Ankle sprain how many heals how to treat

The volume of medical measures depends on the degree of damage:

  1. Easy. Minor functional impairment. Edema is small or absent, the leg hurts only with exertion or palpation. You can step on the foot.
  2. Moderate The pain is maintained in a calm state, the range of motion is limited. The skin above the joint is hyperemic, hematoma, severe edema may occur.
  3. Heavy. Extensive edema, hemorrhage at the site of injury. A sharp sharp pain occurs even when trying to change the position of the limb. Anatomical violation of the position of the foot appears due to pain and contracture. The temperature may rise.

In the first degree of damage, several fibers rupture or delamination occurs; in the second, a tear or incomplete rupture occurs. For the third degree, a complete gap is characteristic, because of which the foot becomes excessively mobile or fixed in an unchanged position.


It is quite difficult to make a diagnosis based on the clinical picture and patient complaints. The response to pain is individual. To confirm the diagnosis and assess the volume of medical care, an x-ray is prescribed in two projections: direct and lateral. It is necessary to differentiate the ankle extension from the fracture of the articular bone or cartilage. As additional examinations, ultrasound and MRI are used. The latter method is necessary in preparation for the operation.


First aid, regardless of the degree of injury, is to immobilize (ensure immobility) of the injured limb and anesthetize by applying cold. In the second and third degree of damage, special anesthesia with the help of an analgesic or anesthetic is required. To reduce the pain, Analgin, Ibuprofen, Ketonal are used injectively or orally. Cooling sprays and ointments quickly eliminate pain. This group includes Doloron, Arthrosilen, Point Relief, Cramer.

The first day after injury, cooling compresses or baths are recommended. The impact of the cold should not be constant: optimally – for 15 minutes with the same interval. From the second day they begin to warm up.

All the time of treatment, ointments are applied to the site of damage:

  • from inflammation from the NVPS group – Diclofenac, Dolobene, Dolgit;
  • for restoration of blood supply anticoagulants – Indovazin, Heparin.

In case of third-degree damage, the patient wears a plaster cast for one week (for immobilization), which is then replaced by a longuet (for 1,5-2 months). Venotonics are prescribed for oral and injectable use: Venoruton, Venarus, Detralex. The treatment regimen is adjusted based on the clinical picture.

Folk remedies

To compress pain and speed up regeneration after ankle sprains, compresses from steep salt dough or clay mixed with apple vinegar, onion gruel with sugar or hot milk will help. For this, lotions with essential oils are used: in 3 tbsp. l 5 drops of chamomile or lavender ether are dissolved in cold boiled water, applied 5-6 times a day.

An oral remedy for pain and inflammation is a mixture of barberry. Boil 30 minutes in 0,5 l of milk 25 g of crushed bark and twigs of a plant. Take 1 tbsp. l 3 times a day, 45 minutes after eating.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Walking immediately with an ankle sprain, even if the damage is slight, is not recommended. 3-4 days, the foot should be protected from stress. Rehabilitation after ankle sprain includes measures to develop a limb and restore the amplitude of movement.

Physiotherapy exercises can prevent pathological changes in the damaged joint and the development of contracture.

  • rotation of the foot and movement of the fingers;
  • static stress of the ankle;
  • rise on toes;
  • load when walking at a different pace.

Classes begin after the elimination of pain.


The procedure helps to fully restore blood flow in the damaged area, restores joint mobility and prevents muscle atrophy. Massage is done no earlier than 3 days after the injury. Manipulations begin with light strokes, then use the squeezing technique (pressure with the edge of the palm) and rubbing with the palm or fingers. Deep kneading is used after the pain is completely eliminated. With damage to the third degree, massage prevents muscle atrophy.

Physiotherapeutic treatment

Procedures are often prescribed from the very beginning of treatment to eliminate pain. Pulse therapy and paraffin compresses have anesthetic effects and reduce inflammation. UHF, magnetotherapy and ultrasound treatment accelerate metabolic processes at the lesion site and restore blood flow.

Recovery time

Painful sensations can remind oneself for a long time after the end of treatment. The duration of rehabilitation is determined by the severity of the damage and the age of the victim.

How much does an ankle sprain heal?

With light damage, rehabilitation takes 10-15 days. How much stretching heals depends on the severity of the injury. At the first degree, the pain subsides in 3 days, and recovery occurs after 7 days. In the second degree of stretching, the amplitude of motion is restored within two weeks.

How many ankle ligament heals

If the ankle ligaments of the third degree are damaged, lameness lasts up to two months, and for full recovery it may take up to six months. How long the ankle ligament heals depends on the amount of care. With surgical intervention, it is allowed to return to the usual lifestyle after 10 weeks.

Regeneration rate depending on age

The consequences of trauma in adults appear from 10 to 65 days, depending on the severity of the damage, children recover 1,5 times faster. Elderly people need 2 times more time to return ankle mobility than people of reproductive age.

How long does the ankle sprain and dislocation heal?

A large percentage of injuries of the musculoskeletal system occurs in the joints of the ankle. Hypodynamia (a sedentary lifestyle) contributes to the weakening of ligaments and muscles, which in most cases leads to their damage during exertion. The consequences of this are quite dangerous, ranging from partial disability to complete disability.

Ankle injuries

Damage to the ligaments and muscles of the ankle occurs when twisting and sharp support on the foot. Often this is facilitated by jumping without special shoes with an unsuccessful landing on a hard or soft surface.

In addition, the cause of injuries are chronic diseases of the tendons or ligaments, which inevitably leads to their weakening and disruption of proper functioning.

In such cases, it is enough for a person to get even a slight bruise to seriously damage the ankle.

The most serious diagnoses for injuries:

Despite the seeming harmlessness, in many cases their long-term treatment is required, accompanied by painful sensations.


Such a diagnosis is facilitated by the strong tension of the layers of connective tissue, due to which a break in the ligaments of the foot in a weaker area occurs during trauma. Various symptoms of sprains depend on the severity of the injury. They are:

  • Mild, with absent or mild edema.
  • Medium, with a tear of the fibers that make up the ligaments. At the same time, acute and aching pain with edema and hematoma in the foot area is felt.
  • Severe degree. It is determined by the appearance of severe pain, leading in some situations to loss of consciousness.

Very often, a combined injury occurs, combining several types of damage.

Ligament rupture

It is characterized by partial or complete rupture of the outer group of tendons and ligaments. There are 2 degrees of injury:

  • 1 degree – incomplete separation or rupture of the structure of the ligaments of the foot;
  • 2 degree – rupture of most of the fibers while reducing the functional abilities of the ankle joint.

Symptoms are also due to the degree of bruising. As a rule, these are pain during walking and palpation, edema on the foot and ankle, hematomas with different intensity of bruising.

Joint dislocation

One of the most common injuries, the result of which is a shift in the articular surface of the bones relative to each other, accompanied by rupture of ligaments and tendons. Symptoms are divided into 3 different degrees of severity:

  • Mild swelling with pain when walking and palpating with minimal deformation.
  • Edema of the entire plane of the outer side of the ankle, accompanied by severe pain and problems when walking, the joint is visually deformed.
  • Internal hemorrhage of the entire foot, including the sole of the foot, accompanied by acute pain. The joint is sharply swollen and deformed. No movement possible.

Detect the type of injury and prescribe the correct treatment is possible only after radiography.

Ligament injury rehabilitation

Ankle injuries primarily require emergency medical intervention. There are certain rules, observing that any person who is nearby, and often the victim himself, will be able to provide first aid. They consist of the following steps:

  • Ensuring rest of the injured limb with its location on a raised platform to avoid severe swelling.
  • Bandage using an elastic bandage.
  • Applying ice or applying a spray-freeze in the ankle joint.
  • Taking painkillers (ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac).

From how quickly and correctly such actions are performed, how much the ligament healing heals depends in many respects.

If the pain does not subside, and the swelling remains it is better to consult a doctor, since the consequences can be unpredictable. It must be understood that if the ligaments are damaged, the duration of treatment depends on the nature and causes of the injury.

With a deep and large gap, recovery takes much longer than with a mild extension. This is explained by the fact that the regeneration of connective tissue occurs rather slowly, so the treatment is greatly delayed.

Serious tears and sprains of the ankle joint suggest a complete lack of load on the sore leg with proper care. Your doctor will also prescribe you a comprehensive treatment with drugs. After its passage follows a full rehabilitation.

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The function of the foot ligaments can be fully restored using an integrated approach that includes the following types of prevention:

The consequences of a dislocation

According to its severity, consequences and methods, the treatment of dislocation of the ankle joint requires special attention. It often happens that such an injury is the result of a complete separation of the ligament and ankle fracture. In such cases, it is urgent to consult a doctor, otherwise untimely and independent treatment can lead to improper fusion of ligaments and deformation of the foot.

As a result, the possibility of the appearance of the following unpleasant consequences is not ruled out:

  • Joint contracture and deformation.
  • Progressive development of arthritis and arthrosis.
  • Constantly recurring ankle injuries.
  • The formation of a rough scar.
  • Inflammation of the soft tissues around the ankle.
  • The formation and growth of bone growths.
  • Hemorrhages in the foot tissue, wearing a chronic etiology.
  • Atrophy of muscle tissue is complete or partial.

Upon receipt of an ankle dislocation, you should urgently consult a doctor who will take an X-ray and determine the degree of complexity of the injury. If there is a fracture, then plaster must be applied. In case of damage without serious consequences, reduction of the joint is necessary. After bandaging with an elastic bandage, the specialist will offer treatment with tablets, special ointments and compresses.


After the edema decreases and the pain in the leg calms down (about 7-10 days after the dislocation), you can slowly start special exercises aimed at restoring the proper functioning of the ankle joint and developing movements in the joint.

Self-training should be carried out on a flat and non-slip track. It is important that the pace is short and the pace slow. At the same time, we make a roll from heel to toe, avoiding turning the foot outward. Classes stop as fatigue develops. Over time, the duration of walking increases, reaching the transition to easy running.

In the first week after a dislocation, it is also recommended to do a special set of exercises while sitting or lying, which your doctor will recommend.

Now many polyclinics practice the use of various courses of rehabilitation therapy (for example, mechanotherapy), the passage of which patients give excellent results.

Recovery time

The approximate recovery time after a dislocation of varying degrees is divided by time into several periods:

  • easy – 14 days;
  • medium – 30 days;
  • severe – 60-180 days.

After these periods, do not abruptly begin intensive physical and sports activities. It is necessary to enter the usual rhythm of life gradually, without giving the foot an intense load.

Do not neglect the help of doctors in cases of sprain, rupture or dislocation of the ankle ligaments. This can lead to irreversible consequences, in which only surgery can help, or even worse, you can remain completely disabled.

How long do ankle sprains and tears heal: recovery time

The musculoskeletal system of a person, despite the apparent strength and stability, as well as other systems, is subject to external factors.

These can be mechanical injuries: Sprains and ruptures of ligaments, dislocations, fractures.

Most often, the vertebral column and lower extremities experience the maximum load. Perhaps the most common injury is damage to the ankle ligaments.

Symptoms of ankle sprain

Injury of the leg in most cases occurs in the following situations:

A sharp change in the articular axis at the time of running or walking, often along rough roads.

Falling from a height or on a slippery surface.

Side impact to the ankle, resulting in the foot assumes an unnatural position.

Wearing uncomfortable shoes (sports shoes that do not fix the shin; high heel), as a result of which foot tucking can occur.

Symptoms of sprain are significantly different from other injuries (soft tissue rupture, dislocation, fracture).

The main signs of stretching:

  • pain in the area of ​​the injured joint;
  • increased foot mobility after injury;
  • hyperemia and swelling of the skin;
  • minor hematoma in the foot area (see photo);
  • damage interferes with the normal functioning of the joint, the patient cannot make the usual movements with his foot.

In some situations, the doctor cannot correctly assess the situation, since the ankle joint is swollen and cannot be examined. Here it is most acceptable to prescribe a radiography (preferably in two projections).

In an x-ray, damage to bone structures (fracture) is very clearly visible.

First aid after stretching the foot

After stretching the ankle in the shortest possible time, emergency measures must be taken.

  1. Immobilization of a damaged joint to prevent further traumatic damage (rupture or fracture). The severity of pain from this measure is also reduced. As an immobilizing dressing, you can use a special bandage, an orthosis, an elastic bandage or just a piece of cloth.
  2. It is recommended to cool the damaged area. To do this, use ice, any products from the freezer or a special reagent that can be purchased at the pharmacy. A local decrease in temperature reduces the intensity of the pain syndrome, reduces swelling and prevents inflammation, which significantly reduces the recovery time of the foot.
  3. If the pain is unbearable, the victim can be given an analgesic, for example, ketonal, analgin.
  4. The limb after injury must be placed on a raised platform so that it is above chest level. This measure will increase venous outflow and reduce swelling.
  5. You don’t need to wear shoes on your injured leg, as swelling and hyperemia will compress the soft tissues of the foot, which can lead to ischemia.

After the first aid to the patient is provided, it is necessary to show it to the doctor and this should not be delayed. Adequate treatment, taking into account all the features of the injury, can only be prescribed by a doctor. In addition, it will exclude ligament rupture or bone fracture (if they are really absent).

To the patient’s question: how much does the sprain heal? – The doctor can give an answer only after a thorough examination.

Ankle treatment at home

At homeIn Slovenia, ankle damage, or rather its extension, is treated mainly by the rest of the affected limb. The patient can not make sudden movements and, if possible, it is necessary to reduce the load on the sore joint.

Thanks to this, recovery will be much faster. You can additionally use publicly available techniques that promote tissue regeneration and make treatment after an injury more effective.

To stop the pain and reduce other symptoms, grinding should be done.

  1. Deep Reelif is used for sprains and bruises.
  2. The composition of the ointment Bom Benge includes menthol and petroleum jelly.
  3. Medicines containing diclofenac and voltaren help reduce inflammation.

Within two to three weeks after the injury, the patient should not go to the sauna and take a hot bath. Heating can trigger an increase in pain.

Treatment of foot sprain, what to do with such an injury

Stretching treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a doctor. When a gap and a fracture are excluded, and the acute period is left behind, exercise therapy and a course of physiotherapeutic procedures are prescribed.

Moreover, treatment directly depends on the degree of injury. There are three of them:

  • The first degree of stretching is characterized by minor damage to the ligaments. The victim feels moderate pain and slight restriction when moving.
  • For the second degree of stretching, intense pain and severe soft tissue swelling are typical, due to which joint mobility is limited for a short time.
  • The most pronounced is the third degree of joint damage. Movement is almost impossible. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, recovery will take a very long time.

If the damage to the ligaments is minor, you can limit yourself to the application of a plaster cast, which immobilizes the joint and prevents rupture.

Rehabilitation after stretching

Knowing the extent of the lesion, the duration of the rehabilitation period can be predicted. Healing and recovery will occur much faster when the symptoms of the pathology are unexpressed.

Treatment of the first degree of stretching will take no more than one week. But for rehabilitation after the third degree, it may take 2-3 months.

For a speedy recovery, the patient should do special gymnastic exercises daily, aimed at stabilizing the ankle joint and strengthening muscles.

The complex of exercise therapy for a similar injury includes the following exercises:

  1. Walk on the outside of the foot.
  2. Sitting on a chair or table to move your toes.
  3. Walk on the inner surface of the foot.
  4. Stand on your toes and go on your heels. To increase the effectiveness, you can stand on the crossbar of the Swedish wall or the edge of the stairs. At this moment, the triceps ankle muscle works, strengthening the joint.

These exercises should be performed not only during the rehabilitation period, but also after recovery. Strengthened muscles will reliably protect the joint and will not allow repeated stretching of the ligaments and their rupture.

The general condition of the victim is positively affected by massage, which improves the metabolism in the soft tissues of the foot and contributes to its speedy recovery.

Patients who have a pathological joint mobility during the rehabilitation period can use a special brace or use an ankle brace. These devices have many varieties and have different rigidity, which is selected in accordance with the clinical picture of the damage.

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The latch can be worn in the future, but not permanently, but only at times of increased load on the joint, in particular during sports.

Stretching the ligamentous apparatus of the lower leg generally has a favorable prognosis, but there are exceptional cases in which special treatment is required. However, if there is no rupture of the ligaments, then in these situations the functions of diarthrosis are restored over time.

Ankle Sprain

With unsuccessful tucking of the foot outward or inward, an ankle sprain may occur. This is an extremely unpleasant injury, manifested by pain, increasing edema and impaired motor function. Help with stretching can be timely medical assistance and proper therapy.

a brief description of

Due to the fact that the ankle is subject to heavy loads, injuries of this joint lead among other joints of the lower extremities. Just imagine, the ankle joint takes over the weight of the human body. It is not surprising that when the balance is disturbed, the ligamentous apparatus stretches. The causes of stretching are:

  1. Professional sports (running, skiing, parachuting);
  2. Overweight;
  3. Household injuries (tucking feet on the stairs, for example);
  4. Congenital pathologies of the foot or ligamentous apparatus;
  5. Carrying weights;
  6. In children, the cause of the stretch is excessive physical activity;
  7. Degenerative changes in the joint due to diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
  8. Inconvenient shoes (shoes with unstable heels or uncomfortable shoes);
  9. Hypotrophy of muscle fibers due to inactivity.

Especially dangerous are combinations of factors that provoke damage to ligaments. For example, athletes are not recommended to wear high-heeled shoes due to their professional stretch of the ligaments.


An ankle injury is manifested very clearly:

  • Immediately after tucking the foot, severe pain occurs;
  • Soft tissues literally begin to swell;
  • The skin around the joint becomes swollen and reddish;
  • Perhaps the appearance of a hematoma with internal tissue breaks;
  • Disturbed foot function. The victim complains of the impossibility of stepping on a limb;
  • With a complete rupture of the ligaments, a visible deformation of the joint occurs.

Such symptoms after falling or tucking should alert the victim. Especially important are severe pain and deformation of the foot. They indicate a ligament rupture. In this condition, surgical intervention is necessary to preserve the motor function of the limb.

How to distinguish a fracture from a sprain

For effective treatment, it is important to distinguish between a bone fracture that makes up the ankle joint and distension. These injuries are different and the treatment is fundamentally different. Only radiography will help to accurately distinguish. It is on its basis that the final diagnosis is made. But some signs will help distinguish a fracture for a preliminary diagnosis.

Distinctive feature Stretching Fracture
Pain after injury There is. After a while, it subsides, appearing again when walking Constant pain
Soft tissue edema + +
Crepitation of bone fragments There is no crepitus, but with strong stretching you can hear a crunch. This sound accompanies a rupture of ligaments. +
Joint deformation and pathological mobility With a complete break of the ligament In case of fracture with displacement
Hematoma When a ligament breaks When injuring soft tissues with bone fragments
Wounds with visible bone fragments With open fractures

It is not always possible to distinguish injuries without medical equipment. In addition to a fracture, one can confuse sprain and bruise or dislocation.

First aid: what to do

By providing first aid to the injured in time, serious health consequences in the future can be avoided. Sometimes the preservation of the motor activity of a limb depends on such help. The procedure for the provision of first aid:

  1. Quickly remove shoes, jewelry (if any) from your feet and tuck clothes;
  2. Put a tight bandage on the ankle to prevent swelling;
  3. Apply cold to the ankle. Low temperatures will help relieve swelling and relieve pain. Keep cold for 10-15 minutes. Long-term exposure to low temperature on the tissue leads to frostbite;
  4. In case of severe pain, give the victim an analgesic pill;
  5. Take the victim to a medical facility. With a slight stretch, hospitalization makes no sense.

A person with an ankle sprain is transported to a trauma center. There, a traumatologist examines a person, establishes a diagnosis and provides medical assistance. For an accurate diagnosis, an X-ray of the limb is made. Only with the help of an x-ray is the correct treatment prescribed.

How to relieve swelling in an injury

Rapidly growing edema with damage to the ligamentous apparatus becomes a real problem. With severe edema, tissues, blood vessels and nerves are compressed. At the site of damage, pain intensifies and an inflammatory process can occur. To reduce swelling, various means are used – cold, medicinal ointments and other methods.

Cold is rightfully considered the main enemy of puffiness. Due to the effect on low temperature tissues, blood vessels are narrowed. This helps to reduce the fluid that circulates in them. In the future, this fluid does not leak through the walls of blood vessels in the tissue. And so the anti-edema effect of the cold is achieved. Cooling gels act on the same principle, but in addition to combating edema, such drugs relieve pain and remove inflammation.

Home Treatment

Many patients have thought about whether it is possible to treat sprains on their own at home. Indeed, why get bored and spend your time in the hospital when you can carry out the same treatment at home. Traumatologists claim that only mild cases of ankle damage are treated at home. For serious violations and injuries, you need to go to the hospital.

At home, with a slight degree of injury, you can make cooling lotions and compresses, apply healing ointments and formulations. It is only important to carry out individual sensitivity to a particular drug.

Folk remedies

Independently to eliminate stretching apply:

    Compress with a 25% solution of dimex >

Recipes from traditional medicine have saved the lives of our ancestors many times. Do not neglect the healing compounds and ointments. But before using such funds, you should consult a doctor.

Ointment for stretching

When stretching the ankle joint, ointments are used that have a complex effect on the tissues. Such drugs relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and regenerate tissues. Ointments can be with one active substance or with several (combined). Ointments, gels and creams have proven themselves well, the main active ingredient of which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory substances.

Rehabilitation and recovery

The rehabilitation period is necessary for a complete victory over any ailment. Stretching was no exception. Timely and competently carried out rehabilitation will help restore the motor function of the limbs and prevent complications in the future. The main methods for restoring functions are rightfully considered:

  1. Physiotherapy. If you choose the right exercises that develop all the muscles around the ankle joint, then the elasticity and muscle tone will be restored;
  2. Massage. Pleasant rubbing and stroking movements improve blood microcirculation, soothe and relieve pain. And neat kneading movements train the muscles. Proper massage helps to restore motor function of the leg;
  3. Taping. The use of kinesiotape during the rehabilitation period accelerates recovery, since tape tape removes part of the load from damaged muscles, thereby accelerating their performance;
  4. Physiotherapy. Physiotherapeutic procedures relieve inflammation after sprain of the ankles and improve blood microcirculation;
  5. Wearing a retainer. A special device for the joint will help to avo >

How much damage heals

The length of the tissue healing period depends on the severity of the injury and some other factors:

  • The age of the victim. For example, in a child, the tissue is more likely to bounce back than in an adult;
  • Combination with other injuries. With the combination of several injuries, the treatment time increases. So, with a fracture of the fibula and stretching of the ankle, gypsum is applied, respectively, and the period of tissue repair and rehabilitation becomes longer.

Healing slows down significantly if the victim does not comply with all the doctor’s prescriptions and neglects his health. In this case, the risk of complications (neuralgia, lameness) increases several times.

Is it possible to walk under tension

With a slight degree of stretching, the victim is shown rest in the first few days after the injury. Give your foot a rest, do not injure the tissue even more. Lie more at home, try to minimize the load on the diseased limb. You can use a cane.

With severe sprains, complete rest is shown. The load on the limb is sharply limited. It is especially important to observe motor rest with a complete rupture of the ligament. Non-compliance with rest is fraught with inflammation, proliferation of connective tissue instead of muscles and other complications.

Shishkevich Vladimir
Shishkevich Vladimir
Orthopedic doctor, traumatologist
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I have been treating joints for many years. I can say with confidence that the joints are always treatable, even in the very ripe old age.

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Rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases. Specialization: diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and deformations of the musculoskeletal system.