Confusion about the healing process

I was watching this video about ankle sprain physical therapy and it said that with a partially torn ankle ligament you should start doing stretching exercises just 3 days later and strengthening exercises only a couple weeks later, all of this before it is even healed. I would think doing this would prevent it from healing or at least delay healing or maybe cause it to tear more. When I had my wisdom teeth taken out surgically I got a dry socket, which left a large hole in my gum and the oral surgeon told me that if if mess with the hole it will take longer to heal or maybe not close at all. Part of the process was him packing the hole with gauze and clove oil to stop the pain and after doing it a couple times he said he had to stop or the hole might never close. I had to wash it out with a syringe after every meal to prevent infection and it took a year and a half to close. I would think all the messing with the ankle the stretching, the tension put on the torn ligament with strengthening exercises would work the same way. Isn’t that the reason they put you in a cast or brace when you sprain your wrist, to allow it to heal, so that you don’t move it around and can let it heal? When I was younger I sprained my wrist falling off my bike and they put my wrist in a plaster cast for 6 weeks.

I cannot answer your question, but I do know that doctors may differ on how to treat such things. When I broke my ankle (actually the tibia in the ankle area) two different surgeons saw it. They were both going to put a metal plate in, but the first wanted to cast it and put me on crutches for 6 weeks, while the second, who actually did the surgery did not cast it and told me to walk on it as much as I felt comfortable with, which I did with no obvious ill-effects, nor did I need physical therapy since no muscles were left idle for 6 weeks.

This business of not letting the muscles deteriorate is probably the reason for your advice. I don’t know how old you are, but it is harder for an older person to recover these functions. I was 67 at the time.

I can’t speak for dry socket (oh god ew) but I know that they switched the recs for sprains because the ligaments were healing, but healing in a shortened or tight setup, making it harder to recover full range of motion and ability in the joint. Stretching while healing might take longer initially but you get better outcomes in the long run.

Wouldn’t loss of range of motion take more than 6 weeks? When I got put in a wrist cast for 6 weeks, after I got out I had normal range of motion.

A dry socket and a torn or stretched ligaments/tendons/muscles aren’t the same. When I had my shoulder surgery I started my exercises the same day. I’m 5 months out and my ROM is still limited and my shoulder is still stiff. They tell me the reason for this is the few days I spent in the sling and the few weeks/months I spent guarding my arm, keeping my hand in my pocket (for support) and not using it as much. Imagine how much further back I’d be set if had it immobilized for a few weeks before I tried to move it. Just think about how stiff a healthy joint is after not moving it for a few hours. Think about how you need to stretch in the morning. Now, try keeping it locked in one spot for a week or two while it’s all swollen and trying to heal.

I know that shoulders are a bit different as they are very prone to stiffness, more so then any other joint. I don’t know what kind of surgery you had put if it was for something like a torn rotator cuff, they stitch that back together with very strong thread, so the risk of it tearing more while doing exercises is less. What I am wondering is if you have a torn ankle ligament, is if doing stretches or strengthening exercises while it is still torn and healing could cause it to tear more?

Meant to start an unrelated thread.

I don’t have an answer, but I can share what I’m experiencing.
Tore a patellar tendon in January, and had it surgically repaired.
After 5 weeks in an immobilizer, Dr put me in a hinged brace last Friday.
I can barely bend it 15 degrees.

That kind of brings it full circle, if it’s okay to do exercises and move around a injured joint, why did he put you in a immobilizer brace?