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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    241

    Third Degree Ankle Sprain

    So I stupidly gave in to peer pressure and played a bit of pick up basketball before my first day back on snow. I ended up spraining my ankle pretty badly and according to the ER doctor, nothing is torn but it's a third degree sprain.

    They said I would need to use crutches for a few days and keep an aircast on for about a week after that. He said that I could experience twinges of pain a month after the injury.

    Right now, my foot/ankle is so swollen that you can't see any of the bones that are normally quite easy to see.

    Stupidly, I forgot to ask when I might be able to begin skiing, as I was more worried about a fitness test that I have to complete this week.

    Have any of you mags had this type of injury (I'm sure someone here has)? If so, how long was it before you felt comfortable enough to ski?

    Thanks for the help, I'm hoping that I can ski in 2-3 weeks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Jackson Hole
    Posts
    2,245
    I badly sprained (grade 2 or 2.5???) an ankle last winter and the Doc at the clinic said when it didn't hurt I could go skiing. I focused on Range of Motion (ROM) exercises from the first night and knew the articulations of getting into the boot were going to be the most painful and difficult. After many ankle sprains, there wasn't much swelling for the severity of the injury, so while painful, I was able to cram- painfully- into a ski boot pretty quick- like in a few days.

    My Garmont Shaman acted like a pretty good cast and kept things mobilized. I did notice that I had to be a lot cleaner in my style of turning as the calcaneofibular ligament took a beating if my ski tip wandered around. Did they say which one got worked? Got any pics?



    Usually it is the calcaneofibular ligament at the bottom of the picture. You've probably got a bunch of info from your Doc- follow that.

    Still, keep up ROM exercises and and pain is a red flag that you're moving ahead too fast. The swelling alone may prevent any skiing for some time. The pressure from the buckled boot felt good and made skiing possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    241
    The sheet he gave me didn't mention a specific ligament but he may have mentioned the calcaneofibular ligament (stands out in my mind).

    He said that it was a complete sprain of the ankle, saying that it was not the average sprain that a person usually suffers. I don't have any pictures, but yesterday it was so swollen that I had almost no definition around my ankle. The swelling has gone down some but I still don't stand a chance of fitting it into a boot.

    Thanks for your help, that was some solid advice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    414
    You may be looking at months before you are completely pain free. If it's really a third degree tear, there can be substantial instability, too. And although skiing may not be as stressful to the ankle as basketball or football, I would think there is a fair amount of force transferred through the ligaments with the rapid shifting.

    If it were me personally, I would try to wait 3 weeks or so and see where the pain is at. If there's not much pain, you're probably ok to gradually work it in. If there's still a good amount of pain, take it easy as poor rehab can lead to increased chronic pain. In the meanwhile do the exercises and hope for the best.
    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRon View Post
    I totally agree.


    What skiing today really needs is way less stink-eye backcountry disrespect, and way more face-punching.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    836
    I suffered a 3rd degree sprain once due to a botched nose blunt on the skateboard. 6 weeks in a cast (not air), I think 2-4 weeks of that with crutches and I was back at it. It was probably 6 months before the swelling finally subsided completely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    das heights
    Posts
    2,547
    grade 3 sprain is burls. A month? You're dreaming if you really suffered a grade 3. Good luck man.

    Grade 3 Ankle Sprain:
    Grade 3 sprains involve complete rupture of all the ligaments of the lateral complex. Treatment of these serious sprains of the lateral ligaments is somewhat controversial. Because the injury results in gross instability, surgical repair may be necessary for some patients. Whatever treatment the physician chooses, complete restoration of muscle strength through physical therapy and rehabilitation is essential to avoid another sprain in the same ankle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    241
    Quote Originally Posted by pointedem View Post
    grade 3 sprain is burls. A month? You're dreaming if you really suffered a grade 3. Good luck man.

    Grade 3 Ankle Sprain:
    Grade 3 sprains involve complete rupture of all the ligaments of the lateral complex. Treatment of these serious sprains of the lateral ligaments is somewhat controversial. Because the injury results in gross instability, surgical repair may be necessary for some patients. Whatever treatment the physician chooses, complete restoration of muscle strength through physical therapy and rehabilitation is essential to avoid another sprain in the same ankle.
    Ok, what my er doctor said was something along the lines of 'you suffered a third degree sprain, and what that means is that youve sprained the entire joint, as opposed to a partial sprain which is normal."

    He then did some pushing and pulling and said that the ankle felt stable and also said that nothing appeared to be torn.

    Maybe he meant to say something other than third degree?

    I'm in quite a bit of pain right now, but it doesn't seem like something that would set me back more than a month.

    Sorry for this, but I am an injury jong.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    414
    A sprain is a ligament injury, not a "joint" injury per se and the grading is based on degree of ligament injury, not on how many ligaments are involved. With a third degree sprain (= complete ligament tear), you should have gross instability of the joint on exam; otherwise, i'm not sure how'd you make the diagnosis outside of an MRI.

    Make an appointment with a sports doc and get their assessment.
    Quote Originally Posted by IrieRon View Post
    I totally agree.


    What skiing today really needs is way less stink-eye backcountry disrespect, and way more face-punching.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Warrrrrrrshington
    Posts
    1,008
    Thirded on what's already been said. If it's a true 3rd degree then you're looking at a couple months recovery and honestly half to one year until things feel completely normal. Go see a sports doc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    1,476
    which way did your ankle roll? inward or outward-inward is worse.

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