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Ankle Sprain Recovery

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Ankle Sprain Recovery

Postby dakotaconcrete » Tue May 04, 2010 3:05 am

Hoping someone who has had a few sprains could help me out.

I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago--this was my first time so I'm not sure how to treat it--and I'm trying to get it back into mountaineering shape.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm wondering if it would be a good or bad thing for my recovery to use an ankle support for protection...or would this hurt the recovery by prolonging the recovery process?
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue May 04, 2010 3:16 am

I has my first sprain -- grade 2+ -- last fall. I took at least a month before I was willing to do modest hikes (well, off-trail), and I still get occasional twinges. An orthopedist told me I would swear that I had reinjured myself for months after, and he was right.


I did the RICE bit, and since I have no scientific control, have to trust (the experts) that it worked.

I started doing some exercise as soon as I could, and probably did more damage initially (wobble board 2 days after sprain).

The first few hikes, I wore stiff mountaineering boots for support; but I really felt little different when I alternated between the stiff boots and my 5.10 camp fours. Running was out of the question for at least 2 months, and still hurts.

What grade is the sprain?
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Postby dakotaconcrete » Tue May 04, 2010 3:23 am

Unofficially, I believe it was a grade 2....thats my opinion though, not a doctors.
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Postby Dave Dinnell » Tue May 04, 2010 3:29 am

I turned my ankle 3 weeks ago as well. Strained the tib/fig ligaments to the ankle and a side tendon just above the ankle bone. It is still slightly swollen (trouble getting a climbing shoe on) and range of motion is not all there.

My GP is also a sports doc and just said let the pain guide me. I massage it, soak in icey water, and work on range of motion (write the ABCs with my foot.) If something hurts, I stop. I am hiking and biking limited amounts and went for a easy 2 mile run this morning. Good luck and listen to your body.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue May 04, 2010 3:49 am

I also had a high ankle sprain at the same time, so maybe that is worse. Most people have just a sprain on the foot ligaments and tendons.
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Postby edl » Tue May 04, 2010 4:15 am

Dave Dinnell wrote:My GP is also a sports doc and just said let the pain guide me. I massage it, soak in icey water, and work on range of motion (write the ABCs with my foot.) If something hurts, I stop.


Based on where you are now, that pretty much covers it. Next time, get one of those air casts. Those really help in the first 1-3 weeks. But it sounds like you're past that stage.
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Postby jniehof » Tue May 04, 2010 3:30 pm

I'm in the late stages of recovery from a grade 3 last August (I probably completely destroyed some ligaments). The guideline I had was to stay on crutches until I could walk without limping, and keep the aircast on for some time after that, then only wear the aircast for high impact activity. I wasn't running without splinting until January, 5-6 months after the injury. Bad sprains take longer to heal than fractures and heal weak.

If your insurance and/or pocketbook covers it, there is NOTHING like PT. Had I gotten in sooner, I probably would have healed faster. The rest of this is stuff your PT or sports doctor would tell you, except they'll be able to tune it to you. What I tell you will be tuned to me :)

After the first couple of days, your priorities are (in order) range of motion, stabilizer strength, and weight bearing. Because of my specific injury, I found great improvement when I started wearing night splints to keep the back of my ankle from healing short. I still wear them. When I wake up in the morning, I spend a little while wiggling the foot around to limber up, then hop on the wobble board and do 20 circuits in each direction. That loosens things up for the day.

I used a bicycle inner tube for the ROM/light strengthening work. Loop it under the ball of your foot, hold on, press down and release slowly. 3x30. Then loop over the top of the foot to lift up, and a twist left/twist right. I put a few weight plates on the floor, stuck the bar into them, and girth hitched the tube around the bar to hold it at the correct angle. Then work up to balancing on the injured foot...then balancing with your eyes closed. Stand on a towel to make it harder. Finally you can work up to doing standing lunges, pressing off the injured foot. Running comes later, and go very easy to start with--I was stuck at week 3 of Couch to 5K for about two months. Bicycling is probably the best way to get your cardio. Lots of other exercises on the web.

Ice is good post-exercise. At other times, warm water baths may help to enhance circulation and healing.

Take it very very easy, "but take it," and good luck. Do not trivialize a sprain: it has the potential to be problematic for the rest of your life.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue May 04, 2010 3:49 pm

As you've probably read, you must be careful to avoid adhesions, or at least you must break them up before they settle in thickly. As the PP hinted, PT-sanctioned exercise is often designed to keep the ligaments from "healing" in bizarre ways.
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Postby dakotaconcrete » Tue May 04, 2010 4:18 pm

And that is my main concern. It seems that these injuries have the ability 'to stick with you' for a long time after the fact. My goal is to at least mitigate these potential chronic ailments.

Thanks for the testimony and tips. :D
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Postby dakotaconcrete » Wed May 05, 2010 1:39 am

DMT,

Barefoot! Sounds interesting but painful...you gotta have some tough feet!
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Postby silversummit » Wed May 05, 2010 2:54 am

---bad high ankle sprain on left ankle (degree unknown)
---badly 'rolled' right ankle with broken right 5th metatarsal
---broken right ankle in 2 places


Of the three injuries above it was the high ankle sprain that took the longest to heal and still aches more than three years later! I wore braces and did exercises and the ortho says this kind of injury is worse than a break.

Both my ankles are extremely weak and prone to "roll-over" as I call it but it will take a personal trainer to get them up to speed according to the orthos. No way! I'll just be more careful and choose good hiking boots. (I think I outlived my ankle warranty!)

And DMT - I have a friend whose son runs track out in a CA college and his coach wants him to run in those "foot-shaped" running shoes. Being a right-coaster he just can't quite do it!
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Postby Alamkuh » Fri May 07, 2010 11:08 am

you need tablet Calcum , or not good need Want to doctors...
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