Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Understanding High Ankle Sprains

All of us have had a sprained ankle at some point in our lives, and usually we are back to full strength in anywhere from a few days to a month depending on the degree of sprain.

High ankle injuries are quite different, and as Ty acknowledged the other day, a broken ankle can sometimes be less painful, and serious.We all have been concerned about Goldson's ankle as the season nears, and some have been questioning why he is practicing, and not resting the ankle to let it heal. I decided to do a little quick research on the subject.

A high ankle sprain injures the large ligament above the ankle that joins together the two bones of the lower leg. These two bones, the tibia (shin bone) and fibula, run from the knee down to the ankle. They are joined together by this ligament called the "syndesmosis" or "sydesmotic ligament." Syndesmotic injuries tend not to heal as well as more common ankle sprain, that is why trainers and coaches of athletes are often concerned about "high ankle sprains."

Grade I is stretching or slight tearing of the ligament with mild tenderness, swelling, and stiffness. It is usually possible to walk with minimal pain.

Grade II is a larger but not complete tear with moderate pain, swelling, and bruising. The damaged areas are tender to the touch, and there is pain with walking.

Grade III is a complete tear of the affected ligament with severe swelling and bruising. Walking is usually not possible because of the ankle gives out, and there is intense pain, although initial pain may quickly subside.

Prolonged immobilization of ankle sprains is a common treatment error. Functional stress stimulates the incorporation of stronger replacement collagen. Functional rehabilitation begins on the day of injury and continues until pain-free gait and activity are attained. The four components of rehabilitation are range-of-motion rehabilitation, progressive muscle-strengthening exercises, proprioceptive training and activity-specific training.

So anyway that is why Goldson is practicing the best he can rather than resting the injury.


hairofthedawg said...

I've had ankle problems for as long as I can remember but none were diagnosed as high or low or anything, just use the crutches until it's ok and go from there.

About a year and a half ago I broke my tibia, fibula and another bone I can't recall that made it trimalloidal. 6 weeks in a cast, a couple on crutches learning how to put pressure on it again and then limping around while rehabbing.

British military doctors put the screws in and supervised the physical therapy so it's probably completely unlike the resources Goldson has at his disposal.

Most of my rehab dealt with balance and I was kind of surprised at the role the ankle plays in balance. Range of motion was covered both by writing the alphabet with my big toe and the balance exercises. It mainly consisted of standing on one foot for extended periods of time in various positions and trying to stand on a 2' in diameter plywood disc attached to half of a ball. It's not easy at first and I felt pretty stupid...also glad I was the only one in the gym.

It can take some time, and although I was motivated, even if not to the extent Dashon is, don't count on a miracle. It can take time. I hope he's back soon and I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, but let him heal completely. Mine was more similar to Garcia's injury and I'm surprised a bit that he's back so soon. Well, not really, based on what I've heard about his attitude, but kudos to him for making it back. I've got a few years on him, but even after 18 mos. I still feel a bit of restriction down there.

Go Huskies! Yeah, starting to get excited...

Health Insurance Expert said...

I don't know if he will get back to full speed this year or not. Right now he is just trying to play through it the best he can. Hopefully it will improve by the time we get into the conference season.