Author Topic: Totally bummed! Advice please  (Read 1945 times)

Offline Coreshot

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Totally bummed! Advice please
« on: February 15, 2018, 04:58:19 AM »
So my first fall on ice didn't go well.  I'm no newb, I know you NEVER fall on ice.  I still couldn't tell you what REALLY happened, but I think maybe I went on a tool that wasn't good because it blew and I decked.   Nothing dramatic it was only four feet off the ground, but it was enough.  I suffered a full tear of the ligament in my ankle.  When the ligament tore it took some specks of bone with it.  I literally can't put the weight of a comforter on my foot right now without extreme 10 out of 10 pain.

Anybody ever had a grade 3+ ankle sprain?  Did you fully recover? What helped your recovery? What hindered?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 05:21:33 AM by Coreshot »

Offline Jeremy Cote

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Re: Totally bummed! Advice please
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2018, 01:40:25 PM »
Shit really sorry to hear that man. I have managed through several severe ankles sprains and a multitude of various lower leg injuries over the course of my athletic career (broken ankle too). The best piece of advice I can give is to find a superior sports medicine doctor, even if you have to travel to do so.

In the acute phase, you just need to immobilize the foot and keep swelling down. Stick with basic RICE first aid and NSAIDs to control swelling and pain. That is your only job. Once the swelling starts to subside (3-4 days, possibly longer) one thing I have done with good success is the contrast bath. Hot water treatment, then cold, etc. etc. The theory is that this helps draw blood in, then subsequently flushes it out as capillaries expand and contract. Best also to utilize a hot tub for this and put your ankle right on the jets as this also simulates micro contractions in the muscles--or so the theory goes. I will say that the evidence for this in treatment is mixed, but that may be due to comparability issues with various studies. See this:

That said, there is a psychological benefit and I felt it helped with managing the soreness I felt.

It sounds like you have a slightly more complicated situation with what could be an avulsion fracture so I would definitely listen to your doctor. That said, there are some real shitty practitioners out there so find someone that is good and you trust. Same thing for physical therapists. Injury recovery is more a mental game than anything. The body always recovers. Read up on treatments etc., so you have a baseline of knowledge when listening to your doctor. The big issue with this type of injury is whether the treatment involves surgery or going with a brace. This is likely a decision you will have to make at some point, or one that will be made for you given the particulars of your injury. There are pros and cons to both. The conservative approach is to go for a non-invasive treatment, but every situation is different. The biggest hurdle to long term success is getting back on your ankle too soon and re-injuring it. It's a slow process, just listen to your body. You will be fine.

Offline Coreshot

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Re: Totally bummed! Advice please
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2018, 10:17:00 AM »
I contemplated just letting this thread die, but then reconsidered so as to offer a friendly reminder heading into this ice season.

I saw a few different foot and ankle specialists during the acute phase of my injury.  All the docs suggested that an MRI was very costly and unnecessary given that I had likely only sprained my ankle.  It seemed hard to believe given the size and color of my foot(and the mechanism of injury), but I accepted the advice of the "pros" even though I had my doubts. 

I spent five weeks off of my foot doing the rest and RICE routine, which is a heck of a lot harder than it sounds when you're accustomed to being on the go all the time.  After 5 weeks the swelling had gone down to a point that I could pull an unlaced sneaker onto the foot.  The doc I decided to hire let me out of the ski boot and got me into a PT to start strengthening the ankle again.  After one appointment the foot swelled up again, not full blown enormous like before but a far cry from normal.  I stuck that out for a week before the pain became too much to bear.  The Doc prescribed some steroids to curb inflammation and off I go back to PT.  Everything seemed, at that point, to be trending in the right direction.  I was regaining some mobility and PT was becoming easier to tolerate. 

By this time the ice season was over and my backlog at work had snowballed into quite the conundrum.  I'm a contractor, so having a bum wheel REALLY slowed me down.  I didn't want my business to suffer so I put my head down and dealt with the pain in an attempt to keep my customers happy and some measure of money coming through the door each month. 

Fast forward to June and the prescription steroids had cleared my system and I was measuring my days by how few 200mg Ibuprofen tablets I could get away with  and still make it through the day.  With no end to the pain and endless hobbling in sight I relented and called the doc again.   He got me in for an MRI, finally, and we discovered that not only did I have a full thickness tear of the ATFL, I had also destroyed the articulating cartilage in my ankle.  By this point, I was in the thick of my busiest time of year at work so I elected to wait until November for the surgery. 

I had the surgery in early November and subsequent follow up appointments have not been encouraging AT ALL.  So after a super shitty 2018 and  spending 8k on prescriptions, braces, co-pays, and deductibles here's my friendly reminder to all my climbing peeps:

Never trust a stick that exhibits even the slightest movement.  Never let your ego convince you that "it's ok because this is an easy climb".  The stick that started this all wasn't perfect and I knew it.  The ice was aerated shit that morning and I was off to a sloppy start to begin with, but I let my ego convince me that the tiny fraction of an inch the axe moved when I weighted it would be ok because it was an easy climb.  Don't settle.  It could cost you all the climbs you've ever dreamed of.

Be safe out there climbing peeps.

p.s. I'm shit with grammar.  I hope this post is easy enough to decipher
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 02:06:14 PM by Coreshot »

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Totally bummed! Advice please
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 06:19:38 PM »
I am so sorry to hear this AND totally agree with what you said! I hope you heal up man.
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