Friday, January 16, 2009

A Late Christmas Gift - Not Broken!

Woo-hoo! I received some great news yesterday during my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. It turns out that the protrusion of bone on my lower fibula is, in the doctor's opinion, from a previous ankle sprain. My ankle is *not* broken - the x-rays were simply misinterpreted by the Urgent Care doctor, which can (and will) happen if they are not experts in the skelto-musculature realm of medicine.

So, the doc said that I should try putting weight on my ankle as I could, first with both crutches, then with a single crutch on the good side, and then with no crutches. When I got back home, I tested out my ankle and was able to put weight on it with two, then one crutch. Later that evening, I discarded the single crutch and was able to hobble around fairly well, even helping out with the preparation for dinner.

To cap off the night, I was able to ascend our stairs to the second story and actually tuck in my kids and sleep in my own bed for the first time in four days.

As far as further recovery is concerned, the doctor said that wearing a brace might be a good idea for the next few weeks, and to work on my range of motion in the ankle. Running is out of the question for about three weeks, but biking would be a good exercise when my ankle feels up to it. I am hoping to be back in soccer shape in fixe to six weeks - we'll see how things go.

I can not express how happy I am to be rid of those crutches! The four days I had to deal with them has given me a small dose of insight into what it must be like to permanently live with a disability. Just being able to walk and use my hands at the same time seems like an amazing gift to me right now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Epic Fail - My Broken Ankle

Ug. Maybe I should rename this blog to Alan's Place Where He Bitches About His Injuries...

Yes, a new year has come, and a new injury along with it. Up until this time in my life, I have been fortunate enough to have never broken a bone in my body. I was pure, as far as my calcified frame is concerned. Sure, the paint on the outside has suffered a few abrasions, burns, and general wear and tear over the years, but the frame on which it all rides was still in decent shape.

On Sunday, I play a pick-up game of soccer at a local park. After about 45 minutes of play, I was chasing down a ball and went up in the air for it. I landed with all of my weight on my right foot, which normally isn't a problem. However, when that right foot in turn lands on some kind of divot, problems can (and did) arise.

My right ankle rolled outwards as all of my weight bore down, and a 'pop' was heard by me and the player closest to me. I went down like a house of cards, to my hands and knees. I managed to crawl on my hands and knees off the field, where one of the other guys gave me some ice in a ziplock bag to ice it down.

After about 10 minutes of icing it down, I experimented with the joint a bit and found that I could move it around without much discomfort at all. I put on my flip-flops, and tested out putting some weight on it, and it seemed ok. Maybe it wasn't too bad after all?

I decided to call it a day, and then walked to my truck without too much difficulty. Some of the guys there asked if I needed any help, and I thanked them but said that it looked like it might not be too bad. One of them urged me to have it x-rayed, lest I wake up in the middle of the night with an ankle the size of a cantaloupe.

I almost dismissed the advice, except for the memory of the 'pop' sound. That was something new. So, I headed off to the local Urgent Care which was blessedly empty. After a few x-rays, the doc came in and said that it looks like there was a bone chip in my right ankle, and asked me if I had broken my ankle in the past? He said that he would consult with a radiologist the following day, and refer me to an orthopedic surgeon if it was a fracture.

The nurse splinted up my foot and calf, handed me a pair of crutches, a prescription for vicodin, and then I was sent on my way home. My wife picked me up, as I can not exert any pressure on the joint, and hence can not drive. Oh boy, this is going to be fun.

On Monday, I got an referral and appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon, which I will go to in a few minutes. More information will be forthcoming as it arrives. I am praying that no surgery will be needed, and that the break is minor.