The 3 Phases of Ankle Injury Treatment

Posted on Categories Ankle, General Orthopedic

What to expect during recovery from an ankle sprain

ankle injury treatmentDid you know that up to 25,000 people a day sprain their ankle? This incredibly common injury can be a result of the most extreme sports, to just walking down an uneven sidewalk. However, despite how common this injury is, very few people understand the process of ankle injury treatment and jump right back into their everyday routines without taking the proper steps, no pun intended.

An ankle strain or sprain, which is the result of a stretched or torn ligament on the outer side of the ankle, doesn’t have to be the end of your regular activities, as long as you commit to taking the steps necessary for healing. Here are the three phases of ankle injury treatment, and what you need to do to get your life back in motion.

The 3 Phases of Recovery

Phase I

The first phase is all about protecting your injured ankle from further injury. Right after you have sprained your ankle, you must get off your feet and focus on resting the area and reducing the swelling that could add to limited mobility and a longer recovery time.

This is when basic first aid comes in: RICE.

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are crucial in the first day and week of your ankle injury treatment. Get your weight off the ankle, apply a cold compress or a bag of ice, compress the ankle with an ace bandage, and elevate it on a pillow or other soft item.

Phase II

The second phase occurs after you have successfully performed RICE, and the swelling and pain in your ankle has stabilized. The next step in recovery is restoring the flexibility and strength of your ankle through gentle exercise and stretching.

At this point in recovery, many individuals will consult a physical therapist to ensure that they are using proper stretching techniques. A physical therapist will likely prescribe a series of stretches and gentle strengthening exercise to restore your ankle to its full motion. Check out these stretches and exercises from the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (

Phase III

After restoring your ankle to its full range of motion, it is time to begin a gradual return to your daily activities. Begin walking (in supportive shoes!) a little more each day, and spending more time on your feet. If pain occurs, go through the RICE method and lessen your activity while still continuing to stretch and strengthen the ankle. Over time, you can introduce more strenuous activities as long as you properly wrap your ankle to ensure stability. Check out this guide on how to wrap a sprained ankle.

To learn more about the phases of ankle injury treatment and what you need to do to get back on your feet, contact Allied Bone and Joint today!


Related Tags: Three Phases of Ankle Injury Treatment | How to Treat an Ankle Injury