Monday, October 14, 2013

Ankle Sprain Recovery & Rebound

I ended up getting a Grade 2 sprained ankle at Cascade Crest. This has resulted in mucho time off from ultra training. I'm specific with those words, because it hasn't impeded my ability to get on with life. I'm officially taking time off for awhile, and not adhering to any structured training plan. What follows are random reflections on ultrarunning specific stuff, and non ultrarunning specific life stuff.

My Experiences with... People That Want To Help But Are Not Experts 

  • Upon spraining my ankle, it hurt, and it swelled up. I was able to slightly put weight on it though. My parents and some friends all told me to get an X-ray. The thing is, I didn't need an X-ray. 
  • Can't put weight on foot AT ALL WITHOUT IT HURTING LIKE HELL = Probably broken = Probably need an X-ray to examine for a broken ankle.
  • After talking with a nurse that I work with, she mentioned I probably needed (if anything), an MRI, as that would check for tears in ligaments and tendons. She said because I was able to put some weight on my foot, a X-ray was pretty much useless.

What was learned? To take others advice, but think critically about where that advice is coming from. From there, make a decision, and own the consequences of said decision.

My Experiences with... Doctors 

  • Initially I went to a family practice Dr. that looked at my X-ray, told me it wasn't broken, and to take at least two weeks off. He gave me an aircast and scheduled a follow up for two weeks out. 
  • Upon consulting with nurse coworker, she offered up the name of a endurance sports specific Dr. in Seattle that specialized in feet. I switched to this Dr, as I was moving to Seattle anyways.
  • Foot Dr. in Seattle was AWESOME. He asked smart, pointed questions to understand my situation.
  • He recommended some PT for two weeks, and then a slow progression into running. He also DID NOT recommend running with an ankle brace, as he said it would prevent me from building up the muscles around my ankle.

What was learned? Find a specialist that takes time to get to know you, your activities, and what your goals are moving forward after the injury. Its a huge help if your goals are aligned with your Dr.

My Experience with... the US Healthcare System

  • I walked into the Dr. office and asked for a X-ray for my ankle. Front desk worker checks my insurance and sends me to a room. X-ray lady walks back and tells me I need a Dr. approval before I can get an X-ray, and the front desk worker is an idiot. She says she has requested an 'okay' from the Dr. and then she walks away. I wait 20 mins for that 'okay' to get approved. X-ray lady comes back. She completes my X-ray in 10 minutes. I walk 20 feet into another room and wait for my Dr to come in. He comes in, looks at my ankle, tells me its not broken, and tells me he is going to 'give' me an aircast to wear. I leave.
  • Apparently the X-ray was an 'outpatient' procedure and subject to my deductible. Also the aircast kit was subject to my deductible. So this whole visit was about $400.
  • The same aircast kit (that was 'given' to me) can be found at the Walgreens across the street for about $40, compared to the $150 that was charged against me.
  • My insurance said that if I called them before any of this happened they would have told me what was subject to my deductible and what was not. So apparently I need to have them on speed-dial.

What was learned? The US Healthcare system, as least from this consumers standpoint, is confusing, expensive, and needs to change. OR this all makes perfect sense and is easy to figure out and I'm just an idiot. Probably that.

My Experience with... Physical Therapists 

  • I had  five PT appointments in total, all at a local PT near my work office. I was given a series of exercises to complete at home.
  • The first three appointments were necessary, as they helped me focus on my exercises, and showed me how I lacked proprioception. 
  • The second two were pointless and short, and not worth the time or money, as I was walking and running by then, and nothing really new was introduced. My PT would talk to me for 10 minutes, massage my foot for 15 minutes, and then give me something to do that I could easily have done at home.
  • PT DID RECOMMEND an ankle brace, to prevent further injury. I decided against this (siding with my Dr. recommendations).

What was learned? These are useful if you need someone to tell you to take it easy, or if you don't have the motivation to exercise on your own. I think there is a fine line between these being worth the time, and a complete waste of time.


  1. Ankle sprains should be treated properly and on time. If the ankle injuries are overlooked and are not healed properly then it becomes complicated in the future. The better way is to do some home remedies like RICE and take medications. But if it is severe injury then it is always recommended to take help from a podiatrist.

  2. A sprained ankle should be treated properly due to the fact that even though it's considered a minor injury, it still hampers one's ability to move around. If such injury is left untreated, complications may happen that could worsen the ordeal. Trusting reputable clinics is advisable since they are here to aid you with such injuries.

    Anita Rose @ Sports Med Online