busted ankle update.

Posted on Jul 6, 2011 in Fitness

Within about 10 minutes of showing up at my parents’ house on Saturday, I was told by both my Dad and Mama (in separate conversations) that I needed to get my foot and ankle checked out by a doctor. I had to admit that the bruising was a little…strange, but I was hesitant to drop $100 ER co-pay and three hours of my holiday weekend just to be told that there was nothing they could do.

But my Mama really settled it when she reminded me that if it was something like a break, and it didn’t heal properly, it could cause me problems for the rest of my life. Not something I want to deal with considering I plan on leading a healthy and active lifestyle for many, many, many decades to come.

So I woke up Sunday morning, ate some biscuits and gravy and then Babyface took me to the ER. Three hours later, I popped out of the hospital with an Ace bandage, an ankle brace and instructions to “take it easy” for 4-6 weeks.

SAY WHAT? 4-6 weeks!? Now, I’ve sprained my ankle(s) before and don’t remember it being that long of a recovery. But it turns out this sprain was a particularly bad one. Ready for a gross piece of info? My sprain was so bad that I had internal bleeding in my foot. The blood pooled along my sole and the bottom of my toes. What I thought was strange bruising was actually pockets of blood under my skin. Gross to the max.

Not having a break was great news, but the 4-6 weeks was definitely a shocker. The X-ray tech explained it well. Bones have a blood supply in them. When they break, the blood can quickly travel and circulate to help repair the break. Tendons (what you injure when you sprain a body part) do not have their own blood supply and actually leech blood off of bones. So it can take almost twice as long to heal a bad sprain as it would to heal a break.

It’s only been a week since the sprain and I’m already going stir crazy. I want to walk. And even run. I can actually get around fine. My ankle holds weight well, it just doesn’t seem to want to turn or rotate. And you’d be amazed at how much you need to rotate your ankle in a day.

Right now, I’m wearing a pretty atrociously large ankle brace and the doctor said I should wear it as long as my ankle feels weak. I’m hoping I can take it off by the end of the week and really start some range of motion exercises. I’ve heard from quite a few of you that you suffer from weak ankles, too. Look forward to a few posts with ankle-strengthening moves so we can all stop having busted up legs.

So, what did I do after coming back from the ER with my new order to “take it easy”? I filled up my cup of sangria, hopped in the wagon and had my sister drive me around. Because that’s what you do when you live in Southern Indiana.

That was before we had an epic 45 minute squirt gun fight in the pool. I think the average age of the participants was somewhere around 30.  We’re classy and mature like that.


Do you have any genetically weak body parts? Do you do anything to help combat the weakness?

15 Comments

  1. For no apparent reason several years ago, I became aware that my balance was….bad. As a former dancer, this seemed so strange to me. I wasn’t dancing, stretching or getting the same strength building exercises that I was before. Now, my ankles are really, really weak. I’m afraid to jump lest they might snap in half or something. I used the Wii Fit a few weeks ago for the first time and I was sad I couldn’t do better with balance. My Wii Fit age is 50. My BMI is right on target. The reason I’m so old? I have no balance.

    • I SUCK at the balance games on Wii Fit. It never even occurred to me that it might have to do with my weak ankles. I am constantly afraid of jumping down from things, too.

      • I came on to comment about the Wii Fit too! I broke and badly sprained my ankle about a year ago. The doctors said it would take a year to get back to normal (and I still feel weakness and pain sometimes) but it really helped to get into physical therapy once I healed a bit. And my physical therapist had me doing the Wii Fit balance games as part of my workout – so you should definitely use it to strengthen.

        I probably still feel pain because right after I injured myself I spent two weeks renovating my new house – not a good idea. Make sure you rest!

  2. I have a terrible history with my knees. I’ve sprained and strained them, sometimes so badly I ppprrrooobbabblly should have gone to the hospital but never did. I remember once I couldn’t walk right for a month. Also, they tend to hyperextend which is not fun.

    • Yikes! That sounds so painful! Are there any exercises that you can do to help strengthen them?

  3. Yay for members of the weak ankle club! (I had to put a positive spin on this somehow, right?)

    When I last sprained my ankle, the doctor told me I’d have been better off if it had broken instead of just being sprained – he was totally right. It took longer for my sprain to heal than my husband’s hairline fracture that he got about 2 weeks before my injury.

    Since I’m so prone to sprains I do a lot of ankle exercises while I’m watching TV – write the ABC’s with my foot, stretching, big circles with my toes. And I always balance on one foot while I’m drying off after showers – this helps strengthen the joint & I’ve twisted it a lot less since I started doing this!

    • Oooh! Thanks for the exercise suggestions. I definitely need to be doing those. :)

  4. Eeeps I hope it heals quickly for you! I’ve been experiencing a bit of weakness in my right ankle lately, but I’m still mostly in denial about it. Feel better!

    • Don’t deny it, do something about it! You definitely don’t want to sprain it. Coming up soon I’ll have some good ankle strengthening exercises.

  5. Oh no! I’m sorry it’s a sprain with a lengthy healing time. That sucks.

    I look forward to your ankle strengthening exercises, though! My weak ankles are the reason for my broken foot.

    • It’s nothing compared to what you went through, but it definitely still sucks.

      It seems like a lot of people have weak ankles. Wonder what that is all about?

  6. I have an extra bone in each ankle, which gives me bad knees, but there’s not much I can do about that aside from wearing Earth shoes. Scoliosis gives me a bad back, but there are yoga exercises that help — spinal twists and stuff like that. Then a couple years ago I fractured my right wrist in a car crash and sprained my left wrist carrying a heavy chicken coop, so now both wrists are weak. For the wrists I lift textbooks because I can’t afford weights, haha.

    You may be able to do weight lifting with your ankles – holding a book between your toes and slowly rotating your foot? Though you probably shouldn’t do that for a while. Range of motion is more important right now. Hope you feel better!

    • Ouchie! It seems like you are doing an awesome job of being proactive with all of your weak joints.

      Thanks for the book tip! I’ll definitely try that once my range of motion is back.

  7. LOL! So classy. I love that you’re still having fun and not getting mopy. I remember breaking my ankle in highschool (it wouldn’t have been a big deal except I walked on it instead of getting help because I was -that- ashamed of my weight at the time…) and I was so bummed that I couldn’t go swimming or anything! Oh well.. that summer, I discovered a love of anime and cooking :D

    I don’t have weak ankles, but I seem to have weak feet. They get so sore when I try to do balance exercises on the Bosu Ball or walking lunges. My fitness guy told me to do more stuff barefoot to increase foot (and ankle!) strength. So, every day, I do barefooted calf-raises and on Tuesday I did my entire lower body strength routine bare foot (just don’t drop the weights!)

    Hope your recovery goes smoothly!

    • Have you thought about getting a pair of the barefoot shoes at all (like Vibrams)? I’d imagine they’d help to strengthen your feet, too.

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