Grade 1 Sprained Ankle Recovery Times
A grade 1 ankle sprain recovery time is anywhere from 2 weeks to a month, normally closer to the two-week mark with proper treatment. A grade 1 ankle sprain is the least severe and, accordingly, requires the least amount of time to recover.
A grade 1 sprained ankle can be treated almost entirely at home.
How Long Does Swelling Last After An Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries out thereand can be very serious, depending on the grade of the injury. A sprained ankle cannot only cause severe and lasting pain, but if not treated properly, it can lead to further damage to this important joint.
If you have ever sprained an ankle before, one of the first signs that something is awry will likely be the swelling. Since you are damaging the ligaments around the ankle with an ankle sprain, the joint can get quite swollen and black and blue. But how long should you expect this swelling to last?
It all depends on a few different factors, including the severity of your ankle injury.
How Do I Know I’ve Sprained My Ankle
If you’ve rolled your ankle joint, you most likely have sustained at least a grade 1 sprain. You will not know how bad your sprain is with certainty until you visit a doctor.
If you’re in a significant amount of pain, you can always visit an emergency department or urgent care facility. If you can wait for a clinic visit, then do so. You do not need emergency care for a basic sprained ankle unless you think you’ve suffered a grade 3 sprain.
Your doctor will ask you how you hurt your ankle as well as what your symptoms are. He will want to know if you could stand or walk after you sustained the injury. Many doctors can diagnose a sprained ankle with just basic conversation about how you sustained the injury and what your symptoms were afterward.
Sometimes a doctor will use a more technical diagnostics procedure. They may order an X-ray if you cannot walk more than four or five steps or if your bone is tender. They may also order an ultrasound scan or MRI to see if you have stretched or torn your ligaments.
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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.
Diagnosis Of A Sprained Ankle
A doctor or physiotherapist will usually be able to diagnose a sprained ankle by asking about your symptoms and examining you. Theyll ask exactly how you hurt your ankle and if you could stand and walk afterwards. When they examine you, theyll check for pain, swelling and bruising around your ankle. They may also check how much you can move your ankle and if you can put any weight on your foot.
If your injury is particularly bad, your doctor or physiotherapist may recommend you have an X-ray to check whether or not your ankle is broken. Sometimes, they may also arrange ultrasound or MRI scans if they need a more detailed look at your ankle.
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How Long Does It Take For A Sprained Ankle To Heal
Ankle sprains are a real pain especially if they sideline you from physical activity. Ankle injuries are far too common.
A 2019 research review showed that approximately 2 million acute ankle sprains occur each year in the United States, making it one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries.
And when you consider that it takes between 3 to 4 weeks to heal a moderate ankle sprain and 3 to 6 months for a more severe injury to heal, finding the right treatment is key.
The good news is you can heal from an ankle sprain and get back to doing the things you enjoy with the proper:
Keep reading to find out about the different types of ankle sprains, the best way to treat them, and how to prevent them from occurring again.
What Is A High Ankle Sprain
A high ankle sprain is a sprain in the upper ligaments of your ankle, above the ankle itself. These ligaments are attached to the fibula and the tibia, stabilizing the entire area for activities like running and walking.
When you damage or tear those ligaments often due to rotating or twisting your ankle youre experiencing a high ankle sprain. This type of sprain doesnt occur as often as a sprain in the lower part of the ankle.
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How The Ankle Joint Works
The ankle is a hinged synovial joint, which means it moves primarily in an up and down motion. Three bones come together to make up the ankle joint: the talus, located above the heel of your foot, the fibula, which is the thin bone on the outside of your leg, and the tibia, or shin bone. A combination of tendons, ligaments, and muscles also surround and support, providing the stability and flexibility required to move and extend the ankle and foot. The musculoskeletal structure of the ankle allows for you to be able to move your foot up and down, and another joint is located just below the ankle joint and helps the foot move from side to side. Tough, moveable tissue makes up tendons that connect the bones in your leg to one another and to the foot through the ankle.
What Is A Sprained Ankle
Your ankle joint connects your foot with your lower leg. Three ligaments keep your ankle bones from shifting out of place. A sprained ankle is when one of these ligaments is stretched too far or torn.
Doctors grade ankle sprains by how severe they are:
- Mild . Your ligaments are stretched but not torn. Your ankle still feels stable. You may have some pain and stiffness.
- Moderate . One or more ligaments are partially torn. The joint isnât totally stable, and you canât move it as much as usual. You have swelling and moderate pain.
- Severe . One or more ligaments are totally torn, and your ankle is unstable. You have a lot of pain and canât move it.
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Compression To Reduce Inflammation
This involves compression bands, not simply a sleeve. You want to really wrap the ankle joint so there is some tension.
Once you get the correct tension, try to do ankle circles as wide as possible for 10 reps. This will feel strange and restricted. That is the point. Take the band off after 2-5 minutes as it will start to cut off circulation.
Repeat this throughout the first few days of injury.
Use Pain To Guide Your Treatment
Let pain be your guide. Do not exceed 3/10 pain during the rehab exercises.
If you are experiencing pain greater than 3/10 during or after the exercises, then you probably did too much.
Changes in movement patterns can initially be protective, but walking normally should be resumed as soon as possible.
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How Are Ankle Sprains Diagnosed
Ankle sprains are graded based on severity of symptoms:
Grade 1 Sprains: Minimal pain and swelling, minimal bruising, and one can bear weight on the ankle.
Grade 2 Sprains: Increased swelling and bruising with significant pain associated with difficulty bearing weight of the injured ankle
Grade 3 Sprains: Inability to bear weight associated with severe pain, swelling and diffuse bruising.
When pain is in the ankle and spreads higher up in the fibula , this can be considered a high ankle sprain.
Your Doctor will use your history and physical exam prior to diagnosis, along with utilizing evidence based decision rules to help guide the indication for an ankle or foot X-ray to evaluate for a fracture.
The physical exam is more sensitive 3-5 days after an injury to detect lateral ligament rupture. This should not delay an evaluation by your doctor after an ankle injury with significant pain associated with weight bearing.
Sprained Ankle Recovery Time
Orthopedists deal with sprained ankles just about every day. Theyre the most common injury by a landslide and a sort of inevitability. Most people sprain their ankle at least once in life, and especially active people tend to do it a few times. However, each sprained ankle requires its own care and diagnosis. Sprained ankle recovery time and treatment can change a lot based on how bad the sprain is, how it happened, and how long it was until the patient sought care.
You can treat almost every sprained ankle with the RICE method. The RICE method is simple: rest, ice, compression, elevation. Get off the ankle, put some ice on it, wrap it, and keep it above your heart when youre resting. If you do that, it will feel like no time at all until your sprained ankle is fully recovered. As it stands, too much standing can only do more damage. If you want your sprained ankle recovery time to be as short as possible, you need to keep off of it as much as you can bear. Remember: its better to deal with it now than to deal with it forever.
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How Can You Prevent A Sprained Ankle
Avoid a sprained ankle by:
- Keep your ankles strong and flexible with strengthening exercises.
- Wear the right shoes appropriate for an activity. Avoid high-heeled shoes when possible.
- Tape a weak ankle for added support or wear an ankle brace during sports activities.
- Warm up before you exercise or play sports.
- Watch where you walk or run to avoid uneven surfaces.
If you suspect you have an ankle sprain and are looking for treatment options, make an appointment today with one of our NY Orthopedics locations in New York City. Our Centers of Excellence offer top-level orthopedic treatment for any concerns about your ankle and other joints, all in one location.
How To Reduce Ankle Swelling
Typically, swelling will reside naturally within two weeks of the injury, even with more severe ankle sprains. If severe swelling occurs after this, you may want to consult your doctor for an ankle injury. If your ankle continues to be swollen for a long time, you may be suffering from a chronic ankle sprainwhich can happen with some injuries.
As you wait for your body to naturally absorb the excess blood and fluid in the area, there are a few things you can do to help manage and decrease the swelling.
- Resting your ankle and avoiding putting any weight on your foot.
- Elevating the ankle above the level of your heart to decrease swelling.
- Applying ice every hour for the first 24 hoursand then 3-4 times per day after that.
- Consider pain medications like ibuprofen to decrease swelling.
While swelling can be uncomfortableit is a sign that your body is working to repair the damage you have incurred. The more you know about and can expect with post-ankle-sprain swelling, the better prepared you will be as you recover from an injury such as this.
Can An Ankle Sprain Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are ways to help prevent an ankle sprain. Certain exercises can strengthen your ankle and the muscles around it. These exercises stabilize your ankle and improve your balance. It is also important to stretch before and after you exercise. Your doctor will show you which exercises are best.
Wear supportive shoes, whether youve had an ankle sprain before or not. This helps prevent your foot from twisting or your ankle joint from moving out of place. You may also find it helpful to wear an ankle brace when playing sports, running or jogging. This may add stability to your ankle.
What Is The Recovery Time For A Sprained Ankle
As a sports rehab therapist, I have to point out that every injury case is different. But in this article, lets take a look at how long a sprained ankle typically lasts.
The biggest factor when it comes to determining how long a sprained ankle will take to heal, is the severity of the injury itself.
As I covered in a previous article on ankle sprains , sprains are categorised by level of severity from Grade I to III.
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How Can You Tell If An Ankle Is Sprained Or Broken
Sprains are painful, but fractures are often accompanied by numbness or tingling. Where are you experiencing pain? If your ankle hurts or is tender to the touch directly over the ankle bone, you probably have a fracture. By contrast, if the pain is in the soft part of the ankle, its more likely a sprain.
What Is An Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain is one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. The incidence is 2.15 per 1000 person-years in the United States . There is a higher incidence of ankle sprains in females compared to males, children compared to adolescents, and adolescents compared to adults The injury occurs when one or more of the ligaments in the ankle are stretched or torn. The most common ankle sprain involves the ligaments on the outside of the ankle . The outside of the ankle is also referred to as lateral. Said another way, lateral ankle ligament injuries are the most common. There are three principal ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
- ATF: Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament
- PTF: Posterior Talo-Fibular Ligament
- CF: Calcaneal Fibular Ligament
The names of the ligaments reflect the two bones that the ligament stretches across. For example, the CF ligament connects the calcaneus and fibula .
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What Can I Expect If I Have A Sprained Ankle
After giving your ankle time to heal and treating the sprain according to your healthcare providers recommendations, you’ll be able to get back to regular activities. Your prognosis depends on your commitment to building strength back in your ankle through exercises and rehabilitation. If your ankle hasn’t healed completely or you stopped the strengthening exercises, your injured ligament could weaken and put you at risk for future ankle sprains.
How To Come Back Stronger And Faster After An Ankle Sprain
Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 by UVM Health Network – CVMC
An ankle sprain is such a common injury that many people tend to just ice and hobble along until they feel ready to get back to their favorite activities. In order to prevent this type of injury or lingering pain from becoming chronic, it is important to take an active role in your recovery.
Exercises that focus on range of motion, strength and balance can help you recover quicker and stronger.
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Surgery For A Sprained Ankle
Its very unlikely youll need to have surgery for a sprained ankle. But if your ankle is badly sprained or isnt getting any better, your GP may refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon for assessment. They will advise whether or not surgery may be beneficial for you. Youre more likely to need surgery if you play sports or are an athlete at a professional level.
Which Is Worse A Sprain Or A Break
Sometimes, a sprain can be even more painful than a break. A sprain is caused by trauma that overstretches ligaments and puts stress on a joint. A mild sprain is where the ligaments are stretched but the joint remains stable, while a moderate sprain is where the ligaments are slightly torn, making the joint unstable.
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When Should I Be Concerned About A Sprained Ankle
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.
How To Treat Sprains And Strains Yourself
For the first couple of days, follow the 4 steps known as RICE therapy to help bring down swelling and support the injury:
To help prevent swelling, try to avoid heat , alcohol and massages for the first couple of days.
When you can move the injured area without pain stopping you, try to keep moving it so the joint or muscle does not become stiff.
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When Should You See A Doctor For A Sprained Ankle
Seek medical care when:
- The pain is so severe, even when you have rested and iced the affected area.
- It’s hard to walk or you can’t walk at all without experiencing a lot of pain.
- After 5-7 days, your ankle hasn’t improved.
Your doctor will determine how severe your sprain is, and what type of treatment youll need for a full recovery.