The ligament is completely torn. You even heard a popping sound when the injury happened. There’s significant swelling. The ankle is unstable and cannot bear your weight. You’re in a lot of pain.
That’s grade 3 ankle sprain!
For the starters, you should visit the best orthopedic doctor in Kolkata who specializes in ligament injuries; someone who’s experienced and reputed.
The doctor, after doing physical examination, would order some tests to have proper diagnoses. It could include normal x-ray, stress x-ray, MRI scan and/or ultrasound. Meanwhile, you might be prescribed some medications to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Following the test results, after the doctor has confirmed that it is indeed a grade-3 sprain, they would outline you a course of treatment.
Now note, even though the sprain is severe, you might not necessarily require a surgery. In rare cases do orthopedic doctors recommend surgical treatment when other non-invasive alternatives have failed to deliver the desired result aka improvement. And this is true with sprains in any part – whether ankle or knee. If you have sustained grade 3 sprain in your knee, the doctor won’t outright recommend arthroscopy knee surgery unless it’s an exceptional case and other solutions have failed.
Non-surgical treatment for your grade 3 sprained ankle would include physical therapy. The rehabilitation program would focus on controlling the pain, as well as reducing the swelling by improving lymphatic drainage. It would help boost immune cells to repair and regenerate healthy tissue. Over the period, the rehab would progressively improve your ankle stability, motion, balance, and strength through proper exercises.
Your doctor would recommend you the RICE protocol, wherein you would be asked to rest, apply ice, apply compression, and keep the ankle elevated.
Your doctor may also ask you to wear braces for stability.
In all, the recovery would have three phases. The first phase is all about resting, reducing pain and swelling. In the second phase, the focus would be on restoring your ankle’s motion and flexibility. The third phase will include basic exercises and subsequent return to your regular activities. How long will this take? It really depends on many factors. But you can expect the recovery to take three months or more.
During recovery, complications rarely arise unless you aren’t following the doctor’s advice properly and aren’t taking care of the injury. In case, as mentioned earlier, if the injury isn’t healing and you’re still in pain, you may have to go with surgical treatment. But again, that happens only in rare cases.
Once you’ve recovered and are back on track, start taking better care of your ankles. How? Give this a quick read: How to Keep Your Ankles Healthy (and Injury-Free)