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wfinley

Sprained Ankles?

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Anyone here busted their ankle? I took a fall this past weekend... instant swelling and made worse by a hard 6 mile slog out in rough terrain. No fracture but bad swelling and the doc says I have to return next week to check for ligament damage.

 

Of course he wouldn't give a recovery time-frame and I've never sprained anything before so I don't know what to expect.

 

How long did it take to recover? Any tips?

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I broke and sprained my ankle a few years ago. The sprain was class three and was one of the worst the orthopedic podatrist had seen. The break healed in 6 weeks, the sprain took a full year of focused therapy to restabilize and return to full activity. I did a lot of swimming and biking that year.

Edited by DPS

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Having bad ankles which turn under towards the inside, I've had dozens of sprains and broken the right one over the years. It has mainly meant I've had to stay conscious of my foot falls more than most and on the right side it has affected my running gate relative to how my foot strikes which in turn leads to some hip joint and lower back issues if I run too long at any one time.

 

But I am talking about a five decade time frame to get to that point.

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I used to find that running on lawn extensions (jogging in the city, I'd run on the lawn between sidewalk and street) with a slight variation in each foot-fall, strengthened my ankle. I would turn over an ankle every once in a while if I didn't do this, and I wouldn't have any such problem after any period (even relatively short) where I did this regularly. I can't run any more, but this might be something to try if you are a runner - once you heal to the point that you can run.

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if its bad, it takes a long time. my ankles are not so hot in that they hurt me and i oft roll them unless wearing a fullon mnteering boot or only walk on very flat surfaces.

 

i also understand that if you sprain it bad, or do so and get going too quick on it and roll it more, you can increase long-term likelihood that it will be a chronic condition (not that you'd immobile but that your risk factor is higher and there is a likelihood you may have your ankles be more sensitive to injury, indefinitely). ie: i rolled my ankles a lot when i did an 1800 mile section hike and well they aint never seem to be quite the same, 4-5 years later. this is one where you really want to do the PT.

 

the bands I've heard can be good-as can other balance exercises (standing on one foot, etc).

 

i had a high ankle sprain last year, as i slipped on ice while wearing mnteering boot and so it was very high--that has taken about 1 year and that ankle is still more prone than the other.

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Right now you're injured. Ice, arnica, and isolation are what you want. See if you can find one of those Velcro soft casts secondhand at Goodwill. You'll look silly, but wear it for a week (and well after you think you're healed.) After, move onto the rehab routine.

 

Zenith Supplies on Roosevelt used to sell Arnica Pine Salve made by Herb Technologies. It's magic for soft tissue injuries.

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Sprained and ankle relatively badly in college playing volleyball (at least a grade II). It was about 2 weeks on crutches, and probably another 4 or 6 weeks hobbling about.

 

After it was more or less healed I used an in-shoe lace up ankle brace for several years afterwords whenever I played. Damn thing was noticeably looser for years, but like JosephH careful attention to how I walked and I've managed not to roll it again. I also got good at learning to collapse over it if I started to feel it roll on a rock or something.

 

 

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Thanks for all the tips. Still waiting to find out if there is any ligament damage. Until then it's the couch, a bag of peas and bad netflix movies.

 

Here it is right after it happened. Probably shouldn't have hiked out but too late for that.

 

298139_2192094556559_1072992282_32507762_1774373786_n.jpg

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Just to add one more point of reference, I had a high left ankle sprain (syndesmosis sprain) back in 2004 in the Pickets. I got choppered out so didn’t need to hike on it at all. I told the doc I wanted as full a recovery as possible and didn't care how long I was out. He took me at my word and kept me in a cast for 10 1/2 weeks (don't tell me about bad movies!). I was 54 at the time and he may have casted me longer than he would have a younger guy, but that ankle has been solid as a rock ever since. Hasn't rolled even once, while the right ankle continues, as always, to turn every now and then. At least in my case, I’m convinced that being willing to eat the downtime up front paid big dividends down the road. I also did all the usually recommended rehab, plus spent endless hours on a wobble board, mostly while watching more bad movies. I think it helped a lot in regaining range of motion and proprioception.

 

In any case, best of luck!

 

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i've had a couple minor sprains, r.i.c.e is important but somtimes annoying and hard to stick to, but it works. try hanging out by a river or the sea and dunk your ankle until you can't take the cold, then warm it and repeat. when you start to see some improvment, draw invisible abc's with your big toe, again its annoying but it helps. don't stay in a cast too long if you don't need to!

 

heal fast and well!

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