How To: (Not) Break Your Ankle Like A Man


Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    That sucks. Here’s wishing for a speedy recovery. Here’s also wishing you find the wisdom to take enough time to let it heal and avoid re-injury.Report

    • It’s that last part that’s going to be the hardest. I’d go so far as to say waiting that long seems practically impossible.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        As noted below, I’ve sprained my ankles too many times to count. Please. Learn from my mistakes. Let the damn thing fully heal. Do a full rehab course… with a physical therapist if at all possible. Don’t just assume because it doesn’t hurt anymore that you’re healed. IT takes a lot more to get it back even close to where it was. And if you don’t, you’re more likely to re-injure it as well as deal with day-to-day pain, aggregation, and annoyance.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    Dude, you’re getting older….sorry to say that…but that’s the fact.

    The body can’t take the same pounding as it used to nor can it recover as fast. All your struggles are just swimming against the tide. Wait until you hit your 40s 🙂Report

  3. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I knew I finally matured when I sprained my ankle for the umpteenth time and instead of saying, “I’ll be back in next play,” I said, “I’ll see you guys in 6 months.”Report

  4. Avatar El Muneco says:

    Dude, I’m hip…
    I’m 48 now. In my 20s, when I was playing hardball, I was the fastest guy around – stole bases at will, had enough range even at shortstop to make up for an arm that barely held up at second. I think I’ve lost four steps since then, maybe five, now I’m tolerably average. On the soccer field, I think I’ve changed my game every five years, and am looking at yet another… I play in a couple of leagues, one over 30 where we have some ex-semipros and one not age-limited where some of the dudes are 18, so I can relate to how the ground shifts.

    Heh, I also had a similar experience with discovering an old injury. One baseball pre-season I had a lot of knee pain when running, and when we started practice, I couldn’t even bend down to field a grounder. By the time the season started, it wasn’t hurting, so I didn’t think anything of it. A few years later, I had what didn’t feel like the usual tendinitis and went in for an MRI – they said that I didn’t have any problem now, but by the way did you know that you have an old partial ACL tear?

    As Kazzy says, at some point you just can’t play through it. The point varies depending on what “it” is, of course. For me, it’s my right hamstring. 15 or 20 years ago, it hurt terribly, even worse than now, chronically. But it recovered in time for the next game. Now, it doesn’t, and anytime I feel it give it’s a week – maybe two. But if I don’t give it enough time to heal – and then spend a week or so building back the strength I lost – I’m out for a couple months I can’t afford when I’m pushing 50.

    But I’m not going to quit until I can’t do the job. I may not be able to catch up to the physical freaks anymore, and I may only play 20 games a season instead of 30 (ok, 10-15 in a PNW winter, but that’s by choice). But I’ve been doing this for 20 years, which is longer than some of my opponents have been alive, so I’d better be able to read the game better than them since I’ve seen it all at this point.
    Keep the faith. Take care of yourself – respect your injuries and the rehab required. Do that and you’ll have years and years of frustration while icing injuries you never used to have :).Report

  5. I appreciate all of the feedback, and having read it carefully, I see that what you’re really saying – not what you’ve written, but the message that you want me to get – is that I need to get back out there as quickly as possible and to keep pushing hard? Is that correct?Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

      Don’t make me tell a story about not seeing a doc right away and ending up needing quick time surgery a few days later.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to greginak says:

        The last joint of my left pinky is at a 15% angle or so.

        I got kicked while playing goalkeeper and for some reason thought the most likely result would be a sprain, so I just kept right on like normal, wrapping my left hand when I would do something active.

        When I finally did see the doctor a month or so later, the break had already set and re-breaking it wasn’t an option (IIRC, because the break was more of a spiral parallel to the bone rather than a clean break perpendicular to it).

        I did my PT like a maniac, and got basically the 95% outcome, the aggravating little deviation I have today. The median prognosis was that it would be bent basically double…

        That was the last time I messed around with that type of traumatic injury. I’m still amazed at how much damage I have allowed to happen over my life with that old-school crap.Report