Ankle Sprain: Phase I (Immediately Post-injury)

Not a good day for basketball. There was one minor car accident, three sprained ankles and one stubbed finger.

The finger and one ankle belong to J., darn the luck.

Any army/medical personnel will tell you that the management of a sprain is “RICE“. Let’s see how J. managed his ankle in comparison to what is described here in Sprain and Strain Treatment.

After the ankle sprain, J. stopped playing basketball. He then proceeded to walk up the slope (200m) to a friend’s car, hitched a ride to the bus stop, from which he took a bus (standing room only) to Newton MRT Station. A quick ride (still standing room only) to Tanjong Pagar was followed by another walk (200m) and a bit of stair-climbing. Afterwards, J. walked back (200m) to the MRT station to ride to Braddell (seated). From Braddell MRT, J. walked slowly (400m) to a student’s house to teach tuition.

Post-tuition, J. hobbled to the bus stop (20m) and took a bus home. He then proceeded to struggle down a steep staircase and walk (150m) home.

At Tanjong Pagar, J. decided to kill two stones with one stone and buy take-away (read: comes in a small plastic bag) kopi-ping (translation: milk coffee-ice). Not only did it satisfy J.’s coffee addiction and stave off sleep, it also came in handy for icing the ankle. 6hrs and much abuse later, J. applied an ice pack to his ankle at home.

None. J. is looking for his ankle guard. He has decided to switch to elastic bandage instead.

For much of the day, J. was unable to comply due to an inability to walk long distances using his hands on hot asphalt.

After 6hrs of the foot being about 1m below heart level, J. has finally raised the ankle to roughly heart level.

Recovery might take a little longer than might have been expected.

It has been suggested by some well-meaning friends that J. should take his sad ankle to a 推拿师 (master of Chinese manipulative therapy). None of these friends are from the medical faculty.

Generally, it was taught by the orthopaedics and sports medicine departments that while Tui-Na actually does reduce the swelling, it does not really promote healing. Going for modern medicine principles that sprained ankles is caused by ligamentous injury, it hardly makes sense that further manipulating the traumatised ligaments would improve its recovery. The reduction in swelling, it was told to J., was due to improved lymphatic drainage post-manipulation.

So much for that option. Looks like it’s back to RICE for J. .


One response to this post.

  1. I had ankle injury on Dec 2nd 09 as I fell down while walking on an uneven road.I had an X ray of my ankle and learnt that I fractured my 5th metatarsal bone(Jone’s fracture)
    As on today ,after 4 months I still suffer with swollen ankle though I am able to walk with out a limp and minimal pain.
    The ankle injuries are notorious and healing takes long time.


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