Mobility Aids

Get Crutches for a Sprained Ankle and Recover Faster!

Written by Claire Bonneau
Last Updated :
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A sprained ankle can be quite painful, especially if you try to put weight on it after the injury, especially if it’s a severe ankle sprain.

 But do you get crutches for a sprained ankle, even if it’s a minor sprain?

In most cases, a doctor will advise you to keep weight off your ankle for 48-72 hours after your injury to reduce pressure and improve healing, and you’ll be given crutches.

It’s important to know more about the different grades of an ankle injury, whether you need crutches in the first place, and if you can cause more harm than good by avoiding walking aids.

Key Takeaways:

  • An ankle sprain can vary in severity from mild to severe.
  • When sprained ankles are moderate to severe, crutches may be recommended for patients to help with mobility and reduce the risk of further damage.
  • The type of crutch that is typically used is an underarm or axillary crutch which helps distribute weight away from the sprained ankle while walking or standing.

Do You Get Crutches for a Sprained Ankle?

The answer depends on the SEVERITY of your sprained ankle. Your doctor will be able to assess the injury and advise accordingly. 

man using crutches for his ankle sprain (Do You Get Crutches for a Sprained Ankle?

Still, crutches are generally only necessary if you have a Grade 2, Grade 3, or Grade 4 sprained ankle (severe sprains).

Grade 1 sprains usually don’t require crutches as the pain should not be too severe, and you SHOULD be able to move your ankle. 

Grade 2 sprains may require crutches if the pain is too great, but depending on the location of the sprain, it may be possible to walk without them.

With that being said, it’s IMPORTANT to note that even with mild sprains, crutches can be beneficial if you need to stay off your foot for a while.

Take your ankle protection knowledge to the next level with our ‘Ankle Brace vs. Ankle Support: Quick Comparison’ video. Learn the differences and choose the right option for your needs today:

How Long Do You Need Crutches for with a Sprained Ankle?

The length of time you’ll need crutches depends on the severity of your sprained ankle. Most ankle sprains generally heal after a FEW WEEKS, and crutches may be necessary until then.

However, if you’re suffering from a Grade 2, Grade 3, or Grade 4 sprained ankle, it can take up to 10 weeks to heal completely. In this case, crutches will LIKELY be necessary for 8-10 weeks. [1] 

Your doctor or physiotherapist should be able to give you a better idea of how long your sprained ankle may take to HEAL and when it’s safe to start walking on it again.

Can You Use a Walking Boot With a Sprained Ankle?

Yes, you CAN use a walking boot for a sprained ankle. A walking boot is a brace used to immobilize the sprained ankle and reduce swelling.

It’s typically recommended if your sprained ankle doesn’t require crutches or if physical therapy is not helping to speed up recovery. 

Like crutches, walking boots should only be used temporarily until your sprained ankle heals completely.

Could Not Using Crutches Damage Your Ankle Further?

Yes, not using crutches when recommended can lead to FURTHER injury. 

This is because the sprained ankle needs time to heal, and putting weight on it before that could cause more damage.

Walking on an injured ankle can cause complete ligament tears or even lead to a broken ankle if it becomes severe enough. 

It can also lead to PROLONGED pain and swelling, which is deeply uncomfortable for you and not worth the suffering.

Pro Tip: If you are in pain or having difficulty walking, crutches might help take the pressure off your sprained ankle and speed up the healing process.

If you’re recovering from an ankle injury or need some extra support during physical activity, an ankle brace can be a great solution. Check out our video on “How to Put on an Ankle Brace” for step-by-step instructions and helpful tips:

How Do You Walk on Crutches with a Sprained Ankle?

When you’re using crutches for a sprained ankle, it’s important to use them properly, as there are right and WRONG ways to use them. 

Your doctor or physical therapist should be able to give you some tips on how to do this safely and effectively.

In general, you want to ensure your sprained ankle is off the ground while walking on crutches. You should also be careful not to put TOO MUCH weight on your arms, as this can cause strain.

Pro Tip: Ankle exercises can be helpful, even for a severe sprain, as they can help improve weight bearing for when it heals.

Steps for Using Crutches Correctly

  1. Place both crutches in your hands
  2. Put the crutches a few steps ahead of you
  3. Lift your sprained foot off the ground and swing it forward
  4. Move each hand onto the next crutch as you move forward
  5. Keep your good leg slightly bent when swinging it forwards
  6. Put your sprained foot down gently
  7. Repeat the steps until you reach your destination

Remember always to take it slow and steady, as rushing can cause further ankle injuries. 

As long as you use crutches responsibly and with CAUTION, they should help reduce pressure on your sprained ankle and improve healing.

How Not to Use Crutches

Crutches are a great way to support your sprained ankle and SPEED UP the healing process, but they have to be used correctly – even if you only have a mild sprain.

The most important thing to avoid when using crutches is putting too much weight on them, as this can STRAIN your wrists, arms, or shoulders and cause further injury.

You should also adjust the height of your crutches correctly, as crutches that are too long or short can be uncomfortable and lead to poor posture.

Finally, remember to take breaks when you need them—crutching after spraining your ankle can be tiring and exhausting. 

If you are tired, take a break and rest your sprained ankle until you’re ready to continue.

Do You Need to See a Doctor for a Sprained Ankle?

Yes, it’s important to see a doctor for sprained ankles, as they can ASSESS the severity of the injury and provide advice on how best to treat it.

Most people rest at home for a few days when they suspect a Grade 1 sprain, as this is the least severe and can easily be TREATED with a little rest and relaxation (and an ice pack). 

However, if the pain gets worse or is hard to live with, seeing a doctor is vital. If you experience EXTREME pain or swelling in your ankle, then it’s best to seek medical help immediately.

Pro Tip: Sprains can sometimes be serious injuries that require medical attention, which is why you should get an ankle sprain diagnosed.

What are the Grades for a Sprained Ankle?

Sprains are classified into THREE grades depending on their severity. [2] 

Grade 1 sprains are considered mild injuries and might be a little sore and swollen. 

Grade 2 sprains are moderate sprains that can cause a lot of PAIN and swelling and make it difficult to walk on the ankle.

Grade 3 sprains are serious injuries that involve a COMPLETE tear of the ligaments and may require crutches or other walking aids. 

Grade 4 sprains are the most severe and are indicative of a FULL ligament rupture, which can be extremely painful and is in a different medical category.

How Do You Know if You Sprained Your Ankle?

Diagnosing sprains without medical assistance can be DIFFICULT, but there are a few signs you should look out for. These include:

  1. Pain
  2. Swelling in the ankle area
  3. Difficulty walking
  4. Bruising
  5. Numb feet
  6. Stiffness or tenderness when touching the area
  7. Instability when standing on it

If you experience any of these symptoms after an injury or if you suspect you sprained your ankle, then it’s important to seek MEDICAL HELP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need Crutches for a Sprained Ankle?

Yes, crutches can be beneficial for sprained feet since they can help to reduce the amount of weight being put on them.

Do You Need a Splint or a Brace for a Sprained Ankle?

It depends on the severity of the sprained ankle. Generally, a splint or ankle brace can help to reduce pain and swelling, but crutches might be necessary if it’s a more serious injury.


You may have wondered, “Do you get crutches for a sprained ankle?” Sprained ankles can range from mild to severe, and depending on the severity of the injury, crutches may be necessary. 

If you think you sprained your ankle, it’s important to seek assistance. A doctor can advise on how best to treat it and when it’s safe to start walking again.

These are just a few of the questions you may have when it comes to sprained ankles and crutches. 

If you have any FURTHER QUESTIONS or concerns, then don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or physiotherapist.

Sprained Ankle and crutches


  1. Sprain: First aid. Mayo Clinic. Published 2022. Accessed December 27, 2022.
  2. What Is an Ankle Sprain? WebMD. Published December 28, 2016. Accessed December 27, 2022.

About Author

Claire Bonneau
Claire is a registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors in a variety of medical settings to provide high-erLATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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