Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I'm recovering from an ankle sprain. My physical therapist says I'm getting better because the swelling has gone down. But I still have a lot of pain in my ankle, and I can't do the things I usually do. What's going on? Am I getting better or not?

Physical therapists often use ankle swelling as a way to gauge treatment results after a sprain. If the swelling goes down, a therapist may assume the ankle is improving.

A recent study showed that swelling isn't necessarily a good measure of improvement, however. Among 29 patients with ankle sprains, swelling (as measured by a "figure-of-eight" around the ankle) wasn't related to the amount of pain patients had or their ability to do daily activities.

Swelling is just one measure of recovery. Talk with your therapist about the problems you have with your ankle from day to day. When it comes to gauging your recovery, your experiences are more important than what a measuring tape can tell you.


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