Ankle Sprain Treatment Questions and Answers
Ankle sprains are commonly mistaken as ankle fractures. However, the reason for this is that ankle sprains can sometimes feel worse than a fracture! As such, it is essential to get adequate evaluation and treatment from a medical expert when you suffer an ankle sprain. Our board-certified podiatrists at Tustin Podiatry Clinic would be more than happy to provide that for you! Call us for more information. We serve patients from Tustin CA, North Tustin CA, Santa Ana CA, Orange CA, Villa Park CA, Irvine CA, Costa Mesa CA, and Lake Forest CA.
What is a sprain ankle?
A sprained ankle occurs when the ligaments that hold the bones in your ankle in place become stretched or torn. Ligaments are tough, fibrous bands of connective tissue that attach bones to each other and stabilize your joints. The ligaments in your ankle can be stretched or torn due to an injury that causes you to roll or twist your ankle suddenly and awkwardly. As a result, any ankle or foot movement can be quite painful when you have an ankle sprain, and it can also be extremely challenging to bear any weight on the sprained ankle.
When you sprain an ankle, you might hear a popping sensation or sound at the moment of the injury. Sprained ankles often occur during sports or physical activities that involve lots of running or ankle movements, such as soccer, basketball, football, tennis, baseball, or long-distance running.
How long should it take for a sprained ankle to heal?
Depending on the severity of your sprained ankle, the length of time it should take for your sprained ankle to heal can take anywhere from one week to six months to heal. Sprain severity is classified in a grade-scale, with grade I sprains comprised of mild sprains and grade III sprains indicating severe sprains.
- Grade I ankle sprains occur when the ligaments in your ankle are stretched but not torn and typically heal within one to three weeks.
- Grade II sprains occur when one or more of the ligaments in your ankle are partially torn and typically heal within three to four weeks.
- Grade III sprains occur when one or more of the ligaments in your ankle is completely torn and typically heal within three to six months, as blood flow to the area is significantly reduced.
What is the recovery time for a sprain ankle?
As it is with healing prognosis, recovery time for a sprained ankle also depends on the severity of your sprained ankle! As such, you will likely experience pain and stiffness with a grade I ankle sprain, but it should still feel stable, and you should feel better within a few days to a week. With a grade II ankle sprain, you will feel less stability and experience swelling and moderate pain for two to three weeks. Recovery time for a grade III ankle sprain is significantly longer due to the lack of blood flow, need for rehabilitation, and the potential need for surgery. As such, a grade III sprain will not support any weight and can be highly painful for one to two months. After your ankle can support your weight, and the pain has subsided, physical therapy will be required to build back the strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
How can a doctor help treat my sprained ankle?
For mild sprains, a doctor may treat the injured ankle with an elastic bandage, anti-inflammatory medicine, and home care instructions to follow the RICE method of care, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Grade II sprains will require some form of immobilization, whether with a cast or brace, to provide support until the ankle has sufficiently healed. Physical therapy may be necessary after the cast or brace is removed to regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Grade III sprains will require a cast or short leg brace until the ankle can support your body weight. The most severe.
Grade III sprains will likely require surgery, or if there is a high risk of re-injury occurring. Physical therapy will be needed after the brace or cast is removed to restore strength, flexibility, and functional mobility.
Come to Tustin Podiatry Clinic if you need expert ankle sprain treatment! We welcome you to schedule an appointment through our website or call us at 714) 880-8054 during the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM from Monday to Thursday or from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM on Friday. You can find our clinic at 17400 Irvine Blvd, Suite-H, in Tustin, California.
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