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Ankle Ligament Sprain

A sprained ankle is the stretching or tearing of ankle ligaments, which support the joint by connecting bones to each other. A sprain occurs when your ankle is forced to move out of its normal position, which can cause one or more of the ankle’s ligaments to stretch, partially tear or tear completely.


Symptoms

Joint or muscle pain, inflammation, hampered movement, tenderness and bruising are symptoms of a sprain. The severity of the sprain can range from mild to serious. A tweak of the ankle could result in an overstretched ligament that becomes tender, swollen and stiff, but the ankle should still be stable enough to support the weight of walking. A mild sprain should take approximately seven to 10 days to heal. A torn ligament is considered a severe sprain that will cause pain, inflammation, bruising and result in ankle instability, often making it difficult and painful to walk. Recovery from a torn ligament may take several months, and should be done under the supervision of a health care provider. 

Grade 1. Minimal stretching, no tearing

Symptoms: Mild pain, swelling, and tenderness. Usually no bruising. No joint instability. No difficulty bearing weight.

Recovery Time: 1–3 weeks

Functional recovery usually involves three phases: the RICE regimen in the first 24 hours to reduce pain, swelling, and risk of further injury; range-of-motion and strengthening exercises within 48–72 hours; and training to improve endurance and balance once recovery is well under way.

R-Rest

I-Ice

C-Compression

E-Elevation

Grade 2. Partial tear

Symptoms: Moderate pain, swelling, and tenderness. Possible bruising. Mild to moderate joint instability. Some loss of range of motion and function. Pain with weight bearing and walking.

Recovery Time: 3–6 weeks

Functional recovery strategy is the same, but ease into the exercises more slowly. Start with the RICE regimen in the first 24 hours to reduce pain, swelling, and risk of further injury; range-of-motion and strengthening exercises within 48–72 hours; and training to improve endurance and balance once recovery is well under way


Grade 3
. Full tear or rupture

Symptoms: Severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Considerable instability and loss of function and range of motion. Unable to bear weight or walk.

Recovery time: Several months

If your pain is bothersome, especially when you put weight on the injured ankle, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Contact Pittman Physical Therapy in Collierville, TN today!