How Long Does a Sprained Ankle Take to Heal?

Any sportsperson will attest that an ankle sprain is one of the most likely sports injuries to occur. Most of these injuries are ligament damages that result due to the ankle rolling inwards under the person’s body weight. Swelling and/or bruising may occur, which sometimes can take around 2 days to manifest. Depending on how severe the sprain is, it can be graded 1, 2 or 3.

How Long Does a Sprained Ankle Take to Heal?

The time an ankle sprain takes to heal depends entirely on the grade of the sprain. Usually, however, sprains heal anywhere between 5 days to 12 weeks. Here is a better understanding of the time taken by a sprained ankle to heal:

Grade 1

Recovery time: within 5 and 14 days

Sprains that happen due to ligament damage are classified under Grade 1. The sprain is the quickest to heal as it is the least severe in its damage. Patients might experience mild pain, stiff joints, swelling and slight discomfort

Grade 2

Recovery time: within 4 and 6 weeks

Sprains that happen due to partial ligament tearing are classified under Grade 2. Patients might experience moderate pain, difficulty in moving about, swelling, stiff joints and bruising. One might require the use of a splint to make movement difficult, so that the ankle heals better.

Grade 3

How long does a sprained ankle take to heal when it’s Grade 3? Well, patients usually heal within 8 and 12 weeks.

Sprains that involve the complete tearing of the ligament are classified under Grade 3. Patients have to undergo massive amounts of pain during the sprain, which gradually subsides (comparatively) after a few hours. Severe swelling, bruising and inability to walk are accompanied with this sprain. Surgery is rarely advised to regular people – it’s more common among athletes.


Apart from the grade of the sprain, one’s healing factor also depends on the capability of one’s doctor, the treatment and/or medications they provide, along with the capability of the physical therapist involved (if at all).

How to Speed Up Recovery

Self-Care at Home

Self care at home can easily be summed in one word - R.I.C.E or Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.


If you haven’t visited a doctor, then it would be best to take medicine that can easily be bought at the local pharmacy without a doctor’s note. Make sure you read all the instructions carefully and consume the correct dosage.

Rehabilitating Your Sprained Ankle

Now that you know how long does a sprained ankle take to heal, here are some tips that will help rehabilitate your ankle:

Rehabilitation Exercises

Exercises are advised as they strengthen the muscles of your ankle. They also keep instability and chronic pain at bay. For Grade 1 sprains, rehab exercises start immediately after the injury occurs. Support may or may not be needed in order to make the patient walk.

A doctor’s advice should always be heeded before performing any type of stretch or exercise, including their duration and when they should be performed. Having said that, here are some of the most common exercises that patients are asked to do:

Similar Topics

Same Category