How Long Does It Take A Sprained Ankle To Heal?
The length of time it takes for a sprained ankle to heal depends upon the extent of the injury. Recovery times can range anywhere from 5 days to 12 weeks. There are three different types of ankle sprains, from slight stretching of the ligaments to complete tearing of ligaments.
The time it takes you to fully heal has a lot to do with treatment, therapy and additional damages caused to the sprain post-injury. For instance, if you continue to partake in a sport after the injury occurs, putting additional pressure and stress on the injury, it’ll take longer to heal.
Grade-One Ankle Sprain
A grade-one ankle sprain is defined as slight stretching and damage to the ligaments. This is the least severe type of sprain and takes the least amount of time to heal. This type of sprain generally causes some discomfort, pain and instability. The patient will struggle walking and experience swelling and joint stiffness.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Grade-One Ankle Sprain?
A grade-one ankle sprain generally takes between 5 and 14 days to fully heal.
Grade-Two Ankle Sprain
A grade-two ankle sprain is classified as partial tearing of the ligaments. This will result in difficulty walking, instability, moderate to severe pain and some bruising. It’ll also cause stiffness and swelling.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Grade-Two Ankle Sprain?
A grade-two ankle sprain generally takes between 4 and 6 weeks to heal. This type of sprain may require a splint in order to immobilize your ankle and allow it to better heal.
Grade-Three Ankle Sprain
A grade-three ankle sprain is the most serious kind and involves total tearing of the ligament. This type of injury results in a great deal of pain at the time of injury but tends to produce very little pain following initial injury. It causes serious instability, swelling, and bruising.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Grade-Three Ankle Sprain?
It can take anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks to heal from a grade-three ankle sprain.
A severe sprain has the potential to lead to permanent ankle instability. It is rare that surgery is required, and usually only for competitive athletes. You may have to wear a walking boot or ankle cast for a few weeks while it heals. If you repeatedly sprain your ankle you may require surgery in order to tighten up the ligaments.
How To Help Your Ankle Sprain Heal Faster
Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries. Luckily, if you sprain your ankle there are some things you can do to help speed up your recovery.
-Rest your ankle as much as possible. Do not walk on it and limit any weight bearing while you heal. If there is no fracture you can put a little weight on the injured ankle.
-Wear an ankle brace to help control swelling and give yourself more stability.
-Wrap an ice pack in a cloth or pillowcase (never place ice directly against the skin) and apply it over the area for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
-Compression techniques can help reduce swelling and immobilize your ankle so that it can better heal without interference.
-Keep your foot elevated above the waist or heart.
Once your ankle has enough time to properly rest and heal, it’s time to start the second phase of recovery. This involves restoring your ankle’s range of motion, strength and flexibility. For more serious ankle injuries, you may need to work with a physical therapist. In most cases, a doctor can provide the proper guidelines for putting your ankle safely back to work.
How To Prevent Future Ankle Sprains
There’s no way to prevent 100% of ankle sprains, but you can take certain precautions to limit your risks.
-Don’t ignore your body. When you feel pain or instability, know when to pull back and take a break. Taking a 10-minute breather isn’t nearly as painful as staying off the field for an entire week, or even months.
-Keep your ankle strong and more prepared for anything by maintaining good muscle balance, flexibility and strength.
Visit Urgent Medical Center today for fast treatment of all types of ankle sprains. Our goal is to get you back to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible without risking further injury.