Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ


I'm recovering from an ankle sprain. My physical therapist says I'm getting better because the swelling has gone down. But I still have a lot of pain in my ankle, and I can't do the things I usually do. What's going on? Am I getting better or not?


Physical therapists often use ankle swelling as a way to gauge treatment results after a sprain. If the swelling goes down, a therapist may assume the ankle is improving.

A recent study showed that swelling isn't necessarily a good measure of improvement, however. Among 29 patients with ankle sprains, swelling (as measured by a "figure-of-eight" around the ankle) wasn't related to the amount of pain patients had or their ability to do daily activities.

Swelling is just one measure of recovery. Talk with your therapist about the problems you have with your ankle from day to day. When it comes to gauging your recovery, your experiences are more important than what a measuring tape can tell you.

*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.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter