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Old 04-09-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
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Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

So last week i suffered an ankle sprain playing lacrosse,i was defending someone then all of a sudden it rolled out from under me. I went to the ER that day and they took xrays and said it was an ankle sprain. They said id be able to walk in 7 days. I also saw my orthopedist and they said it might be two weeks till i can walk. My ankle is still swollen after a week, and ive got bruises covering my left side, with a small bruise on my right side, its a left ankle sprain btw. Most of the swelling is in my foot, rather my ankle. I wann know what the hellis going on. Im on crutches and have a boot covering my foot now and im tired of people thinking im a wimp for walking on crutches and wearing a boot just for a "sprain"...

 
Old 04-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

That's pretty normal. A severe sprain can take months to heal. This sounds like it's not quite that bad, but give it time. I pushed recovery from my ankle sprain too fast and wound up needing surgery.

Keep it elevated whenever you aren't moving around, and put ice on it.

When you start to recover, go easy for a while. Did the orthopedist recommend exercises or physical therapy?

It might be as long as 4 months before your ankle is quite as good as it was before.

 
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Believe it or not, but sometimes a sprain can be worse then a break. If people think your a "wimp" for the situation your in, that's their problem, not yours. You need to take care of it and let it heal.

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Ok thanks. When do you guys think I can return to running? Atleast with some pain is fine, id really like to finish off the season and not miss the rest of it.

 
Old 04-09-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Well, it really depends. I have no way of knowing just how severe your sprain is. Plus, being able to do something like lacrosse or soccer requires ankles in peak health and strength. You have to change direction rapidly, and if your ankle is still at all weak, it'll just roll again.

Running in a straight line on flat ground is easier, and might be a good practice once you are almost fully recovered. Standing on one foot will rebuild your balance. Still, it's going to take a while for you to get to that point. First you need to get the swelling down and let the joint heal to the point that you can walk well, at least! What did the orthopedist say about recovery times?

I cannot stress this enough, If it hurts don't do it.

 
Old 04-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

I sooo totally agree with jane. We don't know the extent of the sprain so you may do more damage. If it were me, I wouldn't do hardly anything till I got a Drs. OK. Don't make it any worse or you may run into more problems down the line.

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Old 04-09-2011, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Would a picture help you guys out? Its got some pretty nasty bruising and my toes look like sausages,it was worse a week ago haha.

 
Old 04-09-2011, 07:17 PM   #8
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Not really. That much swelling usually isn't a good sign, but I still wouldn't know what ligaments were damaged or how badly. The orthopedist might have wiggled the joint around when examining it? That's checking to see if anything feels loose.

 
Old 04-09-2011, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

They never said what ligaments were torn, or what grade severity was etc...Im thinking its a grade 2 maybe?

 
Old 04-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Maybe you should have it xrayed again. A talus bone fracture sometimes doesn't show up right away. Do some research on it. I was told I had a sprain and then a few weeks later it was not only a fracture but I had spontaneous neucrosis and ended up on non-weight bearing crutches because the dr was afraid the bone would break off. Once it healed, I never had a problem.

 
Old 04-09-2011, 10:24 PM   #11
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdmbucky View Post
So last week i suffered an ankle sprain playing lacrosse,i was defending someone then all of a sudden it rolled out from under me. I went to the ER that day and they took xrays and said it was an ankle sprain. They said id be able to walk in 7 days. I also saw my orthopedist and they said it might be two weeks till i can walk. My ankle is still swollen after a week, and ive got bruises covering my left side, with a small bruise on my right side, its a left ankle sprain btw. Most of the swelling is in my foot, rather my ankle. I wann know what the hellis going on. Im on crutches and have a boot covering my foot now and im tired of people thinking im a wimp for walking on crutches and wearing a boot just for a "sprain"...
JDM, I can talk with some authority on ankle sprains, I have just recovered from one. In addition I broke a rib and sprained a wrist. I fell right in the city centre, caught my toe in a crack in the sidewalk, went down, reached up to my breast pocket to protect my ipod but crushed my watch and ipod against my rib cage. The watch was kaput but the ipod was ok. A young woman a quarter of my age and less than half my weight helped me up, to my embarasment!!
Having been in the medical business I knew what to do. Went home and elevated my leg and iced my ankle and wrist. I was not feeling any respiratory trouble so that I knew my rib had not perforated anything.
So what is the skinny on ankles.
Initially elevate and very cold compresses, changed frequently. Keep elevated and have your partner put cotton wool around the foot and up to the calf and apply a firm bandage. The less swelling there is the easier it is to diagnose what is wrong. In most countries but not in America a patient would go the next day to a PT. who would evaluate and decide whether they should see their Doctor. They would be very lucky to see an orthopedic surgeon, they are far to busy to see a sprain. If the PT thought that the sprain was also a fracture or ligament rupture they would refer the patient.
Without adequite care ankle trauma can result in ankle instability and chronic pain.
There is a protocol which a doctor or PT follows to decide whether an exray should be taken ( The Ottawa rules). This examination has resulted in only a few ankles being exrayed instead of almost everyone.
There are three classifications of ankle sprains.1, 2 and 3. 3 is the bad one in which ligaments are damaged and surgery may be neccessary.
A patient should attend PT as soon as possible and have treatment using a pressure cuff with very cold water around the leg which gets rid of the swelling and blood, ie the bruised bits around the ankle. By the way, if your foot is swollen most likely your leg is not elevated long enough. The PT will afterwards use athletic tape to strap up your leg and ankle and this reduces swelling and gives great relief, more than anything else. You may have to be restrapped every few days as the swelling subsides and the tape loosens. It will be easier now to examine the ankle for excessive mobility.
Functional rehab should be followed and practiced at home. The PT will mobilize stiff joints combined with exercises. For grade 2 an air brace can be is helpful. When you are weight bearing without pain proprioceptive traing is given. My ankle is now 100% as is my wrist and rib.
By the way a boot is useless, no pressure where it needs to be.
Thinking back many I can remember seeing hundreds of sprained ankles, if you can imagine 40000 soldiers playing body contact sports every day in just one town.
The ones who were treated immediatly did well the ones that did not did much less well. After a few sessions your PT will be able to tell you about weight bearing and your outcome.
Good luck
James

 
Old 04-10-2011, 09:17 AM   #12
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Ive been elevating and icing it as much as possible when Im home. Ive kept the splint the ER has given me on, while wrapping a bag of ice ontop of my foot, just where the ankle and foot connect. The boot ive been given has an air wrap thing in it that I can pump up to give me support. So I'm guessing I should go to the orthopedist tommorow,instead of friday which is when my next appointment is. So I'll ask for some more xrays, should it be of just my ankle, or both ankle and foot? Do I just ask for physical therapy while I'm there, or do I ask ahead of time when scheduling the appointment? BTW I really appreciate all this feedback, it really means alot to me!

 
Old 04-10-2011, 09:35 AM   #13
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

As long as you are wearing the boot/splint and using crutches to get around, it should be safe to wait until Friday. Everything you are describing sounds normal for a bad sprain. Now, if it'd been a week with the pain not decreasing at all, that might be a sign of undiagnosed fracture. (When I "bumped" my knee last winter, the fact that the pain was still just as bad 1.5 weeks later was what led my orthopedist to think I might have a bone injury, which in fact I did.)

Ask for PT at the appointment. The surgeon will write a prescription and possibly recommend a particular facility, or you can go to one that is convenient for you. You'll then go there and work with a physical therapist. They'll have you do exercises there, and also give you homework. Do it all every day and ask if there is anything more you can do to heal faster.

Physical therapy might make you sweat and cause your muscles to burn, but it should NOT cause pain from your injury. Always let the therapist know if you have pain.

 
Old 04-10-2011, 12:07 PM   #14
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Im not in any pain, its just stiff and hard to move. Ive tried walking on it but I get this sort of soft feeling? Im not sure how to describe it but I can sort of put weight on it, but I cant roll off it like a normal walking motion.

 
Old 04-10-2011, 01:02 PM   #15
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Re: Ankle sprain that doesnt heal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdmbucky View Post
Im not in any pain, its just stiff and hard to move. Ive tried walking on it but I get this sort of soft feeling? Im not sure how to describe it but I can sort of put weight on it, but I cant roll off it like a normal walking motion.
So if you can walk on it at this stage you probably have a 1st degree tear.
Get a PT or an athletic therapist to strap it and walk as much as you can. With strapping and weight bearing your condition will resolve very quickly. Forget orthopedists and doctors and xrays there is enough pollution these days without more radiation. Get treatment, you dont want a chronic puffy ankle. The boot, splint is useless. Icing over the boot is of no value.
I'm not sure why PT would make your muscles burn and make you sweat with an ankle treatment. You may well get some pain from having the stiff joints mobilized later on. Im sure you have had more than a few painfull moments on the lacrosse field.
James

 
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