Ankle Sprain FAQ
What is a sprained ankle ?
A sprained ankle is essentially trauma to the connective tissues that hold the ankle joint in place.. ligament. Ligaments are the bodies strongest ‘connective’ structures, they are strong fibrous cords that bind bones to other bones. The primary damage in sprained ankles is usually damage to the ankle ligaments, although other tissues like tendon, joint capsule, fascia and blood vessels are most likely also affected in bad sprains.
The vast majority of sprained ankles or ‘rolled ankles’ involve ‘rolling over’ on the outside of the foot which damages the ligaments etc on the outside of the ankle. The severity of the sprain is essentially determined by how far the ankle joint rolls over and how much body weight is loaded through the ligaments.
Looking through a microscope at a sprained ankle you would see tears ranging from the extremely tiny and microscopic tears through to completely tears of the ligament. Looking holistically at the whole ankle foot and leg (the opposite of down a microscope) through the eyes of a trained health professional you would usually see signs of significant pre-existing weakness in ankles that get sprained, there is a lot more to most sprained ankles than bad luck.
What is a normal sprained ankle recovery time?
Ankle sprain recovery time can vary from less than 3 weeks in mild sprains that are managed correctly through to ankles that take many years to recover. Permanent weakness and issues with chronic pain are more common than you might think after bad ankle sprains. If you are concerned about recovery time seek a professional who takes a hands on approach to your pain and have them move you towards a serious approach to rehabilitation. Loosely speaking the recovery time for ankle sprains are as follows.
Grade I Sprained Ankle
This grade of sprained ankle involves microscopic tears in the ligaments of the ankle. The symptoms generally include mild tenderness, mild swelling, and stiffness. The ankle feels relatively stable and it is usually possible to walk even immediately after the injury with moderate or minimal pain.
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