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Advice for severe ankle sprain

(6 Posts)
LolaLadybird Mon 22-Aug-11 15:00:42

Sprained my ankle on Friday falling off a horse on hols. Had it X-rayed yesterday on my return and they confirmed it isn't broken just badly sprained. It is isn't massively painful - as long as I don't do too much - but is very, very swollen (I spent the day in the car travelling back from France on Saturday and that is when it ballooned). I was told to keep it elevated and put ice on it but nothing else.

Should I be trying to move my foot/ankle whilst it's elevated? Also, should I be wearing a tubigrip/support (doc said no but pharmacist and info on NHS website says yes)? confused

Also, how long have others' sprains taken to heal? The doctor said 3-6 wks for the swelling to go down and for me to walk on it but that seems excessive. I have a life/job/children so can't spend the next 3 weeks with my foot up on the sofa!! Also, what about exercise - I normally run/cycle regularly and wondering how long before I can do that again?


orangeflutie Mon 22-Aug-11 19:30:30

I sprained my ankle a few years ago whilst running and it was painful to walk on for some time. I think a good 6-8 weeks. I had been training for a marathon and unfortunately had to pull out. You've been given good advice in that you need to rest, elevate it and put ice on it. You should also take anti-inflammatory painkillers which will help with the swelling.

I didn't wear a support bandage but if you want to get back to exercising sooner you may find it less painful with one. You could also have some physio on it which may help. Bear in mind that even when the pain has gone, your ankle will still be quite weak.

Hope you get better soon.

LIZS Mon 22-Aug-11 19:41:22

You should be flexing it . Draw figures of 8 and letters in the air with your toes while resting it. Within a few days you should be trying to bear some weight and when you are ready in a week or so try heel raises. I've found a tubigrip makes it more comfortable and an anti inflammatory and/or Arnica gel soothing. I would n't plan on exercising for at least a month.

Last time I did mine badly it was just before Christmas one year and I forced it into a boot to drive and walk on it . By New Year I could barely move it and it was still swollen. I needed 8 weeks of physio to get it back to a good range of movement and weight bearing in order to be able to ski by end March.

LolaLadybird Wed 24-Aug-11 07:02:27

Thanks both for your comments. A couple of days on and the swelling has gone down a lot (I think a lot of it was extra fluid caused by the car journey). Tubigrip has definitely made it more comfortable and I've also been using Comfrey joint cream on it (v good for swelling, sprains, joint pain etc). Can bear some weight on it for limited time.

Next step when it is functionning again is to get some advice from a physio to avoid any re-injury when I eventually start exercising again. Thanks again.

RnB Wed 24-Aug-11 07:23:44

I did this about 2 months ago and I would say only now has it stopped noticeably hurting. It is occasionally stiff in the morning.

Be careful working out on uneven surfaces (eg grass) as I turned the ankle over again a couple of weeks afterwards and that hurt more than the first time. Your ankle mat always be slightly weaker than before so be careful. I also always wear an ankle support (with straps, from a sports shop) when working out

LolaLadybird Wed 24-Aug-11 10:06:07

Hi RnB. That's what worries me the most actually - the potential for twisting my ankle again now that it's weaker. I sprained my ankle several times as a teenager/early 20s and I think the frequency was down to the fact it was weak.

Thankfully, my main exercise is road running (so nice even surfaces mostly) and cycling.

Wow, 2 months is a long time. How long before you were walking about/driving out of interest?

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