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Ankle Sprain Recovery Time: How Long Do Mild To Severe Ankle Sprains Take To Heal?

Anyone who has regularly played sports, or jogged, will be well-aware of the most common sports injury - the ankle sprain. The degree of pain involved can range from mildly discomforting to excruciatingly agonizing. The reason why ankle sprains occur very frequently is due to the fact that it can happen to a person playing any sport, or a person undergoing any physical exercise. It can happen while running, while sprinting or even while walking. Till the sprained ankle heals, the individual is left almost crippled and is unable to walk without experiencing a great deal of pain. Ankle sprain recovery time differs vastly depending on a lot of circumstances that are out of control of the person involved. Read more on sprains and strains.

What is an Ankle Sprain?

There are many ligaments present in the legs and feet. These ligaments are a collection of fibrous tissues that connect the bones and the joints within the body. When these ligaments are stretched or torn it causes extreme pain for the individual. That is exactly what an ankle sprain is, the stretching or the tearing of the ligament, which results in pain. Ankle sprains are always caused when the ankle gets twisted. Apart from twisting the ankle, there are many other causes of swollen legs and ankles.

Grades of Ankle Sprains

Before we delve into the details about recovery time for a sprained ankle, it is imperative to understand the varying degrees of ankle sprain. There are basically three grades of ankle sprains, and these grades differ in intensity and causes and even ankle sprain recovery periods.

  • Grade 1: This is a first degree ankle sprain and the stretching and tearing of the ligament is minimal. As a result of this there is only mild pain and swelling in the ankle. The general ankle sprain recovery time is said to be anything between 2 - 6 weeks.
  • Grade 2: This is a second degree ankle sprain, and it is commonly noticed that at the time of the sprain a tearing sensation or a popping noise is heard. The ankle gets extremely sensitive to touch and there is visible bruising as well. The ankle sprain recovery time would range between 4 - 8 weeks for such an ankle sprain.
  • Grade 3: The third degree ankle sprains are the worst, and the person may experience a feeling of the joint slipping out of its socket and back again. In such cases walking without support would be impossible and the person may even require surgery. The ankle will be very tender and there will be a large amount of bruising and swelling. The person will require anything between 8 - 12 weeks to recover from such an ankle sprain. It is almost like a mild fracture. Also read about other joint pain.

Factors for Ankle Sprain Recovery Time

Ankle sprain recovery time depends on many different factors. The intensity and the direction of the twist obviously play a major role in deciding the ankle sprain recovery time. Apart from this, there are some other parameters as well that play their part. The initial treatment of the swollen ankle will also determine how long the ankle will take to recover. Some sprains are mild and can be treated with self diagnosis, whereas some will require the immediate attention of a physician. Wrapping the ankle in a tight bandage will definitely speed up the recovery time. Read more about how to treat a sprain.

For a severe sprain (grade 3 sprain), you must immediately visit a doctor. Try not to put any weight on the ankle when you walk, and avoid any strenuous activity for some time. Keeping your foot elevated and placing an ice pack on it will also boost the time required for it to heal properly.

Ankle sprain recovery time is longer if it is left untreated or if it is ignored. Timely intervention and undergoing proper rehabilitation will ensure that your ankle is as good as before in no time.

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Comments (1)

I firmly believe that an individual's sprained ankle recovery time really depends on how swiftly they take action. Rehabilitation is a big part of getting the swelling down, and getting back to full strength.

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