Ankle Sprain

Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

Written by Dr. James Tan


    Specialised Insights on Ankle Sprain Treatment

    An ankle sprain is a common injury that happens when you twist, turn, or roll your ankle in an unnatural way. The bones in your ankle are joined together through bands of tissue called ligaments. When you twist or turn your ankle, these ligaments can stretch or tear, causing an ankle sprain.

    Read along further to find the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for sprained ankles to help you navigate the recovery process effectively.

    Identifying Ankle Sprain Symptoms

    An ankle sprain results from ligaments in the ankle being overstretched or torn, usually due to twisting or forceful impact. If you have an ankle sprain, you may experience the following symptoms:

    • Pain: Increases with weight-bearing and can range from mild to severe.
    • Tenderness: Direct touch to the ankle increases discomfort.
    • Limited Mobility: Difficulty moving the ankle normally.
    • Instability: A sensation of giving away in the ankle joint.
    • Swelling: Ankle swollen after sprain calls for medical attention.
    • Bruising: Typically develops soon after the injury.
    • Popping Sound/Feeling: This may occur at the moment of injury, indicating potential ligament damage.
    • Walking Impairment: Challenges in bearing weight or walking signify a need for medical attention.

    What Are the Common Causes of Ankle Sprains?

    An ankle sprain can occur if a joint is twisted beyond its usual range of motion. In general, the following are the most common causes:

    • Trips
    • Falls
    • Landing the wrong way after a jump
    • Walking on uneven ground
    • Sudden impact
    • Twisting or rolling
    • Cartilage injury

    How Is Ankle Sprain and Injury Diagnosed?

    When you visit our Singapore facility, one of our ankle specialists will examine your foot to check for swelling or bruising. The specialist doctor may ask you to make certain movements with your foot and leg to see what can be causing the symptoms. Sometimes, to check for any broken bones, your doctor may also ask for an X-ray. If a stress fracture is suspected, you may be offered an MRI or other particular form of exam to see if there is an injury that does not show up on a physical examination or X-ray.

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    Ankle Sprain Treatment in Singapore

    Looking to get treated for an ankle sprain 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 according to your symptoms. Apart from this, we also offer treatment plans for shoulder pain and torn meniscus treatment.

    Why suffer in pain for another day? Reach out to us online, call +65 6235 8781, or chat with us on WhatsApp at +65 8028 4572. You can also talk to us by clicking the button below.


    Camden Medical

    1 Orchard Boulevard, #09-06

    Singapore 248649

    Mount Alvernia Hospital

    820 Thomson Road

    Medical Centre D #05-60

    Singapore 574623

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    Treatment Process With Our Ankle Injury Doctor

    Dr James Tan, our ankle specialist at Ray of Health, deals with various orthopaedic conditions of the body. He advises his patients to consult him in case of any pain or injury at the earliest so that the condition can be assessed and diagnosed properly.

    1. Registration: Firstly, register with Dr James' team and book an appointment here.
    2. First appointment: At the first appointment, Dr James Tan will carry out a thorough physical exam for your ankle sprain, and evaluate your medical history.
    3. Diagnosis: Typically, additional diagnostic tests are required to assess the causes of the problems accurately. This usually comes in the form of MRI or X-ray scans.
    4. Personalised Treatment Plan: Dr James will then create a personalised treatment plan based on your specific condition and needs, which could include undergoing surgery, and recommend the necessary treatment modalities to you.
    5. Follow-up sessions: Dr James will schedule additional follow-up sessions to monitor the recovery process until you fully recover.

    Disclaimer: Treatment plans may differ for different patients. Please contact Dr James for more information.

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    What Are the Types of Ankle Sprain?

    An ankle sprain can manifest with a varied level of severity. Your orthopaedic specialist in Singapore will classify your sprain into one of the following three grades of ankle sprain:

    • Grade 1 sprains: When the ligaments in your ankle are strained but not torn. In some circumstances, the swelling is modest, and there is no discernible instability.
    • Grade 2 sprains: If your ankle ligament is partially torn, you will feel slight instability and may find it difficult to walk.
    • Grade 3 sprains: This kind of sprain is typically caused by a severe tear that may cause you to experience intense pain, bruising, and swelling.

    Treatment Options For Ankle Sprain

    Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, the treatment options will differ. The main goal of all the sprain ankle treatment options is to relieve pain, promote healing of the ligament, and restore the function of the ankle. Treatment options can range from at-home care to physical therapy to surgery.

    Home Care

    An effective home remedy for an ankle sprain is to follow the R.I.C.E protocol. Rest your ankle, apply ice, put a compression bandage on the ankle, and elevate the ankle above the heart level while lying down to reduce swelling.


    To manage the pain of a sprained ankle, you may take over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

    Physical Therapy

    Once the initial pain and swelling of the injured ankle has subsided, your doctor may recommend a regimen of exercises and stretches to help restore the function and range of motion of the ankle and to improve its strength and flexibility. Ankle sprain physical therapy can also include balance and stability training and is an important part of sprain ankle recovery.

    Braces And Walking Aids

    Depending on the severity of the injury, your doctor may recommend that you wear an ankle brace, ankle guard for sprain, or a splint to stabilise the ankle. If you have difficulty walking, the doctor may recommend walking with crutches till the pain subsides. In addition, the orthopaedic specialist may recommend a cast or a walking boot in case of a severe sprain to immobilise the ankle as it heals.


    Surgery is only recommended for a sprained ankle in rare cases. If the ankle does not respond to other treatment options or physical therapy even after a long time of treatment, or if it becomes unstable or worsens, then surgery may be considered. Surgery on the ankle is performed by a qualified surgeon to repair a ligament or reconstruct it by using tissue from a nearby ligament or tendon.

    How Long Does Ankle Sprain Take to Heal?

    The ankle sprain recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. Usually, it can take around three to four weeks for a mild ankle sprain to heal whereas a moderate injury can take four to six weeks. For severe cases, it can take three to six months to heal completely.

    During surgery, the surgeon might use metal plates and screws to stabilise your ankle. This may take about six weeks for initial healing, during which you need to put your foot on rest. After that, the tendons and ligaments can take more time, around three to six months, to heal. Always follow your surgeon's advice for effective recovery.

    Recognising When Ankle Sprains Need Urgent Care

    ankle sprain diagram

    Ankle Sprain- Image Credit: Mayo Clinic

    If you encounter serious pain and swelling in the ankle, it may point to an emergency and you should see your doctor immediately. Moreover, if you encounter any of the below-mentioned signs, then consult Dr. James Tan for a thorough evaluation:

    • Quick swelling in the affected area
    • Easily noticeable change in the shape of the ankle
    • A warm sensation in the affected region
    • An inability to move the foot

    Ankle Sprain Exercises

    If you're looking for workouts to reduce ankle pain, watch the videos below. These ankle exercises after a sprain can help facilitate recovery and improve strength and flexibility. Check out our other exercises for back pain.

    Frequently-Asked Questions About Ankle Sprain in Singapore

    If you sprain your ankle, you should immediately stop any activity and start to give your ankle rest to avoid further injury. Take over-the-counter pain relievers, apply ice on the affected area, and use a compression bandage or brace on the ankle. If the pain or swelling is severe, or if you cannot put weight on the injured ankle, seek medical attention to ensure it's not a more serious injury.


    The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider or specialist doctor regarding any medical condition that you might be facing and act on the doctor’s recommendations.



    1. Chung-Wei Christine Lin, Claire E Hiller, and Rob A de Bie, "", 2010,
    2. "Ankle Sprain", UConn Musculoskeletal Institute,
    3. "Ankle sprains: Learn More – What are the treatment options for ankle sprains?", National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2022,

    About The Author

    dr james tan

    Dr James Tan Chung Hui

    Dr James Tan is a skilled orthopaedic surgeon at Quantum Orthopaedics located at Camden Medical and Mount Alvernia Hospital, known for providing specialised medical services. Dr Tan has more than 10 years of experience in sports surgery and exercise medicine in Singapore. Apart from partnering with the industry to introduce various treatment techniques, Dr Tan has treated athletes from the Singapore National Teams and professional footballers from the Singapore Premier League and the Young Lions.

    Dr Tan specialises in treating sports injuries of the knee, shoulder and elbow joints, as well as cartilage and meniscus surgery. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.

    Medical Education and Affiliations
    MBBS - National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Medicine
    Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS)
    MMed - Master of Medicine in Orthopaedic Surgery (NUS)
    Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh)
    Adjunct Assistant Professor | NUS, LKC
    Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports and Exercise Medicine
    Head of Department | Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Centre
    Principal Investigator of Tissue Engineering
    National Medical Research Council grants
    Collaboration with Scientists at NTU, TUM, A*Star, Osteopore & Trendlines Medical Singapore

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