I think I may have just broken my ankle.

This IS NOT a request for medical advice. I have already spoken to my doctor. Mostly just looking for others entertaining experiences.

Actually, its probably just sprained, but BAD.

I was just (20 minutes ago) doing some minor home repairs on a small 5 foot ladder. Tripped getting off the ladder and had my foot get tangled in it - twisted it pretty bad.

I lay there for about 3 minutes writhing in pain. My neighbor came out to throw out his garbage, saw me and went back inside (Thanks neighbor!)

After a few minutes, I was able to get up. I can walk on it. Climbed back on the ladder to finish the job (its going to rain tomorrow and the damn window will leak if I don’t). Went inside, put on an ice pack and called the doc.

Doc said if I can walk on it, its probably not broken, but try and stay off it and come in if it gets worse.

It hurts, but its bearable Bt it looks HORRIBLE. Like there is a golf ball under the skin. It hurts MUCH less than you would think it should by how it looks.

I have never sprained something this bad before. I have never had an ankle that looked like that before.

Remember kids, be careful on ladders!

Thats unfortunate. I’ve never broken my ankle, but I did have Severs Disease. I would post a link on an article to it, but I don’t know how to do that. For this reason, I’m just going to copy and paste.

Sever’s disease or calcaneal apophysitis, is the most common cause of heel pain in the growing athlete and is due to overuse and repetitive microtrauma of growth plates of the calcaneus in the heel. < Thank you, Wikipedia.

Three weeks ago I was in pilates class doing a simple drill of jumping onto and off of boxes that were no more than one foot off the ground. After a few minutes of this I jumped down and my foot rolled over and took all my weight. Heard a big crack. After a few minutes of trying to walk it off I got a little nauseous and decided to go to A&E. Luckily it was a slow day and got in and out in two hours with a fractured 5th metatarsal.

Every time someone asks me what happened, they giggle at how lame a story it is and say I should make up a more entertaining story :frowning:

I’ve been hobbling about with crutches and an air boot but the attitude of the staff at A&E was that it was no big deal so I wasn’t wearing the boot all the time at home. The nurse I saw a week later admired my bruise and sent me home. At two weeks I finally saw a doctor and the first thing he told me was that 10% of these fractures never heal and that if I was in the US, they would have operated on it already! I know it’s my fault for not taking it very seriously but I was pretty pissed that the possibility of surgery was never presented to me. Apparently I deserved the treatment I got by going to A&E in the first place! oi.

I’m debating being a princess and cancelling my next appointment and taking advantage of my private coverage to get a doctor who might spend more than 3 seconds with me.

In my experience, that ankle needs to be wrapped. Like now. Remember RICE. Rest, ice, compression, elevation.

Doing all four. I don’t have an ace bandage and don’t want to risk driving right now (wife is at work). Made an ice pack out of a bag of frozen soybeans, and wrapped it tight onto the ankle with an old karate belt. Now sitting with it elevated with a cat trying to lick the soybean bag.

The swelling is still big, but its not a bone - its a big bag of fluid. very gross. it hurts a little more, but not too bad - a dull ache.

Going to see how it goes, if it gets worse I have an appointment tomorrow.

This is what I get for trying to be handy.

Watch out for over-icing it… Typo Knig did that when he sprained his ankle a few years back (it was Scylla’s fault… Typo was near the local Zany Brainy and thought he’d see if they had any blimp kits but it had been snowing and he stepped funny off the curb at the store).

Do get an elastic bandage of some sort and keep it wrapped up most of the time, especially as you get more mobile. You’ll be amazed at how “floppy” it’ll feel and how easy it’ll be to feel like you’re about to reinjure it, and how even a few steps can be painful.

It may take weeks / months before you feel your ankle is back to normal. My most recent prior sprain took years… worked just fine, but it felt “weak” somehow.

Voice of experience here, I’m just coming off of my latest ankle sprain and lawdy they do suck.

At least I was AT THE ORTHOPEDIST’S OFFICE when I did it. Er, actually, I had just finished up my appointment and was walking down the hall to the elevator… Typo happened to be with me at the time, so as I sat half in, half out of the open elevator, I dragged myself out and sent him back to the ortho’s office to borrow a wheelchair.

They offered to work me in, but due to insurance issues I’d have probably had to pay 100% out of pocket (two visits same provider same day = DECLINE), and I don’t need a doctor to diagnose a sprain, so I bummed an ACE bandage from them, sent Typo down to the car to get a cane I happened to have around, and hobbled home.

Struggled upstairs, kept the foot up, it hurt like hades frozen over DESPITE the industrial-grade anti-inflammatories I was already on (for the thing I was already seeing the ortho about)… a leftover Percocet at bedtime was of great help… and by the next morning, while I was still in a lot of pain, I could actually walk pretty well if I avoided stairs. 5 days later, some nifty bruises on the outside edge of the foot and it still hurts a bit but those NSAIDs are doing their work nicely. Stairs still aren’t my friends because I’ve got one bum ankle and one bum knee, but at least I can negotiate them some.

Its actually much better now. Still swollen, but the “golf ball swelling” is gone. I am actually surprised at the improvement in the last 24 hours.

There is a huge deep purple bruise on the ankle, about 3 inches across.

I can walk on it, just being careful. Wrapped and elevated, ice every 2 hours or so. Doc recommended some ankle exercises to start doing lightly tomorrow.

on edit - and the window isn’t leaking, so at least it wasn’t in vain!

The first time I broke an ankle it seemed like just a very nasty sprain and I was walking on it. Turned out to be a minor fracture which resulted in me being in a cast for two months. IIRC the ligaments are stronger than the bone - they can hang on tightly enough to break the bone.

Happened when I was 14 and trying to throw a piece of chocolate at a cousin at some family gathering. I slipped on the polished wood floor and my ankle bent out about 90 degrees momentarily.

In addition to whatever your doctor recommends I would say don’t walk on it until it your doc can actually check it out and do whatever is needed to confirm whether there’s a fracture or not.

Amusing stories…in addition to my own series of vicious sprains I remember one from my skydiving days in college. We had taken a group of students out for first jump training and I was watching one big guy come in for landing, he’s doing everything right - nice straight approach into the wind, aimed right at the big grassy field, feet and knees together.

At the last second, for reasons that nobody can fathom, he decides to pull a 180 degree turn. There are a number of things wrong with this which are drummed into you in training - low turns kill people since your vertical descent rate increases sharply (ram-air canopies dive when they turn); he’s now headed downwind (increasing his horizontal landing speed), he’s coming down onto a cement taxiway and his legs are wide apart (wrong position for a parachute landing fall in case of a rough impact which he was shortly to experience).

He hit the ground visibly hard and sat up but didn’t get up (students are instructed to stand up immediately so we can easily identify that they’re OK).

Manager runs out to check on him and he’s just sitting with the guy. Owner hands me a radio and says “Go check and let me know if we need to call an ambulance”.

I run over and the manager is talking with the student who is sitting up, conscious, seems calm. Manager is holding the guys leg immobile and there’s something funny looking. I get closer and realize that the student’s foot is turned approximately 180 degrees at the ankle. Needless to say I alert the owner that we’ll need an ambulance.

Student is calm and saying “That was totally my fault” - he was either stunned or had a helluva pain tolerance. He’d dislocated his ankle, I don’t know if anything was broken but I’m sure he had a laundry list of of torn muscles and ligaments. Also a nasty abrasion on the side (where the skin is very thin over the ankle bone) - I’m pretty sure I saw bone.

Nah, its not broken. It doesn’t hurt at all now if I’m not moving it. I have range of motion in all directions (obviously still stiff, but movable). It can support my whole weight (I can stand solely on that one foot) and the swelling is going down.

I have to walk on it a bit, I have 4 flights of stairs in my house :), and I have t go to work today.

The advice I got from my Dr. when I badly sprained my ankle last year was lose the elastic bandage (which doesn’t do much of anything really) and immobilize it with an air cast, particularly if you have to be on it for work. You do not want to reinjure it and further tear the tendons.

Incidentally, you don’t have to actually break a bone to get swelling like you experienced. Mine was a grapefruit!

Sorry to read about your injury - sounds icky. Hope you get better really soon!

And make sure you cook those soybeans ASAP. Tonight would be good. :slight_smile:

I’m pretty aghast at your neighbor. He didn’t even come over? Did you call out to him when you noticed him?

Be careful, your foot may be broken! I tripped over a rock while running when I was a teenager, was able to walk on it but had a huge golf ball sized lump on the outside of the foot, and was also told “If you can walk on it, it’s not broken.” It was broken.

Last year I took my 18 month old dog out for a run first thing in the morning (around 5:30 am). It was his first time out so I was going to train him how to run beside me, instead of in front of me. To do this, I decided it would be best if I just ran into him if he got in front of me, pushing him out of the way with my legs, until he got the point. Well, he didn’t get the point. Instead he kind of skittered along in front of me, totally tripping my up. I fell on the asphalt with my right hand extended. OMG OW! I got up and was going to finish off the run because it looked like it was just going to bruise and had a minor cut, but it was throbbing, so I turned around and walked home.

I woke my husband up and he said “If you can move your fingers, it’s not broken.” I could move my fingers. Mustn’t be broken! I showered, did my hair (ever try to hold a hair straightener with half a hand?) and went to work. By noon, my hand was bruised and very swollen, and VERY painful! I went to a walk in clinic.

They sent me for x-rays and lo and behold, I had broken my fifth metacarpal. Damn dog! On my dominant hand event!

I even have some pictures but can’t get to them from work. I’ll try to remember to post later.

Eh, I don’t think its broken - the pain is getting less, not worse. I can apply pressure to all the bones and they don’t hurt. The swelling is down too. It just looks horrible because of the bruise.

I asked doc if I should come in - he said I could if I want to, but since its improving it’ll most likely be fine as long as I don’t aggravate it. If it gets worse i will definitely have it looked at.

Thanks for the aircast idea! I have ordered one.

Unfortunately, the soybeans have been thawed and refrozen about 8 times, so I doubt they will be good anymore.

And yes, my neighbor is a tool. This isn’t the pit so I’ll leave it at that.

Update, and thanks to Marley for fixing my username issue.

The bruising kept getting worse so I finally went to the doctor. They took one look almost fell over - took xrays - not broken.

They also immediately put me on crutches and scheduled physical therapy. But here’s the problem:

Even though the ankle and foot look BAD, it really doesn’t hurt much at all. I can walk on it, even stand one-legged on it with very little pain. I have full range of motion (unrestricted if flexing it up and down, and a bit stiff if I move it in a circle). But it looks like death.

The doc looked at me like I was crazy when I said I haven’t been taking any pain medication - she wanted to prescribe vicodin! (I said no). She was mystified why I can walk on it with little pain.

She wants me on crutches for at least 2 weeks. This is a problem. If the thing hurt, it would be easy. Since it doesn’t, forcing myself to use crutches is beginning to be a REAL hassle - its tiring, and makes my armpits hurt way more than the ankle.

I see the PT tomorrow - I hope I can knock this sh*t off.

Any doctors out there want to speculate why the way it looks and the way it feels don’t match up?

Interesting. Why the PT / crutches if you can walk on it well? Is it just because of the severe bruising?

I guess you either have a high pain threshold or the level of pain really doesn’t match with the severity of the injury. I got a similar story with my shoulder - rotator cuff injury, not that bad per MRI but hurts like mad if I move it wrong.

I’ve sprained my ankles so many times that know the answer to the question,“If you sprain both ankles, do you still limp?”

I guess the answer is “no, you crawl” or something similar!

She said with that level of bruising, something is definitely torn, whether it hurts or not. And maybe she thought I was just trying to be a “tough guy” - I don’t know.

Here’s what I think - I think its a CYA for the doc.

There are 2 scenarios:

  1. torn ligament(s) that for some reason doesn’t hurt too much. If I walk normally I’ll make it worse.

  2. bad bruising, but miraculously, nothing torn. If I walk normally, nothing bad happens. BUT, if she’s wrong, I make things worse. If really nothing tore, walking around on crutches for a few weeks won’t hurt anything.

So she’s being conservative. I still hope the PT says knock it off.

And I DON"T want it to sound like nothing is wrong. The ankle hurts. Its stiff. I obviously bunged it up but good. However, the pain is relatively mild.

For the love of god, don’t they teach people NOT to shove axillary crutches into the armpits anymore?

NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. They are not to be used in that manner, that way lies nerve damage.

Actually, just go down and spend $35-$40US on a pair of decent generic aluminum forearm crutches. Your body will thank you for it. It is actually more ergonomic and easier to use properly than the infernal medieval torture devices passed out [and added to your hospital bill] Or take them back and trade them in for real crutches.

[the link goes to a site that sells them one at a time, for some unknown reason …]