Ankle Injury Treatment

From breaks to sprains to tendon tears, there are many different types of ankle injuries. Each one of them has its own distinct treatment plan and recovery time. If you are dealing with ankle pain, it is time to get to the cause of the problem.

Here is everything that you need to know about each type of ankle injury treatment.

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ankle injury

What Are the Common Causes of Ankle Injuries?

You can end up with an ankle injury any time your ankle joint is twisted outside of its normal range of motion. In the majority of cases, ankle injuries happen during sports or workouts but, at the same time, people often hurt their ankles when walking on an uneven surface. This can mean walking on uneven rocks or simply wearing unsupportive footwear. In particular, unstable shoes like high heels or sandals that allow your ankles to twist around are the cause of many ankle injuries.

Generally speaking, the most common causes of ankle injuries are the following:

  • Trips
  • Falls
  • Landing the wrong way after a jump
  • Walking on uneven ground
  • A sudden impact to your ankle
  • Twisting your ankle
  • Rolling your ankle

Ankle Injury Exercises

If you're looking for exercises to relieve ankle injury, check out these videos below.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Ankle Injury in Singapore

What Kind of Ankle Injury Do I Have?

In your ankle, there are three bones that come together. The tibia and fibula of your lower leg meet the talus bone of your foot here. All of these bones are held together and kept in place by connective tissue called ligaments. Meanwhile, your tendons connect your ankles muscles to the bones. This allows you to move and bend while keeping your ankle joint stable.

When you go to the doctor for ankle injury treatment, you will find that ankle pain is caused by either bone, ligament, or tendon injuries. Let’s take a look at the common types of injuries:

  • Fracture: A break in your bone is described as a fracture.
  • Sprain: When your ligament is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, you have a sprain.
  • Strain: If you push your tendons or muscles beyond their limit, you will have a strain. 
  • Stress fracture: Overuse of your ankle can cause a stress fracture over time.
  • Tendonitis: When your tendon gets inflamed by overuse, you may have tendonitis.
What Is the Difference Between an Ankle Sprain and a Strain?

Due to the similarity in the names, people often confuse sprains and strains. While these two injuries may sound alike, they affect different parts of the ankle.

Sprains affect the bands of tissue called ligaments. When you stretch your ligaments too much or pull them in the wrong direction, you may sprain your ankle (or turn your ankle, as people often say). A strain, on the other hand, affects your muscles or tendons instead of your ligaments.

Both sprains and strains have nearly the same symptoms. You will experience swelling, loss of your range of movement, and pain in both cases. For that reason, only a doctor can tell you for sure if you have a strain or sprain.

What Are the Degrees of Sprained Ankle Injury?

There are different levels of severity for each sprained ankle case. When you go to a specialist for ankle injury treatment, you will find that your sprain falls into one of three levels:

  • First-degree sprains: When the ligaments in your ankle are stretched but not actually torn, you will only have a couple of weeks of downtime. In these cases, the swelling is minor and you don’t have any noticeable instability.
  • Second-degree sprains: If your ankle ligament has a partial tear, you will experience mild instability and it may be painful to walk for up to six weeks.
  • Third-degree sprains: For a severe tear, you need anywhere from six months to a full year to recover. During this time, you will experience intense pain, bruising, and swelling.
How Are Ankle Injuries Diagnosed?

When you arrive at our Singapore clinic, one of our healthcare professionals will give you a physical examination. This will be a simple painless procedure to check for swelling and bruising. In some cases, your doctor may also request to have an X-ray done to see if there are any broken bones. If there is a possibility of a stress fracture, you may also be given an MRI or other special type of exam to see if there is an ankle injury that may not show up in a physical examination or X-ray. 

How Can I Treat an Ankle Injury?

Before you get started with at-home treatment for ankle pain, it is essential to visit the specialists at our Singapore clinic for a proper diagnosis. If you try to self-diagnose the cause of ankle pain, you can end up doing more harm than good. Each type of ankle injury needs its own unique treatment and many injuries absolutely require treatment from a health care professional. If you delay treatment or improperly care for ankle pain, you can end up making the problem worse.

When you arrive at our Singapore clinic, we will create a customised treatment for your ankle injury. Here are a few common therapies and at-home treatments for ankle pain.

  • Rest: Getting off your feet is always the first thing to do when you’re dealing with ankle pain. Put your feet up as often as possible and reduce your walking to the bare minimum for the first couple of days or as recommended by your doctor.
  • Ice: For the first couple of days after the onset of ankle pain, put a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth on your ankle. Leave the ice on for 15 minutes and then put it back on every couple of hours during the first 48 hours.
  • Wrap: During your first few days or as recommended by your doctor, use an elastic bandage to wrap up your ankle to keep down the swelling. Avoid wearing the wrap at night and follow your doctor’s instructions. 
  • Elevate: During the first couple of days and after long walks, be sure to put your feet up. Ideally, you want your ankles to be higher than your heart to reduce swelling.
  • Pain medicine: Taking over-the-counter pain relievers will help reduce the pain. To reduce swelling as well, opt for ibuprofen or naproxen. While acetaminophen is effective for pain relief, it doesn’t help with inflammation. Be careful to not take these medications too long, however, as they become less effective and cause damage over time.
  • Brace: Your doctor may also recommend a brace if you have a sprain. They will help protect your ankle and can be especially useful if you are transitioning back to playing a sport.
  • Crutches: In a severe case, your doctor may recommend crutches to help you get around.
  • Physical therapy: After an ankle injury, your doctor may recommend you to a physical therapist. In our Singapore clinic, we work with injury experts who can help you strengthen your ankle, reduce pain, and help to prevent future injuries. 
How Long Is the Ankle Injury Recovery Time?

A fractured ankle may be treated with or without surgery, depending on the specifics of your injury and health background. To treat a broken ankle without surgery, your ankle will be immobilised with a splint or a cast.

If your ankle is unstable, surgery might be required. During ankle surgery, a metal plate and screws may be used to keep your ankle in place. After the surgery, your ankle will be put into a splint and then into a cast.

After the surgery, you can expect a healing time of at least six weeks. During this time, you will be instructed to not put any weight on your ankle. After this healing time, the ligaments and tendons will likely need more time to heal. The complete healing process can take up to two years to completely recover, although you can go back to your daily routine within three months or so.

When Is Ankle Injury an Emergency?

If you have serious ankle pain, it may be an emergency. Here are a few signs that you need to urgently see a doctor.

  • Clear and obvious ankle deformity
  • Quick and severe swelling
  • Inability to move and support weight
  • Severe tenderness and feeling of heat
How to Prevent Ankle Injuries

When you are dealing with ankle pain, you realise just how important it is to prevent an ankle injury. The best way to prevent an injury is to take a few basic precautions in your everyday life.

  • Don’t push yourself too hard: When you are tired or hurting, skip the workout and avoid playing sports. It is much easier to get injured when you are not at your full capacity. 
  • Warm-up: When you do a workout or play sports, it is crucial to properly stretch and warm up your muscles. 
  • Walk carefully: When you are on an uneven or icy surface, move slowly and carefully.
  • Run on flat ground: When you are moving quickly, it is easy to hit the ground in the wrong way and twist your ankle. When you are jogging or running, make sure that you always opt for flat surfaces with as few obstacles as possible. 
  • Wear sensible shoes: Always skip the high heels and opt for shoes with adequate support. If your shoes get worn out on one side, throw them away and replace them. It is important to make sure that the wear on your shoes is limited and relatively uniform. For athletes, it is essential to have the right shoes for your sport. For hiking or trekking across uneven ground, make sure that you have good ankle support. If you are going to be running and jumping, make sure that your shoes are flat and wide. 

Find Reliable Ankle Injury Treatment in Singapore

Looking to get ankle injury treatment in Singapore? We are ready to help! The orthopaedic doctor here at Ray of Health will diagnose your issue and create a customised treatment plan to get you feeling like your own self again.

Why suffer in pain for another day? Reach out to us online, email us at, call +65 6235 8781, or chat with us on WhatsApp at +65 8028 4572.

About the Author

Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

Dr James Tan C H

Dr James Tan is a highly skilled surgeon who has more than 10 years of experience in sports surgery and exercise medicine. Apart from partnering the industry to pioneer advanced and proven treatment techniques, Dr Tan has treated athletes from the Singapore National Teams and professional footballers from the Singapore Premier League and the Young Lions. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.