Sloooooow Healing

For those of you following The Ankle Saga, an update. Now that I can walk and even kinda jog on it (and, as we saw in Vancouver, skate on it, given enough tape), it's almost easy to forget it hasn't quite healed yet. Until I push off it to scootch back in my office chair, that is, or pivot on it while trying to wrangle the stroller out the door of the local bank branch, or try to kneel to get a photograph of the Beaner in the tub, or sit cross-legged while fixing bugs. At that point I get an ALL CAPS announcement from my ankle that HEY, I'M STILL DAMAGED HERE! GIVE A JOINT A BREAK!

Unfortunately on Friday I did the office-chair scootch, on Saturday I attempted both a kneel and a cross-legged sit, and this morning I did the stoller-out-the-door pivot. As a consequence, my ankle is now BURNING. It's at least a 4 on the pain scale, and it'd probably be a 5 if I didn't have an ice pack wrapped around it right now. It seems to be VERY UNHAPPY with me and my routine, ankle-abusing ways.

Al said he sprained his ankle like this once, and although he got over the worst of the injury fairly quickly, he remembers feeling this constant ache-that-sometimes-escalated-to-pain for months... and then, like a canker sore that turns the healing corner and disappears without a trace, it just wasn't there anymore. He couldn't say when it went away, exactly; it just occurred to him one day that he hadn't felt any ankle pain in a while.

I suspect the story will be much the same for me. There will be lots of walking and normal activity and probably even hockey (well, for sure in September and possibly earlier), but there will also be regular re-tweaks and Advil and icing. And then, if I'm lucky, one day my ankle will just be normal again. I can't wait.

Posted by Lori in | June 10, 2007·11:23 AM


Yes, your ankle appears to be telling you that something is wrong...when you consider that a "sprained" ankle is really a "torn ligament", you may take the injury more seriously. I torn my MCL in my knee, which is really "just" a sprained knee. But I went to an orthopedist, just the same, and am healing with the help of an adjustable knee brace. It is generally not very painful, with only an occasional slip. I have not even started PT yet, as my doc thinks it should heal first. He says I should be skating in about 6 weeks, but I'm betting it will take longer.

I guess my point is to not take your injury lightly and just accept the pain. More than likely you should not be having so much pain on a regular basis. Between a proper ankle-brace and an adequate dose of NSAIDs, your ankle should be comfortable enough to start healing. If not, then it may be more serious than you think.

And for goodness sakes, stay off the ice!

Posted by: Karen Harker at June 11, 2007 5:32 PM

Really sorry to hear about this. I ripped up my shoulder playing roller hockey some years ago (much too heavy to be landing on my shoulder - very dramatic goal, though), which was an added pain because I was waiting tables at a country club at the time.
It seems like injuries add insult to themselves by making small, but significant, pains impossible to live one's life. Motherhood wasn't meant for sprained anything!

Posted by: Luke at June 12, 2007 6:58 AM

dammit lori, stop rushing that ankle and let her heal! the more you push it by walking around without an ace/brace, jogging!?!!?!!, and skating, the longer it's going to take to heal. Also, if you mess it up enough and enough scar tissue that tears, you could end up needing surgery.

we are going to need you come september!

PS: i booked my flight to denver! let's have drinks. :)

Posted by: ghetto at June 13, 2007 4:22 PM

Hi, I had a similar injury to my ankle this winter. Playing hockey. Sprained my ankle (grade 2) and my knee (grade 1 sprain) on the same collision. Took a huge chunk of the ice out as my knee and ankle collapsed under my body.

I began simple light rehab exercises early, and then moved to thera-band exercises, followed by the balance and wobble board, and strengthening exercises.

Back on the ice in about 7 weeks; the ankle was probably at 80% - so probably pre-mature to get back on the ice.

It's been about 4 months, and the ankle is at 90+ %. not sure if it will ever be at 100%, with all of the scar tissue left. (I had another injury grade 3 sprain + fracture - same ankle 4 years ago)

My advice. Keep doing rehab exercises. Rest as best you can, ice + NSAID (topical gels or pill) to manage swelling. Listen to your body, I choose to continue to get back on the ice, but I stopped other activities, so that I could play and wore an ankle brace in the office etc. I had a trainer tape my ankle before hockey; I'll probably be tapping indefinitely - but small price to pay for some prevention.

Good luck, and please contact with questions.

Posted by: Maurice Rosales at June 16, 2007 8:19 PM