Five steps to recovering from an ankle torn ligament injury
Once upon a Cape Town winter, a single girl ran after a guy on their first date, fell on a wet patch of ground and tore her right ankle ligaments... this girl, of course, being me.
The road to love never did run smoothly and not only did my wannabe Romeo vanish like mist before the sun, but all of the progress to running a 10km unhindered I'd made prior to this ill-fated meeting came to a halting crash too.
It has been three months since my accident and I am making great strides to recovery with physical therapy. It has been a long journey to healing but here are five steps I have learnt to recovering from a torn ligament injury:
1) Get to your doctor immediately:
I laughed off the burning sensations I was feeling in my ankle as just severe symptoms of an ankle sprain, thinking that because it had been six years since my last sprain, I'd forgotten what it felt like.
By the time I made it to my doctor's rooms three days later, my injury was more severe than it needed to be.
2) Start physical therapy and suit up in ankle braces:
Depending on the severity of your injury, your doctor will get you kitted out in a super sexy moon boot (not) and recommend crutches to alleviate the pressure. Use these aids but not too much.
Start physical therapy as soon as possible. If you are based in Cape Town, my recommendation is Physio Active in Tamboerskloof. Your therapist will then prescribe an ankle brace and give you exercises to work on.
3) Do your exercises:
All of them! It’s important to re-build the muscle strength and mobility of your joints after you’ve been in a moon boot or ankle brace for a while.
As tedious and sometimes painful as they are, these exercises will help you get back on the road.
In the first few days after your injury, you’re sure to have followed the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) plan but it is vital to do so after you’re mobile again too. That means limiting strenuous activity and knowing when enough is enough.
5) Stay motivated:
It’s easy to get caught up in your running friends’ lives on social media and feel a twinge of FOMO (fear of missing out) but remember that you are working towards getting healthy and running fit again. You’ll be smashing those PBs again in no time.
I'll see you on the road, hopefully soon!
Until next month,