Sprained Ankle Recovery Time: What to Expect

A closeup image of a doctor wrapping a patient's ankle and foot in a bandage.


According to the National Institute of Health, ankle sprains are among the most common athletic injuries affecting up to 45% of basketball players. In fact, nearly 40% of all ankle-related injuries, sports-related or not, are diagnosed as sprains.

Dealing with a sprained ankle can be painful and frustrating, but understanding the recovery process can help you navigate it confidently.

In this blog, we’ll explore the ins and outs of sprained ankle recovery time, from understanding the types of sprains to learning about treatment options that can expedite healing.

Continue reading to learn more about sprained ankle recovery time, including from a high ankle sprain, so you know what to expect on your recovery journey.


What is a Sprained Ankle?

A sprained ankle is the most common type of ankle injury that occurs when the ligaments, which are tough bands of tissue connecting bones, become stretched or torn due to excessive force or twisting.

Sprained ankles are classified into three categories based on the severity of the injury: high ankle sprain, mid-ankle sprain, and low ankle sprain.


Sprained ankles can happen for various reasons, such as sudden twists, falls, or missteps.

Athletes often experience ankle sprains during sports that involve rapid direction changes, jumping, or uneven surfaces, such as soccer, football, or basketball.

Walking on uneven terrain or wearing inappropriate footwear can also increase the risk of spraining an ankle.


Common sprained ankle symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot

The severity of the symptoms can vary based on the type of sprain and the extent of ligament damage.

How Long Do Sprained Ankles Last?

The duration of sprained ankle recovery varies depending on the severity of the sprain, the treatment applied, and individual factors like age and overall health.

Mild sprains might heal within a couple of weeks, while more severe sprains can take several months to heal completely.

Prompt treatment and personalized rehabilitation are crucial in determining how long your recovery will take.

Recovery Time for High Ankle Sprain

High ankle sprains, which involve the ligaments above the ankle joint, typically have the longest recovery time. These injuries can take several weeks to several months to fully heal.

Medical intervention, rest, immobilization, and physical therapy are often necessary for a successful recovery.

Mid-Ankle Sprain Recovery Time

Mid-ankle sprains involve the ligaments between the foot bones and the shin.

This type of sprain often requires medical evaluation and proper diagnosis.

Recovery time for mid-ankle sprains falls within a few weeks to a few months. Following a curated treatment plan and avoiding activities that strain the injured ankle can expedite healing.

Low Ankle Sprain Recovery Time

Low ankle sprains affect the ligaments around the ankle joint and have a relatively shorter recovery period.

With proper care, these sprains can heal in a matter of weeks without the need for medical intervention.

Sprained Ankle Treatment

The most common way to treat all types of sprained ankle is with the RICE method:

  • Rest: Avoid activities that strain the ankle to allow healing.
  • Ice: Apply ice for 15-20 mins every few hours to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Wrap with a bandage for support and to control swelling.
  • Elevation: Keep the affected ankle elevated to minimize swelling.

Other treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage discomfort.
  • Use a brace or splint to prevent movement during healing.
  • Physical Therapy
  • Gradual Weight-Bearing
  • Supportive Shoes

In rare and severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

We Provide Prompt Ankle Treatment for Faster Healing at State Urgent Care

If you or a loved one are dealing with an ankle injury, prompt and proper treatment can significantly impact your recovery time. We encourage you to get treated for a sprained ankle today to start feeling better sooner.

At State Urgent Care, we provide expert care for sprained ankles, ensuring accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and personalized rehabilitation plans.

Our team manages all types of ankle injuries and is dedicated to helping you recover faster and get back on your feet. We are open seven days a week with no appointments necessary.