Is it normal for an ankle to swell and look bruised after a year of an ankle sprain?

Q. I sprained my ankle a year ago, but my ankle is suddenly swollen and bruised again. Why?

Answered by
Sreenivasa Rao
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 15, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jul 03, 2023

Hi doctor,

I am having some concerning issues with my ankle right now. I sprained my ankle a year ago, and I did not let it heal properly and have had some minor pain and popping in that ankle. I can sometimes even feel my tendons rub up against my bone. I did not care until the pain got worse, and now suddenly it is swollen and bruising again, but I have no idea why this is happening. I have no idea of the severity of my sprained ankle. I got a scan, and then I was told not to walk on it for a while (I do not remember how long), but I walked on it anyway.



Welcome to

I read your concern.

In my opinion, you might have some imbalances due to improper healing of the ankle leading to the loading of other structures around the ankle. You could have shared the scan report to give us more insight into your injury. As it is difficult to conclude what actually could have been injured based on the description given by you. Since you are in acute pain with swelling, as of now, I recommend you do:

  • Lots of icing for your ankle frequently.
  • Do gentle stretching within limits.
  • Do ankle movements gently up and down with the ankle elevated with a pillow under the foot.
  • Can wear a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and enhance the healing.

Once the acute phase passes on, I recommend you start rehabilitating your ankle with exercises based on the injured structure.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Kindly revert to me if you have any further queries.

We wish you a speedy recovery.

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