squats. Simply balancing on one foot can help build the intrinsic foot muscles and stabilizers to help prevent ankle sprains.

    Pro tip: balance on one leg while you’re brushing your teeth at night.

    Ankle sprains can occur due to a number of factors, including overuse and lack of ankle stability.

    So we must strengthen your ankles ability to withstand loads at different angles.

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    How Do I Know If My Ankle Sprain Is Serious

    People with a more severe ankle sprain characterized by extreme bruising or swelling and an inability to bear weight on the foot without significant pain, or when there doesnt seem to be any improvement over the first several days after the injury should seek medical attention, Drs. SooHoo and Williams say.

    What Causes A Sprained Ankle

    Sprained ankles are often associated with doing sports, especially those that involve sudden changes in direction or where you may jump and land awkwardly. These include football, basketball, volleyball and climbing. But ankle sprains are not always linked to sport you can sprain your ankle doing everyday activities too. There are certain things that can increase your risk of spraining your ankle.

    • Being new to a sport or not having trained properly.
    • Not warming up properly before you exercise.
    • Wearing unsuitable footwear, which may make you more likely to go over on your ankle.
    • Not exercising regularly, which means your muscles and joints may be weaker and more prone to injury.
    • Having poor co-ordination or balance.
    • Being underweight.

    If youve sprained your ankle before, youre more likely to do it again. This is because your ankle ligaments may be weaker even after theyve healed.

    You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >

    • difficulty putting weight on your foot or more pain when you do
    • you may feel unstable

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    Sprained Ankle Self Treatment

    Now, beyond P.R.I.C.E, there are a number of things you can do which will help your sprained ankle to heal faster.

    The first tip is to work on maintaining your pain free range of ankle movement as soon as possible. Actively moving your ankle through a pain free range of movement will help you to maintain as much strength as possible in the surrounding muscles. In comparison, complete immobilisation of the ankle will cause these muscles to lose strength much faster.

    Doctor Jo does a great job of demonstrating some of these exercises in this video:

    The second tip is for later in the healing process. As your ankle ligaments begin to heal, and the swelling is reducing, you can begin some cross-friction massage to help breakdown scar tissue and promote proper healing of the ligament tissue.

    Physiotherapists Bob & Brad will teach you how to perform this type of cross-friction massage in this great video:

    Rehab exercises focused on single leg balance will help you to rebuild your proprioception and active stability around the injured ankle.

    In fact, when ankle sprains are just left to heal naturally with no treatment and rehab exercises, we often encounter problems further in the future.

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    How To Treat A Sprained Ankle

    How Long Does It Take For An Ankle Sprain To Fully Heal

    The first goal is to decrease pain and swelling and protect the ligaments from further injury. This usually means adopting the classic RICE regimen rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you have severe pain and swelling, rest your ankle as much as possible for the first 2448 hours. During that time, immerse your foot and ankle in cold water, or apply an ice pack for 1520 minutes three times a day, or until the swelling starts to subside.

    To reduce swelling, compress the ankle with an elasticized wrap, such as an ACE bandage or elastic ankle sleeve. When seated, elevate your ankle as high as you comfortably can to the height of your hip, if possible. In the first 24 hours, avoid anything that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot packs, or heat rubs.

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    Can I Prevent A Sprained Ankle

    It’s impossible to prevent all ankle sprains. But these tips can make another one less likely:

    • Stretch regularly to keep your ankles flexible.
    • Do ankle range of motion and strengthening exercises to keep your muscles strong.
    • Always warm up before playing sports, exercising, or doing any other kind of physical activity.
    • Watch your step when you’re walking or running on uneven or cracked surfaces.
    • Don’t overdo things. Being tired can make an injury more likely.
    • Use tape, lace-up ankle braces, or high-top shoes to support the ankle.
    • Wear shoes that fit well. Tie any laces and close any Velcro or other straps to make the shoes as supportive as possible.
    • Don’t wear shoes with high heels.

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Sprained Ankle

    Recovery time from a sprained ankle will depend on the severity of the sprain. Most ankle sprains are mild and only need ice and elevation. Mild sprains typically begin to feel better in a few days to a week and heal by six weeks.

    More severe ankle sprains could take more than a few weeks or months to fully recover. Severe sprains may cause excruciating pain, crutches may be needed. A return to regular activities may be delayed for weeks or months.

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    Schedule A Consultation With Our Orthopedic Team In Flower Mound And Denton

    Whether you recently sprained your ankle or you are dealing with chronic pain from old injuries, our team is here to help you find relief. We take an integrative approach to promote healing and speed up your recovery time.

    Our goal is to get you back on the sports field or back to your regular activities as safely as possible.

    For more information about available services, talk to us at Orthopedic Associates- located in Flower Mound and Denton, TX. Our full-service team is here to help with your recovery. Contact our office if you would like to book an appointment.

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    Tips To Avoid A Sprained Ankle

    How Long does it take a sprained ankle to recover?

    Tips To Avoid Ankle Sprains

    Now that we know the general recovery times for ankle sprains, let’s talk about some measures we can take to help prevent them.

    As mentioned, an ankle sprain will generally heal without surgery, but it can wreak havoc on an athlete’s career, especially when it comes to the high school athlete who plays a shortened season and might get a limited shot at securing a scholarship or advancing their chances to continue their athletic career.

    Here are some tips to help you keep those ankles healthy and avoid a sprained ankle.

    1. Hydrate

    Avoid sprained ankles and other injuries by drinking water to stay hydrated

    Consuming water is a good way to stay healthy, period. The body functions well when it is well-hydrated. Many studies have examined the link between dehydration and muscle endurance, and the overall consensus is that dehydration weakens muscle function and contributes to injury.

    2. Stay in Shape

    Being fit will help you avoid injuries like a sprained ankle

    Having good overall cardiovascular fitness helps the body avoid injury. If you are a weekend warrior, don’t push yourself too hard too fast – sloppy play leads to injuries. Like a sprained ankle, for instance! Ease into your activities until you build the requisite fitness level to play your sport of choice at proficiently.

    3. Warm up & Stretch

    Stretching can help you avoid injuries like a sprained ankle

    4. Use Fresh Equipment

    Your choice of footwear can help you avoid a sprained ankle

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    Can I Go Back To Sports

    If you have an ankle sprain, you’ll probably need to take some time off from sports and other strenuous physical activities. Make sure your sprained ankle is completely healed first.

    You can go back when:

    • The swelling goes down.
    • The sport does not cause pain.
    • The doctor says it’s OK.
    • You can bear weight without a limp.
    • You have your full range of motion.
    • Your strength returns to normal.

    How Do I Take Care Of Myself

    After treating your sprain with the PRICE method, you’ll need to build back flexibility and strength in your ankle. Perform exercises recommended by your healthcare provider or physical therapist to improve your range of motion.

    Physical therapy exercises include:

    • Strength training for the muscles and tendons in the front and back of your legs.
    • Balance training to prevent future sprains.
    • Endurance and agility exercises for calf and ankle strength.

    Early exercises in your treatment plan will not require you to turn or twist your ankle, but over time, you’ll be able to get back to regular activities that may require sudden turns .

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    How Long Does It Take To Heal A Sprained Ankle

    There are a few simple things you need to know in order to determine how long it will take to heal a sprained ankle. The first and most important thing you need to know is do you have a fracture or a regular type of ankle sprain?

    The only way to know that for sure is to get an x-ray. They will immediately be able to tell you if there is a break. Sometimes, there can be a hair-line fracture, which you would never know without an x-ray. So, we always recommend starting there, if you have any concerns about the severity of the injury whatsoever.

    Remember, if you have a fracture, you need to immobilize the ankle join until it heals. Most of the time, fortunately, it will not be a fracture and instead, just a regular ankle sprain. If thats the case, thats great news, because it means your healing time should be much shorter and easier

    At that point, ask yourself the second question what type of grade is the sprain? There are 3 grades, and they will determine the amount of time it takes to heal.

    Basically, grade 1 is pretty minor and grade 3 can be a full rupture of the tendons. Obviously, if you have a grade 1 sprain, you should be walking again without much pain within a few days or weeks, depending on how you heal the injury. But, a grade 3 sprain could mean months of healing time, especially if you do not do the right things to heal your ankle.

    So, in order to help determine how long it will take to heal a sprained, you need to know:

  • How serious is your injury
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