How Long Does It Take a Sprained Ankle to Heal?

To say that sprained ankles are common in the US would be an understatement — each day, 28,000 people sprain or injure their ankle. From a mild twist to severe tears in your ligament, no two sprained ankles are alike, which means that there’s no single timeline when it comes to healing. That said, there’s much you can do to speed up recovery of your sprained ankle if you have the right team in your corner.

At Genesis Regenerative Sports and Aesthetic Medicine, our team of orthopedic specialists has extensive experience helping patients heal from ankle injuries. Using the most cutting-edge treatments available, combined with your patience, we can get you back on your feet — both safely and quickly.

Degrees of sprained ankles

It’s tough to discuss sprained ankles in general, because there are wildly varying degrees of sprains, which dictate treatment and healing times.

To give you an idea, we use a 3-grade system for sprained ankles, which breaks out like this:

Grade 1

You’ve twisted, stretched or pulled a ligament in your ankle, but there was no tearing.

Grade 2

With this type of sprain, you have torn a ligament(s) in your ankle, but the tear is only partial.

Grade 3

This is the most severe type of ankle sprain and occurs when there’s a complete tear in your ligament, which means the connective tissue isn’t “connecting.”

Your first steps matter

When you sprain your ankle, your outcome is greatly influenced by the steps you take immediately after your injury. If you can still bear weight on your ankle, we suggest that you apply the RICE method as soon as possible:

This technique can help with swelling and pain and allows you to better determine the extent of your sprain.

If your ankle responds to the RICE method and you notice a decrease in swelling after a day or two, keep up the good work.

If, however, your swelling doesn’t abate and/or you’re having trouble bearing weight, we recommend that you come see us as soon as possible so that we can use diagnostic imaging to take a closer look at the damage.

Treating your sprained ankle

Once we’ve graded your sprained ankle, our goal is to do everything we can to get you back on your feet. While rest is one of the most important tools you have in terms of healing, we can help with tissue repair and comfort using one or more of the following treatments:

These treatments are designed to reduce inflammation, relieve your pain, and encourage healing. 

It’s also important to note that while our goal is to get you back moving again, we want to do so in a way that’s sustainable. All too often, people push their ankles too soon or don’t seek the right treatment from the outset, and they end up saddled with long-term problems with ankle instability and arthritis.

So, while we can’t put an exact timeline on how long it will take for your sprained ankle to heal, between our cutting-edge treatments and your patience, we will have you back on your feet as soon as possible.

If you want to ensure that your sprained ankle gets the right care from the start, contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey, to set up an appointment.

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