How Long Does it Take to Recover From a High Ankle Sprain?

Mar 01, 2024
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a High Ankle Sprain?
Is the upper part of your ankle swollen, bruised, and painful? If so, you could have a high ankle sprain or damage to the ligament in the upper part of your ankle. Recovery may take a while.

An ankle sprain is a common occurrence. For many, a sprain may be something you’ll be able to walk off, or recover from in a few days with rest and at-home treatment. However, if you suffer a high ankle sprain, you may be in for a longer, more complex recovery.

At the offices of Babak Kosari, DPM, in Northridge, California, board-certified podiatric surgeon Babak Kosari, DPM, FACFAS, and his team routinely address issues such as ankle pain and sprains. If you have a high ankle sprain, we tailor treatment to ensure a full recovery.

High ankle sprains

Most ankle sprains affect your lateral ligaments (the ones on the outside of your ankle. This includes sprains like rolling your ankle. Most of these sprains are minor and heal easily and quickly.  

In contrast, a high ankle sprain is more severe. The affected ligament connects to the bones in your calf as well as the ones in your ankle, so you’ll feel pain around the area where your ankle meets your calf. 

High ankle sprains usually hurt much more than a rolled ankle, and you’ll notice swelling and possibly even visible bruising around the affected area.  

While anyone can suffer a common ankle sprain, high ankle sprains are more common among athletes who use their lower legs and ankles heavily during their chosen activity, such as skiers.  

Recovery timelines

A rolled ankle can feel better in just a few days. A minor ankle sprain can heal fully in a couple of weeks. High ankle sprains require at least six weeks to recover from, and in severe cases, you’d better be ready for several months of downtime

We can help you by creating a personalized treatment and recovery plan to help your ligaments heal and to shorten your recovery timeline as much as possible. Standard treatment for an ankle sprain starts with RICE — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — but we provide additional therapies to speed healing and reduce discomfort. Depending on the specifics of your injury, Babak Kosari, DPM may recommend one or more of the following options:

  • Braces and splints
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Custom orthotics
  • Joint aspiration
  • Prescription pain medicine
  • Physical therapy

The goal is to stabilize your ankle, reduce inflammation and swelling, relieve pain, and provide proper support as you slowly begin to bear weight on it again. This not only speeds healing, but can also minimize long-term effects, like stiffness or tenderness in the affected ankle. 

If the damage done to your ankle by a high ankle sprain or repeated sprains is extreme, we can discuss ankle replacement surgery to eliminate chronic pain and restore mobility.

If you think you might have a high ankle sprain, don’t wait to talk to our team about your treatment options. Call us at 818-831-1000, or make an appointment online today.