Sports Injury Healing Times

Around 8.6 million injuries related to sports and recreation occur every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sports Injury

Men (61.3 percent) and persons aged five to 24 (64.9 percent) account for more than half of the population.

Despite the fact that the majority of sports injuries are minor strains or sprains, a bone fracture or other serious injury accounts for 20% of all injuries.

Sports injuries require time to heal, depending on the severity of the skin, joint, tendon, muscle, or bone damage and the location of the injury. Bone fractures take longer to heal than sprains or strains, and tendons or muscles that have completely ruptured can take months to recover fully.

Athletes, on the other hand, tend to heal faster because they are in better physical shape and are more willing to devote time to rehabilitation. Furthermore, higher cardiovascular health results in a stronger blood flow, which speeds up wound healing. The most common mistake that people make that will set them back is not giving themselves enough time to recover.

Healing Times on the Average

Here’s what to expect after recuperating from the following sports injuries if you’re in good physical shape and don’t have any co-occurring illnesses or impairments:

Bone Fracture

Football and other contact sports have the greatest rate of bone fractures in sports. The majority of them affect the lower extremities, although they can also affect the arms, ribs, neck, and shoulder blades.

  • Compound fractures, which occur when a bone is shattered in multiple locations, may necessitate surgery to fix the bone and up to eight months to heal.

  • The shoulder and upper arm must be immobilized for five to ten weeks to fully heal a fractured clavicle (collarbone).

  • Fingers and toes that have been fractured usually heal in three to five weeks.

  • Painkillers and breathing exercises are usually prescribed as part of the treatment plan for fractured ribs, which take about six weeks to heal.

  • Neck fractures can affect any of the seven neck vertebrae and can take up to six weeks to heal, depending on whether you use a neck brace or a halo device to keep your head stable.

  • Simple fractures can take anywhere from six weeks to a year to heal, depending on the person’s age and condition, as well as the type and location of the break.

Sprains & Strains

A sprain occurs when ligaments are stretched or torn (the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones together at a joint). A strain occurs when muscles or tendons are overstretched or torn.

  • Acute neck strains, such as whiplash following a tackle, can take anywhere from a few weeks to six weeks to heal completely.

  • Calf strains classed as grade 1 (moderate) can heal in two weeks, whereas strains classified as grade 3 (severe) can take three months or longer to cure.

  • If the ankle sprain is not severe, it can usually heal in five days. It can take three to six weeks for more severe sprains involving torn or ruptured tendons to recover.

Other Injuries

  • The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is generally torn and requires months of recovery and therapy.

  • Full recovery might take anywhere from six to twelve months, depending on a variety of circumstances (including the type of activity you are returning to). There is no set schedule for rehabilitation; it is mainly dependent on the patient.

  • When the Achilles tendon is entirely or partially torn, a rupture occurs. After hearing the dreadful “pop” of the initial rupture, you’ll almost certainly need surgery and a four- to the six-month rehabilitation period. It’s a severe injury.

  • Depending on the depth and location of the injury, cuts and lacerations might take anywhere from a week to a month to heal. If you need stitches to close a serious cut, you’ll need a longer time to heal. Most stitches can be removed in two to three weeks if there is no concomitant harm.

  • A hit to the skin causes blood vessels to burst, resulting in mild contusions (bruises). A contusion usually takes five to seven days to heal.

  • Shoulder separations normally require two weeks of rest and recuperation before you can resume your normal activities.

If you are in the Asheville, NC area and are in need of a physical therapist, we’d love to CONNECT with you!

Call 1on1 Physical Therapy TODAY! (828) 785-8388

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Physical Therapy vs Occupational Therapy

Skip the Doctor’s Referral: Easier Access to Physical Therapy for Asheville Residents

Skip the Doctor’s Referral: Easier Access to Physical Therapy for Asheville Residents

The new 2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule eliminates the need for prior authorization for certain services, including physical therapy. For residents of Asheville, NC, this means quicker, more affordable access to physical therapy without needing a doctor’s referral. This change not only saves time and money but also helps in managing pain, recovering from accidents, avoiding unnecessary surgeries, and preventing future injuries.

read more
When Should You Start Physical Therapy?

When Should You Start Physical Therapy?

Aches and pains, as well as accidents and illnesses, are all part of life. You may know that something doesn't feel right, but you are still unsure when should you start physical therapy? It's not always an easy thing to determine whether a hurting back or a small...

read more