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  1. #1
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Bad sprain - precautions to riding again?

    So I've been silent for a little bit, just busy with life, but did become a full-time commuter back in June and rode 99% of the winter here in Chicago. Except for the last 2 weeks, because I ganked my ankle really bad on a run 2 weeks ago. So bad that I was in a robo-boot for a week and on crutches. I am now just in a brace, the ankle is healing really well (physical therapists are impressed) and I am itching to ride again.

    Has anyone had a high ankle sprain and got back into the saddle? I plan on not clipping in currently and wearing my boots with a brace (been in boots all winter), but anyone have any suggestions? This is a MTB with a suspension fork, and I don't go off road with it, and won't with the ankle.

    I talked it over with the therapists and they both said I am OK to ride this weekend provided I take my time and do not fall. I am blessed to be borrowing a friend's car that is out of the country on business but they will be back Sunday and need the car, so either my wife and I need to juggle kids and a car, or I need to ride again. I am hoping to ride at least to and from work since it is only a 20 minute ride.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  2. #2
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the ankle. Never heard the word "ganked" before, but I like it. Glad you're healing well.

    I'm no expert, but right off the top of my head, my biggest advice I think would be to make sure you spin, not mash. And I think your PT's nailed it....DON'T FALL.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  3. #3
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    when I rolled my ankle, and had the brace one (plastic side and velcro straps). I was able to ride. but cornering was PITA because I could no longer pivot my ankle due to the brace and lean angle was F'd over. Pedaling good, handling bad

  4. #4
    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    The trick in rehabilitation of any injury is to find the sweet spot between babying it and pushing too hard and causing re-injury. After getting the OK from your physician or PT, hot and cold therapy and massage, along with range of motion and strengthening exercises will get you on the road to recovery. Remember good nutrition and plenty of rest, they really do make a difference. Keep in mind that even once it feels better, that ankle may not be as strong as it was for weeks, months, or in a few cases, permanently. Your training should include exercises to strengthen connective tissues and small stabilizer muscles, which takes a lot longer than large muscle masses. When you have healed to the appropriate point, ask your PT about wobble boards which are used to improve balance and strengthen stabilizing muscles of the lower body. As you won't be raising your heart rate, or blasting large muscle groups, this type of exercise might seem like a waste of time but they absolutely are not.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I'm your huckleberry. I had ankle surgery two summers ago to repair a tendon that I was ALWAYS spraining. I mean always, it was a wet noodle. The doc went in there and did something with kevlar and screws that reattached my tendon to the ankle where it belonged. (called it a modified bostrum procedure if you have a burning desire to know exactly what. They have videos on line! How exciting. )

    I wanted to ride about 10 seconds after I got out of that blasted cast and he wouldn't let me for a few weeks, but I did anyway. I did use one of those air braces for a while, although I didn't see the point - there's very little lateral stress on your ankle while riding. Be cautious about mounting and dismounting and don't go nuts, you should be fine. I did a century about a month out of the cast with no ill effects other than questionable conditioning.

    Having said that I've never really understood what a high ankle sprain is. Sounds more like a cracked bone than an actual sprain, so perhaps it's different.

  6. #6
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    I have hardware in my ankle and have more recently had a stress fracture that left me unable to walk without the boot for a few weeks. During those weeks, I was still able to ride without any problems (and without my doctor's advice...I didn't ask, so they didn't tell me no). I was very concerned about falling and planned that if I had to put a foot down suddenly for balance, it would have to be the other foot. I didn't fall, fortunately. I didn't ride with the boot on, and I was able to walk using the bike for support.

  7. #7
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I forgot to update, been riding to work for the last week when not going to PT. I did go for a "longer" ride yesterday which ended up a little over 15 miles, but my average was about 17 mph. However I tried to get a sprint or 2 in but loading up my ankle was not allowing that, so I let off.

    The rest of the ride was good, mild pain by the end and some soreness later, but nothing horrible. Felt good after and the ankle hurt a little less today.


    TH - Trying my darnedest to avoid surgery. I am about to change careers and need to pass physical tests and this has already derailed me a couple of months.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  8. #8
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Having said that I've never really understood what a high ankle sprain is. Sounds more like a cracked bone than an actual sprain, so perhaps it's different.

    Google image it....but not if you're squeamish. Basically instead of rolling your ankle to the side (either one) you roll your ankle with more of a backward motion than just side and pull the tendons on the out side as well as the ones that hold your fibula and tibia together.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

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