Twisted Ankle First Aid Care

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:

Learn how to take care of a twisted ankle that is keeping your from running and exercising!



 What Is A Twisted Ankle?

It can occur when your foot turns inward and the ligaments and muscles on the outside of your foot are injured.

  • Most common ankle injury.
  • Can take days to months to heal depending on severity.
  • Can cause ankle instability during standing & athletics.
  • Can be treated much faster with immediate first aid treatment.


Symptoms Of A Twisted Ankle:

Initially inflammation will occur in the area. This will lead to vessels leaking fluid & white blood cells into the area. The ankle will swell in about 20-30 minutes.

  • Ankle Pain, mostly on the outside.
  • Swelling, warmth & redness.
  • Increase in fluid.
  • Decrease in joint mobility.


Twisted Ankle First Aid Care:


1) Grade 1 Sprain: Stretching of the ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A grade 1 sprain is just stretching of your ligaments. A podiatrist visit is usually not needed.

This is a very mild sprain that should only take 3-5 days or up to 2-3 weeks to get better.

  • The difference in time has to do with how you treat the twisted ankle.
  • If there is initial first aid within minutes to hours, the healing time can greatly decrease.


Recovery Time: 3 days – 2 weeks!

  • Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation!


Grade 1 Treatment:

A) Ice The Ankle:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
It does not have to be an ice bath, but put ice on it as soon as possible.
  • This is most beneficial directly after the injury.
  • Icing 2-3x per day for about 15-20 minutes will decrease the flow of inflammatory cells into the muscle.
  • Afterwards the arteries will vasodilate further flushing out inflammatory cells from the region.
  • Ice has deeper penetrating power than heat.
  • Do not use heat immediately after the injury!



  • If possible elevate your leg while watching TV.
  • This will prevent as many inflammatory cells from reaching your ankle.
  • It will also drastically decrease the swelling.



Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Compression allows better blood flow by preventing as much swelling. Compress the site & ice over top the bandage!
  • It will increase the back flow of venous blood and help flush out inflammatory cells.
  • Use an ACE bandage or any other type of compression wrap.
  • It should not be so tight that it cuts off blood flow!
  • Use ice over top.


D)Topical anti-inflammatories or analgesics:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Topical anti-inflammatory gels work very well in helping to decrease inflammation!
  • There are anti-inflammatory creams that can be prescribed by your podiatrist that can decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
  • Capsaicin & Voltaren gel works great.
  • Biofreeze or anything with menthol in it.


E)Oral NSAIDs:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Anti-inflammatory medication can really jump start the healing process. Use it for a 1-2 weeks until the inflammation decreases & your body can start healing.
  • These include Ibuprofen & Aspirin.
  • This can be over the counter or prescription.
  • Do not take these unless instructed to do so by your physician or podiatrist.
  • Take a 1-2 week course to attempt to decrease the inflammation and speed up your healing time.
  • Take 2-3x doses per day as instructed, this builds up anti-inflammatory enzyme levels in your system.
  • Taking just 1-2 pills and then stopping does nothing for inflammation!




2) Grade 2 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
In a Grade 2 Sprain, there is usually swelling & pain visible. This is a partial rupture of the ligaments & may need longer treatment.

This is when one or more of the lateral ankle ligaments have been damaged. This will take a minimum of 2-4 weeks to heal & could take even longer.

  • This means that either the anterior talofibular ligament or the calcaneofibular ligament are partially torn.
  • If these types of sprains are not treated properly, they may lead to chronic ankle instability.
  • Athletes with chronic ankle instability will likely need braces & physical therapy in the future.
  • It is even possible to start developing ankle arthritis & ankle spurs within a decade or so chronic ankle instability.

Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks Minimum!

  • Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation initially.
  • Time off until it heals is usually necessary.
  • Accommodation braces may be necessary early on until healing.


Grade 2 Treatment:


A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 Treatments.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation & Anti-Inflammation.


B) Brace The Ankle:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A brace may be needed for the ankle long term if there is instability after 2-3 weeks. It will protect your ankle against re-injury.
  • There are many great braces available.
  • This will protect your ankle as it is healing the final few weeks.


C) Physical Therapy:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
Physical therapy will get your foot stability back on track. Otherwise you may suffer from years of chronic instability.
  • If your ankle is still sore after 2-3 months, this may be necessary.
  • This will help increase your proprioception & muscle strength.


D) Consider seeing a podiatrist:

X-rays & MRIs may be necessary in case this is a more dramatic injury.



3) Grade 3 Sprain: Partially Torn Ligaments.

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
A grade 3 sprain is very severe & will likely need a podiatrist visit. There is a high incident of cartilage injury & ruptured ligaments.

This is a complete tear of the ankle ligaments with possible dislocation of the ankle.

  • This type of ankle injury will take many months to heal.
  • It is likely to have an osteochondral defect: this means cartilage damage.
  • Other foot and ankle tendons or ligaments may also be damaged.
  • It may be necessary to check for compartment syndrome.

Recovery Time: 2-3 Months+ !

  • This type of ankle sprain will require a visit to your podiatrist for evaluation.
  • Depending on the situation or the damage, you may need surgery to avoid future damage.


A) Perform All Of The Stage 1 & 2 Treatments.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, Anti-Inflammation, Bracing & Physicial Therapy.


B) See A Podiatrist:

Twisted Ankle First Aid Care
An MRI may be necessary to detect bone contusion, ligament ruptures or even cartilage damage.

With how severe this injury is. MRI & X-rays will definitely be needed.



About the author

The Modern Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist Doctor):Today's podiatrist is required to undergo rigorous medical training that licenses them as physicians with equivalent legal standing to the MD and DO degree (These are physician recognized licenses most common only in the USA). Although admittedly the training does differ between the three degrees. The differences are listed below.In Michigan Podiatrists are trained and authorized to perform surgery in the foot and ankle up to the tibial tubercle below the knee.All our podiatrists and foot doctors have undergone rigorous training including a 4 undergraduate college degree, writing the medical school entrance exam (MCAT), followed by a 4 year medical school degree (DPM - Doctor of Podiatric Medicine),Once podiatrists in the USA complete the rigorous 4 year medical school courses, they are required to complete a minimum of 3 years of a surgical and non-surgical residency program. Some podiatrists and foot doctors then choose to go on to further fellowship training specializing in various forms of specialty such as diabetic surgery or reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.The training is not over yet! Each podiatrist must be judged by a governing body where they submit their surgical cases and are reviewed regularly to ensure excellent results. This is a career long evaluation with board qualifications and certifications every few years.So have faith that today's podiatrist is your best choice for your foot and ankle problems! We are able to approach you foot and ankle problems from a non-surgery perspective, but that when necessary we can provide you with the treatment that you need!All articles written by this account are considered to be for educational purposes only. It is impossible for us to truly assess your condition and the advice we give here is meant to give you a basis to then follow up with your podiatrist and foot doctor later.If you have any questions at all, or there is anything that we can help you with, please feel free to contact our office or email us. Podiatrists provide medically necessary treatment which should be covered by valid insurance plans, we are not a cosmetic or elective medical specialty.