One month since ankle sprain. Need help.

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So I sprained my left ankle terribly while coming down from the treadmill exactly a month ago. I've been exercising and running on the treadmill for more than a decade now but one silly misstep and here I am sad Applied ice pack immediately and went for X-ray the next day. There was no problem with my ankle as said by one of the best ortho doc of my state. They said the sprain was slightly less than a Grade-2 sprain. There was no discoloring on my skin and pain was minimal.As there was above average swelling, the doctors advised me to apply a POP slab on it and complete bed rest for 15 days (the cabin fever is awful) . I was also prescribed to take painkillers for 7 days which reduced the swelling and pain greatly.

After removing the slab, swelling had decreased a lot and I was advised to use a crepe bandage instead from now on. The pain was completely gone by now but foot was stiff and felt heavy. So now it was finally the time for physio therapy. My phsio have been doing all types of bending and stretching exercises for my ankle and I did not feel any pain and the foot has also slowly started to feel more balanced and light as my other foot. Weight bearing was not allowed until recently, I was given the permission to use an elbow crutch and ankle brace for moving around. Now my problem is for how long do I have to use the crutch? I don't feel any pain at all and the swelling is now very minuscule. But I feel less confident about my balance and weight bearing though, so there's that. I have my graduation ceremony next week and I don't think I can walk there properly with a crutch. My physio therapist has completely left the decision on me. He thinks if I can walk confidently with the crutch for few more days, then I should be able to walk without it by next week. I am confused. Please help.

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  • Posted

    John,

    Thankfully you did not break any ankle bones in your mishap. That in itself is a blessing.

    It sounds like your pain and sprain symptoms have subsided-- that's great. Your grade II sprain seems to be healing on 'schedule' within a month's time passing.

    As your therapist said, it is now up to you to determine whether to go solo without a crutch. If you are wearing a reputable ankle brace that should give you some peace of mind and extra insurance against reinjuring your ankle (but ditch the brace as soon as you can because it is a 'crutch' in itself).

    Start with small beginnings first-- walk carefully without crutch in safe surroundings of your home first. Test the waters and see how you feel. Gauge your balance and gait and see if you have any problems there.

    Your concern for balance (and fear of falling) is valid, and your therapist should already have you engaged in exercises to restore your proprioception skills (that is, having nerves down there firing properly to let your body know where you are in space as you stand or move-- and making sure the fine motor responses are responding appropriately).

    Best of luck, and may you be walking normally very soon.

     

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    • Posted

       Hey, thanks for replying. So after lot of trying I can finally walk around the house without using elbow crutch. I'm using the ankle brace as advised by my physio therapist. But I have to limp often and swelling increases after walking. Is that normal? 

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    • Posted

      John,

      Many ankle sprain patients go through what you are experiencing in recovery-- pain and swelling in particular. After a really severe strain even a month is not enough to get completely back to normal

      Please keep up the therapy, and ice and elevate the foot as necessary. It should improve over time.

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    • Posted

      What I find weird is, even with no pain I'm unable to walk normally. I guess it'll take awhile and more practice to walk properly. 

      Yeah I'll continue with therapy and also using the cold water-hot water treatment to reduce swelling. 

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