Patient Education:
How Can an Ankle Sprain Be Treated?


Ankle sprains are extremely common, and typically occur following a sudden, twisting motion of the foot. These injuries sometimes occur during sporting events, though simply taking an awkward step can result in your ankle moving the wrong way!

Ankle sprains cause the stretching or tearing of ligaments located within the ankle joint.  The most common side-effects on sprained ankles include swelling, discoloration, an inability to move the ankle properly, and severe pain within the ankle area. Sprained ankles must be diagnosed by an experienced orthopedist, following a thorough examination and evaluation of symptoms. Some cases may also require x-rays to be taken. Depending on its severity, an ankle sprain can take up to 6 weeks to heal completely.  Let’s take a look at some common treatments for these sprains.

  1. Supportive braces.
    Wearing protective braces or compression garments, especially those with a built-in air cushion, will provide great support and comfort to an injured ankle.
  2. Rest.
    Many patients feel that walking with a sprained ankle is simply too painful, so walking with crutches may be helpful when you absolutely must walk.  It is quite important to rest your ankle periodically.
  3. Ice.
    Following an ankle injury, a patient often experiences a great deal of swelling and discomfort. Placing ice packs on the ankle can help decrease swelling, especially in the first few days after the injury.
  4. Anti-inflammatory drugs.
    These drugs include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Motrin. These drugs work to decrease a patient’s pain, as well as any inflammation that has occurred.
  5. Rehabilitation.
    Rehabilitation following a sprained ankle will usually include exercises to restore strength and stability to the ankle. Your doctor and physical therapist will work with you to establish an effective treatment plan that will make your sprained ankle as good as new.

Orthopedic Surgeon in Hackensack, Emerson, Elmwood Park and Montclair

If you have any questions about how you can treat ankle sprains, contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with offices throughout Bergen and Essex Counties to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at 1-844-ACTIVE-ORTHO for 24-hour emergency care.