Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.See all posts »
Turning an Ankle
No doubt, I nailed my anterior inferior tibiofibular and anterior talofibular ligaments, which help anchor the bones of my ankle in place. These are the most commonly injured, but there are seven other ligaments in the ankle complex that might have also been strained.
The immediate therapy is RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. As soon as I could, I iced my ankle, using a bag of frozen edamame (soy beans) from Trader Joe’s. I was off to watch my son play baseball, so I carried a bag of ice to apply off and on for the next few hours. Still, it turns out that I have a fair amount of swelling, so it will be a couple of weeks at least before I can test my ankle jogging again.
To complete the therapeutic advice, for the next two days, I will wear a walking splint (left over from an ankle fracture/dislocation four years ago – but that’s another story) for a couple of days so that I can work in the E.R., then begin using intermittent heat applications to assist in comfort and resolution of the swelling. Most of all, I need to be patient, because ligaments take weeks to heal, and it’s important that they heal “tight and strong.”
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