Ankle sprains are a common reason that patients come to see us at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. This type of injury typically occurs from rolling or twisting the ankle. Learn common symptoms, causes, and treatment for a sprained ankle!
There are 3 grades of ankle sprain that can occur depending on the severity of the sprain:
Grade I: The ligament in the ankle is stretched or has a very small tear.
Grade II: The ligament in the ankle is partially torn.
Grade III: The ligament in the ankle is completely torn.
Symptoms of a sprained ankle will vary depending upon the type of sprain. Here is what you can generally expect from each grade of ankle sprain:
Grade I: The ankle may feel sore and have minimal swelling.
Grade II: There will be pain and swelling in the ankle. Additionally, it may be difficult to put weight on the ankle and there may be bruising.
Grade III: This type of sprain will be accompanied by severe foot and ankle pain, swelling, bruising, and your ankle will not be able to support weight. With this grade, you may even hear a popping noise when the sprain occurs.
A sprained ankle typically occurs from a sudden twist or fall, and it can happen to anyone. This will often happen in sports when an athlete lands on their ankle the wrong way or suddenly pivots. A sprained ankle can also occur from a fall or walking on an uneven surface.
Healing a sprained ankle will depend on the severity of the sprain. If you are experiencing a mild ankle sprain, you can typically use the at-home RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method in addition to over-the-counter medication. Mild sprains will typically heal on their own within 2-4 weeks.
For a more severe sprain, your doctor may recommend the treatment above along with wearing a brace, boot, or crutches. In addition, physical therapy may be beneficial to making sure your ankle recovers properly. It is very rare, but if the ligament in the ankle doesn’t heal, you may need surgery.
If you think you may have a sprained ankle and you are experiencing severe pain and bruising, seek help from a foot and ankle doctor near you. Our foot and ankle surgeons in Nashville, Franklin, and Brentwood, TN, have years of experience treating sprained ankles. Additionally, they can refer you to an in-house physical therapist at MPOWER Physical Therapy that will help you to recover faster.