Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ

Question:

A friend of mine said that spraining your ankle is worse than breaking it because it takes longer to heal and often doesn't heal properly. Is this true?

Answer:

Sprained ankles are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries - they make up about a quarter of all sports injuries. And, as you know, you don't have to be in a sport to sprain your ankle. It's not really possible to compare a sprained ankle with a broken ankle because there are too many variables, things that can change. A simple fracture with one clean break may be fairly easy to heal, while a more complicated may need surgery. A simple sprain my heal quickly, but one that does more damage may end up taking longer to heal or, again, need surgery. The average length of time for someone with a sprained ankle to feel recovered is about six to eight weeks, similar to that of a broken ankle. Between 10 and 40 percent of patients with sprained ankles develop unstable ankles. The ankles no longer work as well to keep your body upright and keep your feet straight. When you have an unstable ankle, it is much easier to sprain it again because of its weakness. Cyrus E. Taghavi and Nelson F. Soo-Hoo. Lateral Ankle Instability. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. April 2009. Vol. 20. No. 2. Pp. 117-122.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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