Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle News

Ankle Swelling and Function after Sprain

Treatment for ankle sprain is often directed at reducing painful swelling. The idea is to restore function by limiting inflammation. However this treatment approach has been called into question by a new study.

Thirty-six men and women with a recent ankle sprain were in this study. All were seen within five days of the injury. Ankle swelling was measured and questions were asked about pain and function. The results showed no link between swelling and function.

The researchers were surprised by the findings. They offered several possible reasons for the results:

  • Swelling may change over the course of day; perhaps time of day the ankle is measured makes a difference.
  • Measures taken included the foot and the ankle; this might not show just the ankle swelling and function.
  • Patients may have misjudged their actual performance; perhaps they could do more than they thought.

    The authors aren't ready to say reduction of swelling isn't needed after ankle sprain. It may not improve function right away, but limiting inflammation may have other important
    long-term effects. There may be joint damage and changes in how the muscles work around the joint.

    Future studies may need to look at how much pain and swelling are present compared to function over time.


    Ivy O. W. Man, and Matthew C. Morrissey. Relationship Between Ankle-Foot Swelling and Self-Assessed Function after Ankle Sprain. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. March 2005. Vol. 37. No. 3. Pp. 360-363.

    06/21/2005

    *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