How Long Is Too Long For A Sprained Ankle To Heal?

Ask The Doctor

Today we answer a patient question about a sprained ankle and how long does it take to heal?

I suffered from ankle pain for a few weeks before deciding it might be something severe that might not go away on its own.

I made an appointment with a physician assistant in my sports medicine doctor’s office. She said since there was no bruising and it mostly hurts when I turn my foot inward that it was likely a sprain, and an X-ray wasn’t necessary.

She prescribed an ankle brace and 500mg of Naproxen, and suggested I raise my leg above my heart level for a couple hours each day. I didn’t have an accident that led to the injury, but she suggested I might have had bad footing on the edge of a curb and over-stretched.

Generally speaking, how long to sprains last? I’d like to have an idea of when I should make another doctor’s appointment if it doesn’t start to improve.

The Answer

If your ankle has a Simple Sprain (strained, not torn ligaments), it should feel better within 24 hours-as long as you PRICE.

ANKLE SPRAIN 01b

Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress & Elevate and continue to improve daily.

Every other day-according to your weight, injury and activity level, pain should be resolving within 10-14 days and mostly resolved within 3 weeks. If it doesn’t follow the guidelines mentioned  go see a board-certified podiatrist.

The PA you saw likely does not have the same expertise as a specialist to correctly diagnose your condition, beyond a simple sprain — and in fact, an X-ray or Diagnostic Ultrasound might be necessary. If there is pain in your ankle, you need to work with a health care provider to determine the correct diagnosis. In this case, perhaps that was not done.

The amount needed to control the pain and inflammation is known to cause stomach problems. Stop the meds and call your Doctor.

The doctors at Ankle N Foot Centers are experts in Sports medicine, Orthopedics and Surgery. We offer digital-X-rays and Diagnostic Ultrasound on site to help determine the cause of your foot and ankle pain.

No Wait & Same Day Appointments.