What is the prognosis of ankle sprains?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Answer

The prognosis for isolated and adequately treated ankle sprains is excellent. The prognosis for a patient with ankle sprains and other traumatic injuries is related to the prognosis for the other injuries.

In a systematic literature review, 36-85% of patients with acute ankle sprains reported full recovery at 2 weeks to 36 months, independent of the initial grade of sprain, [28] with most recovery occurring within the first 6 months. [29] After 12 months, the risk of recurrent ankle sprain returns to preinjury levels. [30] However, 3-34% of patients reported re-sprains at 2 weeks to 96 months after the initial injury. Furthermore, after 3 years, some patients still had residual pain and instability. One risk factor for residual symptoms seems to be participation in competitive sports. [28]


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