Ankle sprains are the most common sports injuries, with an approximated 25,000 happening every day in the US. Sprains can happen with any sport, consisting of just walking throughout the lawn! Ankle sprains are most typical in ball sports such as basketball, soccer, volley ball and others.
Why Does Sprained Ankle Become Swollen?
What happens? The ankle is created to have much more movement with the foot turning in, which is how sprains generally take place. The term “sprain” refers to any ligament injury. Ligaments are the hard fibers that connect bones to each other to offer the skeleton strength while still permitting joints to move.
The most typical ankle sprains involve tearing of the ligaments on the exterior of the ankle. The ligament tearing causes bleeding deep inside, which you see as bruising on the skin. Thankfully, your body is developed to recover injuries, so these ligaments will generally heal on their own.
As with any injury, your body quickly sends out blood to start the healing process, which results in the swelling.
Remember: your heart is the pump and it is a long method to pump the blood back up from the ankle. For lots of people, some swelling will continue long after the sprain has actually “recovered” and you are back to activities. This is again due to the range from the ankle to the heart. In the evening, the swelling improves but with activity throughout the day, the fluid from normal blood circulation leads to progressive swelling.
Rest, ice, compression, elevation, known as RICE, is an excellent way to treat an ankle sprain. This decreases the swelling, reduces your pain, and enables your body to recover the injury. Studies have shown that the sooner you return to activity, the better and normally the faster you will recuperate.
If pain enables, begin moving the ankle early.
When to look for care: If it hurts too much to put any weight on the ankle and you cannot walk, look for treatment right away. Depending on the amount of injury to the ligaments, it might be days, weeks, and even months to go back to high strength sports. In some cases recovery may be sluggish, but if it improves day by day or week by week you are on the right path.
If the ankle appears to stop improving and you just cannot get back to your activities then your Orthopaedic Surgeon can help.
How to Prevent?
It is constantly better to avoid the sprain in top place! Keep in mind to stretch prior to sports to avoid ankle and other injuries to all your bones and joints. Some studies show that taping or an ankle brace can assist avoid repeat sprains if you have had sprains in the past.
Do not let fear of an ankle sprain keep you from your sport. Your Orthopaedic Surgeon wants you to remain in movement to remain healthy!
How Long Should a Sprained Ankle Be Swollen
After a mild sprain, you might be able to walk on it right away or the following day. However, a more severe sprain may hurt for weeks (sometimes even longer than a fracture!) Swelling can cause pain itself. This is one of the important needs to keep the foot/ankle elevated after an injury. Swelling will reduce with time, however can continue if you have been standing, walking, or exercising for a longer time.
Sprained Ankle Still Swollen After 2 or 3 Weeks
A “severe” sprain can suggest different things, but if your doctor or healthcare supplier informed you 4-6 weeks, that would fit with the time had to walk usually on after a severe sprain, and return to sports can be longer. Can you put some weight on the ankle using the crutches? Is the pain improving week by week? Is the swelling reducing in time (although normal to obtain much better in the early morning and development to being bad by evening)? The progression is important, and attempting to press through when you are having pain can set you back.