Ankle Sprain Grades and Recovery Time

When patients come see us for injury treatment, there are usually several things they will want to know, including “how long until it’s better?” The answer obviously depends on several factors, like the condition, its severity, and even your individual ability to heal.

Regardless as to how long recovery takes, it is important to emphasize that you should not resume normal activities until the problem has been resolved. Complete ankle sprain recovery, for example, is essential before resuming a running program or playing tennis again. Going back to exercises and sports too soon can increase your risk for long-term issues.

Ankle sprains are so common you might not think of having one as being a big deal, but do not underestimate them! A return to activity before an ankle has completely recovered can lead to chronic ankle instability. You can always come here to Advanced Foot and Ankle for treatment for weak and unstable ankles, but isn’t it better to prevent it from happening in the first place?

Understanding that, let’s look at the classifications for these injuries. Ankle sprains are typically graded on three levels of severity:

  • Grade 1: This is the least severe, with only some slight stretching and tiny ligament tears. There will likely be some swelling and tenderness around the affected ankle. Recovery may only take around 2 weeks.
  • Grade 2: This grade indicates a moderate sprain. Pain and swelling is greater and there could be some looseness in the joint. In this case, there is a partial tear in the ligament and recovery time will be longer, somewhere between 2 to 6 weeks.
  • Grade 3: At this stage, the ligament has completely torn. This results in instability, excessive swelling around the ankle, and additional pain. Depending on the situation, we may need to consider a surgical procedure. Recovery can take up to 12 weeks.

To accurately diagnosis the severity of the injury and find out what to expect from your ankle sprain recovery, come for an evaluation at Advanced Foot and Ankle. We will examine your injured ankle and provide a professional assessment, along with an effective treatment plan to get you back to activity in a safe manner. Call us at (208) 731-6321 for additional information or to schedule your appointment at either our Twin Falls or Burley, ID offices—or do it online today.

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