chronic ankle - how to heal?

by Mani
(Trivandrum, India)


I had an ankle injury 5 months back without any bruising. I did not rest much and then started playing with slight pain in the ankle. Slowly the pain went away and I was able to play soccer like before; but I was still not confident of taking shots from the right leg.

After about 5 months I started taking shots from the right leg and after a few days I had slight pain in the ankle with minimal swelling. I went to an orthopedic and he said that my ankle had become chronic after seeing the x-ray; he asked me to do physiotherapy.

I did physiotherapy for 1 week and my ankle still feels unstable. moreover the pain in the ankle ligament has somewhat increased however the swelling is completely gone.

The physiotherapist said that I will never be able to recover completely from the ligament injury. He said that I will always have pain while playing soccer.

I cannot live without soccer. Please let me know how I will be able to heal my ankle completely and how much time will it take.

Note that I only twisted my ankle once. Never again.

Hello Mani,
If there was no bruising in the beginning then there was nothing torn; the ligaments were just stretched, and possibly one of the small bones in the ankle subluxated; usually the talus or calcaneus.

ALWAYS after any injury have it assessed, accept that you have to stop for a period whilst it heals, and do plenty of rehab; then you have the possibility of full recovery.

Now it's difficult and the physio may be right.

Stop your football for a month, perhaps six weeks and ask your PT for an intensive rehab programme that you can do at home. Get a wobble board.

I was once in the same position, only with my lower back; I couldn't accept that there was life without squash. After six months of moping I discovered gliding; it's much more exciting that squash!

There's something out there just as exciting as football waiting for you; look for it.

Dr B



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