Posted On:1/05/2011 6:51pm
Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bones to each other. They provide strength and support to joints. In the ankle, injuries to the ligaments, called sprains, are usually caused by unexpected twists of the joint. A sprain can be a stretch, tear, or complete rupture of one or more of the ligaments that hold the bones of the ankle joint together. Sprains are classified according to the severity of the ligament tear.
With a first degree sprain, stretching and minimal tearing cause mild pain, difficulty walking, tenderness, and swelling. There is no bruising or loss of function. Recovery time is 4 to 6 weeks.
With a second degree sprain, a tearing sensation, or a pop or snap is felt. There is swelling and tenderness in the ankle. Bruising begins 3 to 4 days after the injury. Walking may be moderately difficult. Recovery time is 4 to 8 weeks.
At the time of the injury in a third degree sprain, the joint may slip out of place and then back in. There is massive swelling, severe tenderness, and instability in the joint. Walking may not be possible. Surgery is sometimes necessary. Recovery time is 6 to 12 weeks.
Severe ankle sprains need medical care. It's a good idea to be evaluated for a possible fracture. Then use RICE therapy: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Ice the injury as soon as possible. Cover your ankle with a WET towel and place a plastic bag full of ice over it. A one or two pound package of frozen corn or peas makes an excellent ice pack. They mold to the ankle and can be refrozen for repeated use. Ice should be applied for 10 to 30 minutes on and off for 48 to 72 hours. Stay off your feet. Recline and elevate the hurt ankle slightly higher than your hips. Compress the injury with an elastic bandage. For the first few days crutches are advised, even with mild sprains.
Certified Fitness Trainer
Posted On:1/05/2011 8:25pm
Style: Judo, Jujitsu
Fortunately for the poster suffering blisters, that's a temporary condition. Wearing the socks while the blister heals is a good idea, because you can't develop a callus if you keep tearing it open. But as the blister heals, work on it again (assuming you intend to stay in your martial art for a while). Just like the fingers of a guitar player, you will over time build calluses which will be mostly resistance to the day-to-day friction.
For the sprain... eh, that can be tricky. Particularly because it seems that you're not 100% sure of the exact nature of the injury. It's tricky because, being the toe, you have to not only bear weight on it, but move it through a significant range of motion (assuming you're not drastically altering your gait). I dislocated one of my big toes pretty severely in the past. After the mandatory rest period, I had a walking boot so that my foot would bear weight, but the toe wasn't moved much.
There are few injuries that can't be healed, but some are much more difficult than others. If you're having ongoing pain that isn't remedied by long-term rest and other methods, it's possible that the injury event cause some structural damage. Ones that come immediately to mind are a separation of a part or all of the ligament, an avulsion fracture (where the ligament takes off a piece of bone with it), microscopic fractures similar to stress fractures that worsen upon weight-bearing, or possibly cartilage damage. Unfortunately, if the problem is any of these, you would likely need surgery before proper healing could commence. And even more unfortunately, it's entirely likely that a preliminary x-ray could miss them at first glance. But your doctor should be able to diagnose the problem if focused.
If it is "just" a sprain, the rest/rehab process should work. The question is what degree to take it. The more severe the injury, the more rest will be needed and the more gradual the rehab process. It sounds like you've done the resting part quite a bit. But keep in mind that when a ligament is freshly healed, it's not that strong yet. If you go from rest directly to full (or at least normal) activity, that could overload it. Finally, ligaments are notoriously slow to heal because the blood supply is minimal. That's why knee injuries can take many months to recover from. So it's possible you may need more healing time than you realize.
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