From all the ankle injuries, the sprains are the most common. Ankle sprains are classified in 3 grades as follows: : mild degree of swelling and stretch has occurred to the ligaments. Weight bearing is possible. : moderate swelling and an incomplete tearing of ligaments, also mild instability may be present and also pain with weight bearing. : severe swelling and pain, complete rupture of at least 1 ligament, there is remarkable instability. First thing to do: apply ice and lift the affected foot for the first 24 hours, to control the pain and swelling. Physical therapy is recommended for sprains grade II and III. For less severe injuries, grade I, the strategy would be: immediate, protected ambulation, and physical therapy should emphasize exercises to get back the normal range of motion and strengthening of the ankle muscles and ligaments. Treatment during this acute phase is aimed to minimize swelling and pain, allowing you to begin walking as soon as possible. The acute phase of treatment should last for 1-3 days after the injury. A combination of protection, relative rest, ice, compression, elevation, and support is used (PRICES). Also the anti inflammatory drugs (“Aleve”, “Motrin”) help in reducing swelling and pain. The healing time varies from patient to patient. If after the first 72 hours and with these measures, you do not experience any improvement, I strongly recommend that you go to the hospital to get evaluated by a doctor.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.