How Long Does It Take for a Sprained Ankle to Heal?

There are four major ligaments in the ankle that are used to stabilize and support the joint. When one of those ligaments is injured from twisting, bending, or overextending the ligament, a painful sprain can result. A sprained ankle can be mild or severe but recovering fully takes time.

How Do I Know If I Sprained My Ankle?

If you have pain, swelling, tenderness in your ankle after twisting it, the ankle is most likely sprained. The severity of the sprain can vary from mild to severe. A mild sprain can be treated with simple self-care; the most severe sprains may require a walking cast or surgery. Most sprains fall somewhere in between.

How Do I Treat a Sprained Ankle?

The most important treatment for any sprained ankle is rest. Staying off the foot and allowing the ligament to heal is vital. You can ice the ankle if there is swelling and use a compression sock or bandage to help keep swelling down. Elevating your foot can also help with swelling and healing. Without allowing your sprain enough time to recover before returning to activity, you can damage the ligaments even further, or weaken them so that you are more likely to re-sprain your ankle.

How Long Will It Take for My Sprained Ankle to Heal?

The amount of time it takes for a sprained ankle to heal depends on the severity of the sprain. Ankle sprains are graded by their severity, with a grade one sprain being mild and a grade three sprain being quite serious. While you will likely be able to resume most activity in just a few days with a grade one sprain, most grade three sprains take 6-12 weeks to fully heal. During this time, you will need to be careful with how you treat your ankle. 

When Should I See a Doctor About a Sprained Ankle?

While many sprained ankles can be treated at home with self-care and rest, there are times when you should consult a physician. If the injury is accompanied by a loud popping sound, which can indicate that the ligament was torn, or if you are not healing well from the sprain, you should consult a physician.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a foot or ankle injury or would like to learn more about our available podiatric services and treatment, request an appointment with us today.