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Jasonbolt

Ankle strain/minor tear. Any doctors with advice as to the recovery process?

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Hi,

Back in June I heard a "pop" in my ankle after a swing.  As it being my birthday and playing a nice course, I finished the round on the injured foot. (terrible idea)

1.5 months later I thought everything was recovered and tried swinging again.  "Pop."  Same muscle.

Two weeks ago, I started practicing with gentle swings and spikeless running shoes.  The injured muscle seems to be doing ok.  However, now other muscles around the ankle ache in day to day life.  They don't hurt when swinging - just when I'm walking around.  On a scale of 1 - 10, the pain is probably a 1.5.  Nothing serious.

This picture shows the injury location, and the motion that injured it

I think it is the anterior talofibular ligament that was strained/torn.

Left foot.  I am a right handed player.

My questions:

Suggestions as to recovery exercises?

Should I wait until it feels 100% to play again?  Right now it feels like it's at 80-85%

Thank you!

Jason

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i did this in highschool, if your ankle still has support (not hanging limp) you strained the ligements and didn't fully tear them. But i am sad to say, your probably out 4-6 weeks. That took me that long to get my ankle better the first time i did this. I recommend buying ankle brace, or learn how to wrap the ankle. Also i would ice the ankle a couple times a day to keep inflamation down.

There's really no telling if its fully healed with out getting your ankle scanned by a doctor. But i would give it over a month. Then i would spend a month strengthening the ankle. I would balance on the leg. Just take it easy.

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It's nice to know I'm not the only that's done this...

It's been two months since the second strain/tear and it still aches around that area.  I don't have any inflammation - should I still ice it?

I wrap it when I practice.  Should I wrap it 24/7?

Any other strengthening besides balancing on it?

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Well Inflammation doesn't mean swelling. I would still ice it, i recommend a bucket of ice water, just submerge the foot for 10 minutes before bed. You do your best healing while you sleep, and after a long day of moving around it helps a ton to just decrease that inflammation before bed.

It still aches because you did some serious damage, and your still putting strain on the ankle when you practice. STOP PLAYING GOLF!!. Do not play any sport, do not put unwanted stress. If you do you will create scar tissue and cause your ankle to be weaker. I probably didn't care for my ankle after my first time, 4 years later i was playing a pick up game of basketball, and i popped it again.

The main reason for the wrap is so you don't roll it again. Right now your ankle muscles are not built up, and you just caused trauma to the only significant support in your ankle. Ankle wrap will help you keep from further damaging the ankle. Its hard to say how much you want to wear the wrap. When i hurt my ankle this past year, i was golfing and almost fell in a bunker, i didn't notice this sharp drop, when i was backing up and my ankle rolled. I took 2 weeks off golf, and i wrapped it daily till i got home. While at home i didn't wear it. Still i should have took longer off because my ankle would sometimes the next few weeks while i took up golf again. So i even didn't take my own advice :p

Ankles are strengthened by making small corrections to our balance. There's really no way to use weights to do this. The best way is to practice by balancing. Really it will help your golf game to. Because when you balance, your strengthening not just your ankle, but all the small muscles in your leg that we neglect when we work out. Believe me it helps a ton.

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And repeat the ice, wrapping, and balancing until it feels 100%?

Thanks for the help!

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Its tough to say, there is no exact, at 5pm ice it. I work at a desk all day, so basically i just ice it when i get home, and then before bed. But, icing just keeps inflammation down and helps speed up the recovery. The key is to not put stress on it. Right now your ankle is not stable. You want to heal it, and strengthen it. Actually you probably should start strengthening it now, by balancing.

The reason is, people with ACL tears, if they start rehab before surgery it speeds up recovery because they don't have the muscle loss. So, i would spend some time each night balancing on the ankle to strengthen it. Then ice it down afterwards, and rest it. Just don't be doing anything like running, golfing, basketball, ect. Nothing with alot of quick stressful movements. Golf is bad because your rotating the ankle with Torsion. Its not as bad as lateral movement, lets say if you make a quick stop and push off on your ankle, but its not good while your healing. Basically, Nothing that puts the ligament under alot of stress. Balancing wont due that if your careful. If you feel like your going to fall over, then you need to be next to something you can grab to keep yourself steady just in case. Work your self up till you can balance on that leg for 1 minute with out falling over. If you can do that, continue to build on that time.

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Thanks for the help man!  Seriously, I went to a doctor a couple weeks ago and all he said was, "that's a weird injury.  Just ice it a couple days and you should be able to play by next week."

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If you screw it up more, you might need to get one of these:

A Broström procedure.

I tore ligaments badly three times in a three year period (while playing basketball, soccer, and, ummm.... drunken idiot).  Had an ankle that was so weak I couldn't do anything but walk.  A few months ago, I stopped being able to walk without pain.  Saw a doctor and was told to get ankle surgery.  I'm in bed, elevating an ankle that is wrapped in a cast as I type.  Six weeks in a cast, six weeks in a boot... three months without golf.

It's not too fun right now.  I'd recommend taking a couple of weeks to ice and rest your ankle.  You don't want to end up like I did!

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Oh crap, that's gnarly!

I played once in spikeless shoes (without using any of my woods) a week ago, and practiced two times in spikeless shoes.  That's the only time I've played or practiced in 3 months.  I'll give it another month or so and try then.  I like the balancing exercise and ice afterwards - makes sense.

Is it a good idea to put a heat pad on it while I sleep to keep it from getting cold?

Any recommendations for shoes?  Do you think Ecco shoes would help create less torque when I start playing again?

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Its totally bad condition of ankle, you need take complete bed rest till doctor's next advice. Whenever they start rehab before surgery it speeds up recovery because they just don't have the muscle tissue loss. I would spend time each night balancing about the ankle to improve it.

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