View Full Version : Question About Ankle Sprains

08-04-2014, 10:04 AM
First, I am not seeking medical advice. I have been to the clinic, had an X-Ray, am under care, etc. What I have is a curiosity question.

I've never sprained or broken anything before, so this is new to me.

I rolled my ankle the other day and it immediately swelled to baseball size. It hurt very llittle, but the swelling made it stiff. As the assembled friends and family (was at a family function) went into freakout mode, I listened to them and went to a local urgent care clinic. There a Dr. looked at it and X-Rayed it, declared it a moderate sprain and sent me on my way with care instructions.

We're about 36 hours out now, and the swelling has gone down a fair bit. The swollen areas are now a delightful magenta and black color. All normal for severe bruising. But here's the part I don't understand. It doesn't hurt. At all. Not even a little bit. There is a slight stiffness in one of the tendons, but that's all.

What's up with that? Shouldn't this hurt like hell? And, if it doesn't hurt, can I do whatever I want? Does pain necessarily equate severity?

Don't worry- I will follow the advice to go easy on it for 3-5 days, but the instruction was to increase activity as comfort allows; it just seems to "allow" much sooner than expected...


running coach
08-04-2014, 10:09 AM
Even though it doesn't hurt (which is strange), the ligaments that keep the ankle stable are at least partly torn (hence the bruising) and your ankle is unstable. Even stepping slightly wrong could lead to another (possibly worse) episode.

08-04-2014, 12:40 PM
Yep, the good news is, if you sprain your ankles often*, as I have, eventually you get to the point where there is no new ligament damage and a rolled ankle is easily walked off.

* the price of being a tall, slightly gangly but aggressive volleyball player in my youth.

08-04-2014, 12:46 PM
If you're wearing an Ace bandage or a brace, one of its main jobs is to remind you that your ankle is messed up, because they can't count on it actually hurting a day or two after the injury. Wear it. Pay attention to it. Walk slowly and carefully, says the 53-year-old-guy taking karate classes.

The injury may also be to the cartilage around the joint, which doesn't have many nerve endings in it. When you first injured it, it probably would have hurt more because you had stressed out the muscles & such around the injury, and they're over being hurt now, because you didn't really do anything to them; plus, the swelling would have put pressure on things which would also hurt.

08-04-2014, 02:20 PM
My wife sprained her ankle badly a few months ago, and it's taken a long time to get over it. She went to physical therapy, where she learned proper exercises to strengthen the joint and to help with her balance. She also got one of these braces (http://www.amazon.com/MedSpec-ASO-EVO-Ankle-Stabilizer/dp/B002S04MHW/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1407176275&sr=8-2&keywords=aso+evo+ankle+brace), recommended by the PT, and it really helps her keep from re-injuring the ankle.