Ankle Sprains: Sprained ankle treatment and recovery time
Ankle sprains are a common type of injury in the lower limb.
There are many ligaments that hold the different bones in the ankle joint together. An ankle sprain can comprise of damage to one or more of these ligaments. The most common ankle injury/sprain occurs when the foot rolls inwards, so that the sole of the foot faces upwards.
This ankle injury is common in running sports, like rugby, soccer, athletics, triathlons, court sports such as netball, basketball, tennis and all dance and gymnastic type sports and results in lateral ligament damage. The average healing time for an ankle sprain is 2-3 weeks, or longer for more severe injuries.
Other ankle sprains occur when the foot is forced to roll out resulting in a medial ligament sprain. These are a little less common than the lateral ligament sprains.
Jump to: How to treat a sprained ankle
Ankle injuries may also result in a strain as well as a sprain where the muscle or tendon is also affected. It is important to get any ankle injury seen to as soon as possible by a professional who specialises in these injuries.
Evidence shows that sprained ankle recovery time is decreased and patients will recover better and quicker if seen by a physiotherapist within the first day or two of injury. Prior to the physiotherapy appointment it is necessary to ice the ankle every two hours for 20 mins, rest and elevate the ankle and put some form of compression on the joint like a bandage.
This is referred to as the RICE regime. This directly affects how long it takes for a sprained ankle to heal.