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How Do You Know You Have Rolled Your Ankle & How Long Does A Rolled Ankle Take To Heal?

You have injured your ankle and you are unable to put on weight on it, its bruised, tender and swollen. How do you now you have rolled your ankle? How long does a rolled ankle take to heal. Understanding these concerns can help you manage an ankle injury in a better way. A correct diagnosis is very important for proper treatment and speedy recovery.

How Do You Know You Have Rolled Your Ankle?

How Do You Know You Have Rolled Your Ankle?

Rolled ankle happens when the ligaments in the ankle get damaged during an injury. The ligaments are the tough stretchy bands which hold bones in place and keep the joint stable. They tend to stretch and move just to a certain limit. These ligaments when overstretched get torn and lead to a sprained ankle or a rolled ankle. So, if you are wondering how do you know you have rolled your ankle, you need to pay attention to the injury and the differences between rolled ankle and sprain.

An ankle fracture results from the breaking of one of the three bones in the ankle joint during an injury. The severity depends on how many bones are injured. In a fracture, the patient loses stability and is not able to walk. An ankle fracture might also lead to ligament damage.

There is an easy difference, which help you to know you have rolled ankle at the time of the injury.

  • Noise- A rolled ankle would occur silently while if a fracture has happened there will be a popping sound or maybe you might hear a crack at the time of injury.
  • Shape- After both the injuries the ankle would swell up but will be clearly visible as misshapen after a fracture, because of the broken bone.
  • Feeling- In a rolled ankle and fracture a person would experience extreme pain but there would be numbness and tingling if the ankle is fractured.
  • Pain- If the part over the ankle bone is tender to touch, it could be a fracture.

Even if the condition is identified, it is always recommended to visit a doctor and get proper treatment advice.

How Long Does It Take For A Rolled Ankle To Heal Completely?

Most of the cases of the rolled ankle heal on their own within few days to weeks. They are treated with the anti-inflammatory over the counter medications. People often wonder, how long does it take for a rolled ankle to heal completely. Knowing the healing time helps to effectively plan treatment and rehabilitation for the injury.

The doctor also advises the RICE method, to ease the pain and inflammation:

R: Rest

I: Ice pack application to reduce the pain and swelling

C: Compression or bandaging to support the injured tissue and reduce excessive swelling.

E: Elevating the injured limb above the heart, that assists gravity to reduce the swelling around the ankle.

Physical therapy is required for the rolled ankle. The therapist starts range of motion exercises once the pain and swelling subside. In very rare cases where the other treatments fail surgery is recommended.

A rolled ankle mostly clears up within days, while some ligament tears due to a rolled ankle would need weeks to recover. For some, severe cases it may even take months depending on the severity and complexity of the injury.1

A rolled ankle can increase the risk of re-injury in 40-70 percent of cases. What you need are correct post-injury rehabilitation exercises which reduce the risk significantly.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 28, 2021

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