Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to heal a sprained ankle

Edit: April 23, 2012. My ankle still hurts and I cannot bend my leg forward when my foot is planted on the ground. I quit going to physical therapy because I could do all the balance/strengthening exercises on my own. I am able to walk around without a brace now. I have not ran yet or tried any of the activities I love, but soon enough. I am going on a backpacking trip in May.

Last Tuesday, or actually the one before this last one (Feb 12, 2013), I sprained my ankle playing intramural basketball with the pharmacy team. I am pretty sure it is the worst sprain I have ever had, and I am no stranger to sprained ankles. The doc told me it was a level three sprain with an upper ankle sprain also.

I am sure you all have heard of R.I.C.E. Well I had forgot about it. I did keep my shoe on until I was able to get home. Makayla and Dylan came and picked me up and brought me home, I could not put any weight on it for the next two days. I went and saw the doctor the next morning and she gave me this heavy duty boot/splint which gave me the ability to walk without crutches. I love you big black boot (maybe not so much when I get the bill.)

How to heal sprained ankles:
DO NOT PLAY BASKETBALL (better to prevent them then to deal with them - but since we all love basketball lets chat about RICE)
RICE is an acronym (why is the US notorious for acronyms?) for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. The first 72 hours you are supposed ice your foot for 15 minutes out of the hour for at least 4 hours out of the day, the more the better. I have been taking 800 mg of ibuprofen each day also.

Edit: I learned you should take ibuprofen 800 mg three times a day for pain and an anti inflammatory response and it usually takes 3 days for it to be an effective anti inflammatory. I totally did that wrong. Also don't take longer then two weeks it will then slow healing if you keep it up.

When I raise my leg or keep it horizontal it feels wonderful, but when I bring it back to the ground it takes awhile for the pain to go away, it seems to make the pain more intense. While you have it elevated or horizontal with your heart you do not need to compress it. The better you are at following RICE in the first 72 hours, the quicker the recovery (or so they say.)  Let us hope all the rest and ice I gave myself will reward me in the following weeks.

Edit: It has almost been 3 weeks and I am still lacking quite a bit of range of motion. Not to mention I am it is still ginger and hard to get around without my black boot. The doctor gave me a referral to start physical therapy which will be Monday. And also said I could ditch the boot and gave me a ankle splint/brace. Respect your body and give it time to heal.

This was the night of. Yes I was playing basketball. No I did not shower. Yes I was sweaty and stinky. Yes the doctor had to smell my nastiness when she checked me out the next day.
Day1: These next three photos are the next night. Most the bruising was around the injured area. I was told all my lateral ligaments were sprained and one on the inside.
 I had to add this photo because my sweet baby girl snuck in on the side.
Inside of my ankle.
Day 2: The next two photos are day two, still couldn't walk.

Day 3: I could put weight on it and hobble around. This is weird, but the bruising slowly traveled down my foot (and up my leg due to the compression boot) and into my toes. It made them more sensitive even though I am pretty sure they were not injured. The swelling is hard to see in the pictures but it is a fat puffy (hard) nugget all around my ankle along with edema midway up my leg and throughout my foot.
  Day 4: The bruising has gone down, but not the swelling nor the tenderness. I have moments when I can get around fine and other moments when it burns like a beggar. The morning is the worse, putting the foot on the floor makes super painful for 15 to 30 minutes.
When I look at these pictures, I think my foot was ran over by a truck. It is crazy how all the inflammatory soup moves around in there (unfortunately hyper-sensitizing areas that do not need it.)

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