This is a very common injury, and it is not that serious. However, proper care and treatments should be carried out in order to recover as soon as possible. If you, or your close one is suffering from this injury right now, then you might wonder how long does a sprained ankle take to heal properly. Now, this injury occurs when the ligaments that are present in our ankle are torn or stretched beyond the maximum capacity. This usually happens during a sudden fall. Sometimes, you might also roll or twist your ankle during accidents. In most cases, these sprains heal on their own. But sometimes, the patients might need appropriate treatment to strengthen the muscles that have been injured. This will also help in preventing future sprains. It must be noted that proper rest is an absolute necessity when it comes to injuries, such as sprains. But, most people tend to disobey this basic thing. In fact, they start walking, and doing their normal activities after a few days. In addition to that, they also refuse to wear splints or braces for additional support. Such activities can aggravate the injury to a great extent. Sometimes, you can even end up causing permanent damage to your ankle.
Types of Ankle Sprains
Before discussing how long does a sprained ankle take to heal properly, let’s take a look at the different types of ankle sprains.
- Grade 1 Ankle Sprains
- The Grade 1 Ankle Sprains are considered as mild sprains of the ankle.
- In this case, the fibers present in the ligament might get stretched slightly. In some cases, there might be a very small tear.
- The Grade 1 Ankle Sprains will be accompanied by minor swelling.
- Another notable sign of this sprain is a slight tenderness to the touch.
- Grade 2 Ankle Sprains
- In this case, the level of ankle sprain can be considered as moderate.
- In most cases of Grade 2 Ankle Sprains, the ligament will get torn.
- But, at the same time, it will not be a complete tear.
- The patients will observe significant swelling at the place of injury.
- They might also find it quite difficult to move the ankle. Walking will seem like a very tough task.
- Grade 3 Ankle Sprains
- The Grade 3 Ankle Sprains are regarded as quite severe, when compared to the above two.
- In this case, the ligament gets torn completely.
- Because of the complete tear of the ligament, the ankle will show severe swelling.
- The Grade 3 Ankle Sprains are very painful and you will not be able to walk at all.
Treatment for Ankle Sprain
- If you are interested in knowing about how long does a sprained ankle take to heal properly, then you might want to take a look at the suitable treatment options. The PRICE method is regarded as very much effective when it comes to treating most cases of ankle sprains.
- It is usually recommended for the first 24-48 hours after you injure your ankle. The PRICE method stands for-
- As we can see, the ‘P’ in the PRICE method stands for Protection. It is highly advisable that you use crutches while moving. In addition to that, you must also use a splint or brace to restrict the use of the injured ankle.
- After Protection, comes Rest. You must avoid all kinds of physical activities which can cause stress to the injured ankle. Strictly avoid running, jumping, as well as exercising.
- The ‘I’ in the PRICE method stands for Ice. If you sprain your ankle, then you need to apply ice or a cold pack in a towel to the injured area. This must be carried out in 20-minute increments to reduce the inflammation.
- Compression is also very important, and it is denoted by the ‘C’ in PRICE. You should gently wrap the injured ankle in an elastic bandage. This will also help in alleviating the swelling.
- The ‘E’ in the PRICE method stands for Elevation. You should raise the sprained ankle on pillows when you are sitting or lying down. Make sure that the ankle is always kept higher than the heart.
- If you feel that the injured ankle is extremely painful, as well as inflamed, then you must get in touch with your healthcare provider for treatment. You should not aggravate the injury by moving too much.
Know how long does a sprained ankle take to heal
- It must be noted that it is quite difficult to state the exact time taken by a sprained ankle to heal completely. It will vary from one person to another depending upon the severity of the injury.
- If the injury is mild, then it might recover fully within a time period of about two weeks. On the other hand, if the injury is severe, then it might take up to twelve weeks to become fully healed.
- Another factor that determines the recovery period is the amount of rest that you are getting. If you take proper rest, then you will be able to accelerate the healing process.
- Likewise, if you engage in excessive movements, then it will deteriorate the injury further. As a result, the recovery period will also become long.
- So, it can be ascertained that a minor sprain might get healed within 2 weeks. But, severe cases of ankle sprain might take 6 to 12 weeks to heal properly.
ConclusionSo, we have seen how long does a sprained ankle take to heal properly. These sprains are often categorized into two types according to the location of injury. Inversion sprain can be considered as the most common type of ankle sprain, and in this case, the ankle turns in or out. In addition to that, the ligament on the outside of the ankle undergoes tears. The external rotation injury, on the other hand tears the ligament that is present between the fibula and tibia. This ligament is known as the syndesmosis ligament, and the injury is also known as high ankle sprain. This injury is common in the case of sportspersons.