Long Term Consequences of Severe Ankle Injury Alters Balance & Proprioception

Pain & Injury on December 30th, 2010 No Comments

Balance and postural control training following a severe ankle sprain was not a part of my rehabilitation program back in the early 80′s. The emphasis in those days was to regain maximum strength especially after being in a mesh cast for 2 months.  The mechanism of my injury occurred during a pass rushing drill at Mesa State College as I stepped into an unseen sprinkler hole and severely twisted my ankle. I felt the familiar burning sensation of the blood rushing from the tissue tearing and the classic pop of the lateral ankle ligaments. I knew in that moment that I had suffered a severe injury, I laid on the ground gripping the grass with both hands, breaking out into a cold sweat and trying to hold back the pure agony of my situation. I was placed on a golf cart and whisked away to the orthopedic doctors office which was completely overbooked, so I sat in the back room with my leg up and an ice bag on my ankle. After hours of waiting the PA finally came into the room and saw that my shoe had been cut off of my foot because the swelling was so great. I was given two options schedule surgery immediately or cast the ankle, it was not a difficult decision at the time because I had just had knee surgery the year before. I opted to have the mesh cast applied complete with crutches, I wasn’t up for another joint venture. The long term consequences of this ankle injury has evolved into difficulty with balancing on one foot and my range of motion is definitely compromised, not to mention the intermittent arthritic pain that stiffens the joint and alters my gait pattern. In a recent massage I noticed that my Peroneous Longus and Brevis were really tender and tight – do these muscles hold the key to my balance and proprioceptive difficulties??

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