Ankle Inversion Injury- A First Hand Experience. Final Part


So… I have continued to make great improvements with my ankle… and then I had a potentially devastating moment.  I was trying to have a rare but much needed “healthy weekend” so decided I would go for a run on the Saturday afternoon, as it was a nice day.  I was about 1.5 miles into the run, just running on the pavement and as I went to look over my shoulder to see if a car was coming so I could cross the road… BANG I rolled the bad ankle coming down the curb.  Thinking about it now, I don’t even know how it happened, whether I just misjudged where the curb was. But I seem to have stepped half on, half off, but whatever happened there was instant sharp pain in my ankle!!  I couldn’t believe it…. I didn’t fall or anything when the ankle went over, I didn’t feel any snapping or anything like last time, just sharp pain.  I was instantly so angry at myself for doing it, and in my blind rage with myself I tried to continue running for about 100m, in complete denial that anything had happened and that everything was ok… it wasn’t, so I stopped!

As I walked along my ankle became more and more painful on the outside of the ankle joint, in a different place to where I had hurt it initially, and it really hurt down towards the base of my 5th Metatarsal.  As I hobbled back to my flat, I was just thinking over and over again, “I can’t start from scratch again after 3 months of rehab” obviously running through worst case scenario’s in my head.  I would even try and do a few strides of running to convince myself it wasn’t that bad, but the pain would be there instantly.  After about a mile of the walk back I managed to calm myself down and try and be positive that hopefully this was not as serious and that I had just tweaked the new structures of my ankle.

When I got home, I inspected the ankle, there didn’t seem to be any swelling which I was thrilled about, as last time I did it the ankle ballooned up instantly.  So out came the cryocuff which has been collecting dust in my cupboard for the last 6 weeks! I just thought to myself that I will PRICE (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, elevation). it for the next few days and see how things go.  Lucky I had the last dregs of Voltarol left too so I was putting Voltarol on the ankle as prescribed. And spent the rest of the day sulking on the sofa.

The following day, I inspected the ankle again…. No swelling! Phew! No Bruising! Phew!.... I was going to the Paralympics today so was going to spend a lot of the day walking around, so I dosed up on Ibuprofen and off I went. (note from Anna- be cautious about taking anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen in the early stages of an injury. The initial swelling/inflammatory response is part of the body’s healing process and you don’t want to stop this, just control it, which is why we recommend the PRICE regime. However, Dave’s circumstances are a little more complicated; he has essentially irritated a healing injury and we don’t in this case want it to overreact. Also, he has no initial swelling so we are trying to avoid a latent response. If unsure- stick to PRICE for the first 3 days, then use the anti-inflams and gel after that if needed.)

It was very sore to walk on, and I could feel all the muscles around my ankle working over time trying to protect the outside of my ankle, which meant they got very tired pretty quickly.  But I managed to make it through the day without the ankle swelling up, it did feel very hot though when I got home so I spent the evening icing it and putting on the Voltarol gel.

Over the next few days I inspected it every morning looking for any evidence of bruising, which there didn’t seem to be, so I thought to myself that I may have got away with it this time!  Over the next few days the ankle has felt much better and I feel very relieved.  I have full movement still, it is just sore on uneven surfaces, the muscles continue to overwork but this does seem to be easing and I can “switched them off” when I realise things have got very tense.  So this week I will be very cautious until the pain goes, and just focus on maintaining my full ROM and strength before challenging it with balance work again.

Reflecting on the situation I don’t think I could have done much about the actual incident, and I don’t think it happened through weakness, I would have been more concerned if I had just been running on the flat and rolled it.  I think that due to the injury the ankle couldn’t cope with me planting it half on the curb, but I feel the pain has come from the muscles protecting the ankle rather than I direct insult to the ligaments, which I think is quite a promising sign that I have done well with my proprioception.  Obviously there are some relatively new structures in the ankle now following the repair from the last injury, so I feel I will have tweaked these which has led to the very painful response.  But things are settling nicely I still think that before I do a run again I will strap it up, just for the first one for that added bit of support both physically and psychologically.