You are reading “Ankle, distortion heals by itself “, true or false?


“Ankle, distortion heals by itself “, true or false?

January 1, 2018

Considered by many to be a “trivial” accident because it is common among both children and adults, some believe that ankle distortion heals itself. True or false? We asked Dr. Lara Castagnetti, osteopath and specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Humanitas.


“False. Although this is a very frequent trauma, which can happen every day of the year even during daily activities, waiting without treatment for the pain to pass before walking on the traumatized ankle can have serious consequences in the long term. It is certainly true that ankle distortion heals in a time ranging from two weeks, in less serious cases, to three to six months in more severe cases; however, a first distortion increases the risk of a later one. Therefore, it is important to treat distortion properly in the first two weeks with:


  • Ice and dressing, carried out by experienced staff to reduce swelling;


  • Medically prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation;


  • Abstention from physical activities;


  • Avoid walking by loading the weight on the ankle;


  • Physical therapies


Once the pain and swelling have been resolved or relieved, after the first two weeks, it is useful to start the real rehabilitation to strengthen the ankle and improve its proprioceptive ability to balance, in order to prevent further distortions.


In fact, even though the ligaments involved in trauma usually heal, they may be less strong than before, which is one of the causes of new distortions. Therefore, underestimating healing times and therapies can have long-term debilitating consequences with injuries to tendons and ankle cartilage, resulting in increased risk of joint arthrosis, persistent pain and walking difficulties, as well as ankle instability. Only in these rare cases the solution is surgical.

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