a reply to: MRuss
I broke and sprained an ankle 15-ish years ago. It wasn't nearly as bad as the ankle sprain from Summer of 2014. Short story: I fell into a 4-foot
hole with jagged rocks at the bottom. My ankle folded toward the outside of my leg (worse way to sprain than toward the inside.) The ER doc and
orthopedic doctor both said they had never seen a sprain that bad which didn't include multiple fractures. It was DIS-GUS-TING (or awesome, depending
on your level of warpedness) looking.
Here's what I was told by a really top-notch Ortho doctor (one of the few doctors who I actually trust) and what I did:
Anti-Inflammatories (Advil) for 3 days at most
- yes, they reduce inflammation, but they also slow healing.
(R)ICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation -
(R) I put the 'R' in parentheses, because I really didn't follow that one. It was summer, and my son had just turned 2 years old. I wasn't about to
sit the summer away. Maybe I just have Mutant (Wolverine) healing factor, but I feel as though using it (with support) is how I healed extraordinarily
fast - but do what's comfortable for you. Don't push through excruciating pain though, as you might cause further damage. "Listen" to your body.
I was supposed to use crutches for 6 weeks. I felt like I was probably going to wind up in a body cast trying to use crutches, so I ditched them
after 2 days and used a cane instead. I highly recommend using a cane, as it works, it's easy, and it's kind of awesome to walk with a cane. It was
actually pretty funny...one day, simultaneously, my next-door neighbor (who is 80+) was walking in with her cane after getting her mail, I was walking
in from the garage with my cane, and the neighbor's daughter (probably 40-ish years old) across the street was just arriving to visit her parents -
walking with a broken ankle and a cane! I told my next-door neighbor she was starting a trend.
I - Ice the living hell out of it. Don't try holding an ice pack on it, or duct-taping an ice-bag around your ankle. It'll just piss you off as it
keeps falling. Get a big enough bucket (I used the plastic battery box for my sump pump back-up battery, as it was plenty long enough and deep
enough), fill it with ice water - not a little ice, a LOT of ice. The cold is brutal for the first several minutes. If it's warm outside, sit out in
the sun. I was lucky enough to spend my 2 weeks of icing out in 90+ degree heat. It actually felt nice lol. Do this OFTEN, several
C - Compression - if you're not going for an X-Ray / MRI (which, if you're walking on it, albeit with pain, I'd say it's most likely a sprain and not
a break) - at least get yourself a good air-cast/walking boot (there's a huge selection on Amazon, and of course, you can have it delivered to your
door rather than hobbling out to the store to maybe find one.) - The air cast will give you compression, the walking boot will provide support for,
E - Elevation - when you're sitting/laying down, keep your ankle high - above your heart is best, but any elevation is better than none. When you're
sitting, at least have your leg parallel to the ground. Use an ottoman or coffee table, or better yet, with a pillow or two on top of it. It's better
for the circulation than dangling down by the floor.
I did find that starting to walk in the morning was horrible, after not using it for all those hours. Once I got going, it wasn't so bad. Once
you've healed to the degree that you can do strengthening/stretching exercises, do them. Religiously. And do them for longer than you feel you need
to. I felt like I was at 90% in 4 weeks. 95% probably took 4 months. I didn't feel I was at 100% for a full year.