Physical Therapist Questions Ankle Injuries and Disorders

How long does it take for an ankle ligament tear to heal?

I had an ankle ligament tear six months ago, which was treated appropriately as suggested by the doctor. However, the tear has still not healed completely. Please advice what I can do to fasten the healing process and how long should it ideally take for the tear to heal?

5 Answers

The ligament takes around eight months to heal. The ligament is not the limiting factor to moving though. The limiting factor is the amount that the tendons stabilize the ankle. This is why people can resume almost any level of activity after a few days for a "low ankle sprain".

If there are still problems six months ago, this guarantees that the ankle muscles do not have the coordination to hold the ankle stable. With the problem lasting this long, there could also be additional damage to other areas. If there are additional painful areas, I would highly suggest getting it assessed by a physician or doctor of PT if you are in an area with direct access to PT treatments.

Your healing depends on the severity of the injury. Usually, the ankle takes a while due to its weight bearing nature. Have you been doing physical therapy also? PT can help heal faster. Unless an evaluation is done, it’s hard to answer the question.



Typical ankle injuries will heal in 4-6 weeks. It is not unusual for the ankle to be painful and swollen for longer periods, but physical therapy should help to address the injury and functional deficits. See a physical therapist that is trained in the McKenzie method of diagnosis and treatment (MDT).
Sometimes it takes a lot more time. It depends on which stage, sometimes surgery will be recommended. Please see an orthopedic.
There are many factors to consider and I cannot give a precise answer without knowing more details. Healing time can depend on the severity of the tear, your age, occupation, general health, compliance with activity restrictions, etc. It can range from 1 week to 1 year. If there's a graft involved, possibly 2 years.

There are no magic tricks to hasten the process. All you can do is be sure you're very compliant with your doctor's orders and your physical therapy. Find a PT that uses class IV Laser and vibration therapy. And if you smoke...stop.