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princess bossass
06-19-2007, 03:55 PM
:evil: My ankle is stupid, and so are my questions.

I keep rolling it over, and then I can't play for a few days, then when I do play I'm all scared of hurting it again, which I do, eventually. I looked at other threads and learned that:

1) once you roll it, it's bound to keep happening (which seems to be the case);
2) it likes to be iced after it's rolled (which I do, every time I roll it, religiously);
3) strengthening exercises help (e.g., wobble-board stuff); and
4) I should wear a brace.

My questions, now:

1) Any other strengthening exercises? I'm not crazy about investing in a wobble board, but I do have resistance bands.
2) What kind of brace? What's an ASU brace? I have an aircast from when I messed up my ankle playing soccer, but that seems overly cumbersome.
3) My friend who's a doctor and tennis player suggested high top tennis shoes. I have never seen high top tennis shoes. Have you? Any other suggestions for shoes? (women's)
4) I've tried an ace bandage. I have no arches and extremely poor cirulation to my extremities, and anything that goes under my foot tends to give me either numbness or extreme pain in my foot.

:confused:

Any help at all would be wildly appreciated.

Stupid ankle. Stupid body. :-x

OrangeOne
06-19-2007, 04:01 PM
My standard reply to so many questions like this:

Please go see a physiotherapist, instead of asking random people (mostly kids) on the boards. You only get one body, and 1 ankle for each leg. Clearly you have a significant weakness, and a physio will identify this and likely help you strengthen it in more ways than just a 'wobble board'.

A physio will also help you identify an appropriate brace for YOUR ankle, and / or teach you how to tape it to protect it.

Good luck, and kudos to you for such comprehensive searching before posting!

princess bossass
06-19-2007, 04:04 PM
My standard reply to so many questions like this:

Please go see a physiotherapist, instead of asking random people (mostly kids) on the boards. You only get one body, and 1 ankle for each leg. Clearly you have a significant weakness, and a physio will identify this and likely help you strengthen it in more ways than just a 'wobble board'.

A physio will also help you identify an appropriate brace for YOUR ankle, and / or teach you how to tape it to protect it.

Good luck, and kudos to you for such comprehensive searching before posting!

Just one ankle for each leg? Awwwww, whose idea was that?;)

Thank you for your frank, honest answer. :)

dunloplayah
06-19-2007, 04:11 PM
I agree with orangeone, thanks for that answer! Lots of great people here on the forum but many are, as he says, very young kids. They hurt something, go ow, get up the next day and do it all again, much more resilient than those of us a little older (read: 30s and up) who love to play tennis too but have to deal with our "stupid" body parts ! :D

I'm dealing with the same but with my wrist lately and i've come to that realization that i can keep wrapping it, icing it, medicating, taking time off tennis (the worst part of all!) or I can go pay the $$ (my insurance won't cover it until i cover the $2500 deductable for hospitalization/specialist treatment) for a PT and get some real answers and prognosis.

Best of luck to you!

heycal
06-19-2007, 05:12 PM
1) Any other strengthening exercises? I'm not crazy about investing in a wobble board, but I do have resistance bands.


Might standing on a pillow one legged barefoot and trying to balance be sort of a poor man's wobble board? Just a thought... I seem to remember that exercise being prescribed for me for a calf injury, and since my ankles ain't feeling so strong these days, I might give that exercise a try again. (Maybe bending your knee slightly makes it a bit more challenging if memory serves?)

Phil
06-19-2007, 05:51 PM
:evil: My questions, now:

1) Any other strengthening exercises? I'm not crazy about investing in a wobble board, but I do have resistance bands.
Yeah, it's only an ankle, and you have another one so no need to "invest" in it. :rolleyes: ...Buy the damn thing if this is an ongoing problem...it's not incredibly expensive and you never put money ahead of your health...unless you would rather give up the game altogether. It does work, if you use it correctly.
2) What kind of brace? What's an ASU brace? I have an aircast from when I messed up my ankle playing soccer, but that seems overly cumbersome.
Kallassey makes the best brace that I've ever tried...it allows you to play with confidence and without fear. I heard that ASO also makes a good one, but never tried it. Not familiar with "ASU" other than the university in Arizona.
3) My friend who's a doctor and tennis player suggested high top tennis shoes. I have never seen high top tennis shoes. Have you? Any other suggestions for shoes? (women's)
Good suggestion. Wearing those and the brace will provide added support. Prince and K-Swiss make 3/4 shoes, and K-Swiss may also have a high top model. Not sure about women's styles. I've worn the Prince Vipers for years-a tad heavy and not exactly on the stylish side, but they to what they're supposed to do, which is provide ankle support.
4) I've tried an ace bandage. I have no arches and extremely poor cirulation to my extremities, and anything that goes under my foot tends to give me either numbness or extreme pain in my foot.
The Kallassey has the qualities of an ace bandage...and you can adjust it so it wouldn't cut off circulation. The Brace is better and it won't come undone like an Ace because of the velcro fasteners.

Spector
06-19-2007, 06:06 PM
Yeh rolling ankles really is a bad thing....just last night I partially rolled it. One thing I have found though is that you are less likely to do it if you not thinking about it. Once you roll your ankle you keep thinking about it and no dobut it will happen again.

The other thing you could look at is your shoes and whether they are they are the right support for the type of foot you have. You may have an anatomical tendecy to roll your feet outwards. If you then where shoes designed for people who pronate then your problem will be further enhanced.

circusmouse
06-19-2007, 07:46 PM
Hello again, Princess Bossass. Strengthening exercises will undoubtedly help, but I don't know of any that you can't easily find online.

I rolled my ankle last December and didn't play for a month afterwards. A friend recommended the aircast brace so I got one and liked it at first, but after a few hitting sessions, I developed a tender spot on my ankle where the brace rubbed. The tender spot didn't go away quickly, so a couple of months ago I bought a pair of the ASO braces. Now I wouldn't play without them. In fact, I did unintentionally play without them recently (left them at home) and aggravated the inside of my ankle, which I've never done before. I was also wearing bad shoes. Lesson learned. Playing with the braces is much more comfortable than playing without because your ankles feels so secure, and they do give you the peace of mind to play hard. I haven't tried the Kallassy braces, but a lot of people seem to like them. You probably can't go wrong either way. I sincerely doubt you'll roll your ankle with the braces on. I would also recommend icing your ankles after you play in general. I now ice my ankles, knees, and sometimes shoulder after playing just to be safe. Helpful tip: I wash my braces by taking them into the shower after I play and then hanging them on a skirt hanger to dry.

heycal
06-19-2007, 07:59 PM
I now ice my ankles, knees, and sometimes shoulder after playing just to be safe.

That's a lot of places to ice after a match. May I suggest you just try taking an ice bath after you play for one stop shopping? Phil swears by them.;)

circusmouse
06-19-2007, 08:28 PM
That's a lot of places to ice after a match. May I suggest you just try taking an ice bath after you play for one stop shopping? Phil swears by them.;)

I've thought about it. I don't have much room in my freezer for ice, so I may just take a cold bath. However, I don't find the icing that big of a hassle. After a couple of hours of tennis, I normally want to vegetate for a while and read, watch tv, or waste time on the net. I ice during that period of rest.

heycal
06-19-2007, 08:38 PM
I've thought about it. I don't have much room in my freezer for ice

Then where do you keep the 53 different ice packs you need to use after a match?

circusmouse
06-19-2007, 09:17 PM
Then where do you keep the 53 different ice packs you need to use after a match?

I have a few packs but normally only use one. You don't have to ice for long periods of time. Ankles and feet get cold fast.

netman
06-20-2007, 03:41 PM
Here is the answer you don't want to hear.

When you "roll" your ankle, you over-stretch and/or tear connective tissue. Problem is connective tissue has lousy blood supply and takes forever to heal. Darn stuff just wants to make you suffer forever when you injure it.

Best cure? Rest. Lots of it. It takes a long, long time for ligaments and tendons to heal. Personal example. I lived with a chronic floppy ankle for 10 years. Had to wear braces and still kept injuring it. Then I blew out my back and was out of athletics for 5 years. Came back and have had no ankle problems for over 7 years. No braces, no injuries, nothing.

There is a simple test to check when you are good to go. When you can go full speed on your bad ankle, make every cut, push off, start and stop, with no pain, you are good to go. If not, you risk a relapse and further injury.

But in the end, its your ankle, so you decide what to do. If there is a $500k champion's prize on the line, you might choose to treat it aggressively, keep playing and hope for the best. If you are still an amateur, well then, you probably know the risk/reward equation that works for you. Injure it over and over and chronic arthritis will be your reward. But heh, that won't hit you until you are 40. You decide.

-k-

Midlife crisis
06-20-2007, 08:13 PM
Here is the answer you don't want to hear.

When you "roll" your ankle, you over-stretch and/or tear connective tissue. Problem is connective tissue has lousy blood supply and takes forever to heal. Darn stuff just wants to make you suffer forever when you injure it.

Best cure? Rest. Lots of it. It takes a long, long time for ligaments and tendons to heal. Personal example. I lived with a chronic floppy ankle for 10 years. Had to wear braces and still kept injuring it. Then I blew out my back and was out of athletics for 5 years. Came back and have had no ankle problems for over 7 years. No braces, no injuries, nothing.

There is a simple test to check when you are good to go. When you can go full speed on your bad ankle, make every cut, push off, start and stop, with no pain, you are good to go. If not, you risk a relapse and further injury.

But in the end, its your ankle, so you decide what to do. If there is a $500k champion's prize on the line, you might choose to treat it aggressively, keep playing and hope for the best. If you are still an amateur, well then, you probably know the risk/reward equation that works for you. Injure it over and over and chronic arthritis will be your reward. But heh, that won't hit you until you are 40. You decide.

-k-

Let me add to netman. I am now one week post-surgery on my left ankle. I blew out my ankle just over one month ago playing a league match. Prior to that time, I had never rolled my ankle but did have mild soreness around both outside anklebones.

During the match, I hit a serve and got an average return to my forehand. I turned to push off easily and my ankle let loose. During the subsequent MRI, I had substantial damage to the peroneal retinaculum, which holds both peroneal tendons in place behind the ankle bone. Both tendons showed evidence of long term damage in that they had become "unbundled" and needed to be stitched back together in a bundle. The long term damage was probably some of what caused the long term soreness. The retinaculum also had to be repaired. This means as much as six weeks of no weight bearing.

Go to a doctor and get your ankles thoroughly checked out. You want to make sure it's nothing serious.

heycal
06-20-2007, 09:42 PM
. I am now one week post-surgery on my left ankle. I blew out my ankle just over one month ago playing a league match. Prior to that time, I had never rolled my ankle but did have mild soreness around both outside anklebones.


Do you know what, if any, preventative measures you could have taken to prevent this injury from ever occuring? Any particular exercises or stretches, etc?

Midlife crisis
06-20-2007, 11:01 PM
Do you know what, if any, preventative measures you could have taken to prevent this injury from ever occuring? Any particular exercises or stretches, etc?

Well, two points before the injury, I was running full out to slice a backhand, and I went from a full run to a dead stop in two steps, then had to reverse my direction to run down a dropshot. This move, by comparison, was maybe 50% as fast and/or violent, so it just happened.

Three years ago, I was weight lifting doing bench presses. I was doing the fourth of six sets of ten reps, with the first two sets being warmup sets. I was lifting a weight, 225 pounds, that I have been regularly lifting for nearly 20 years. I wasn't straining, and my biceps tendon separated from my arm, tearing my pec muscle in half as it bunched up against my sternum. This time, just as that time, it was attributed to one of those things that can happen as we all age. I turn 46 in four months. To me, this does not feel old.

But as far as this injury, my surgeon said that all of my ankle structures were about as sturdy as they come, probably from my years of athletic sports. Most people who have this injury get it from rolling their ankles outward, and some people who have retinaculum tears or separations experience very limited problems, though this is a very small percentage. He really says that I did everything right - I exercise in ways that strengthen my bones, do things which challenge my ability to balance, and make sure that I am warmed up and stretched well prior to going 100%. If you've done these things, I think you're in about as good shape as possible.

BTW, though I'm probably going to wear the ASO brace from now on, my surgeon says this is probably going to be of little value in preventing this injury. In my case, my anatomy, with the muscle fibers running through the tendon canal, is probably the cause and in many patients with retinaculum tears from a sports injury, a disproportionate number have this same anatomy. The ASO braces and similar items aren't designed to assist the retinaculum in retaining the tendons, and are really designed to prevent the ankle from rolling, which is a problem I don't have. The benefits of these braces in helping the retinaculum are going to be small, but I figure anything is worthwhile. This has been a pretty brutal recovery and I don't want to have the same thing happen on my right ankle.

princess bossass
06-21-2007, 12:27 AM
Hey, thanks everyone for your pointers. I truly appreciate your input and your time. I haven't had time to reply or post follow-up questions, just wanted to way thanks.:-)

Marius_Hancu
06-21-2007, 02:05 AM
Had peroneal ligament surgery 5 years ago, after a fall in skiing (the binding hadn't been checked and didn't detach).

6 weeks with crutches, boot on that foot even when sleeping.

Doctor told me I should not be playing tennis for 5 months, he was right. Hingis started at 2 months, she was a fool (even if younger, it doesn't matter), had to give up tennis for years.

Recovery:

first, walk straight, no torsional stuff
then, bike and gradual running, still straight line
then (after 2 months from surgery) started weights

Now:
- no ankle support

- tibia exercises with 120lbs for each leg

Lever Seated Calf Press with 340lbs total
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gastrocnemius/LVSeatedCalfPress.html

- seated calf raises with 170lbs total
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Soleus/LVSeatedCalfRaise.html

See other exercises for calves here:
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Don't start any tennis until you're not very strong again on that leg.

Midlife crisis
06-21-2007, 01:37 PM
Had peroneal ligament surgery 5 years ago, after a fall in skiing (the binding hadn't been checked and didn't detach).

6 weeks with crutches, boot on that foot even when sleeping.

Doctor told me I should not be playing tennis for 5 months, he was right. Hingis started at 2 months, she was a fool (even if younger, it doesn't matter), had to give up tennis for years.

Recovery:

first, walk straight, no torsional stuff
then, bike and gradual running, still straight line
then (after 2 months from surgery) started weights

Now:
- no ankle support

- tibia exercises with 120lbs for each leg

Lever Seated Calf Press with 340lbs total
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gastrocnemius/LVSeatedCalfPress.html

- seated calf raises with 170lbs total
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Soleus/LVSeatedCalfRaise.html

See other exercises for calves here:
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

Don't start any tennis until you're not very strong again on that leg.

Marius,

That sounds about what my surgeon initially laid out. Because I'm pretty heavy and have strong quads, I can generate pretty high forces if I'm scrambling around, so I definitely plan to be able to run long, fast, and painfree before trying any lateral or twisting motion.

In the four weeks after my initial injury, I rehabbed it to the point where I was able to do high effort aerobic cycling, was able to walk around without any limp or other indication I had a problem, and even got on a tennis court several times to coach my son by feeding balls and rallying when he hit the ball back to me.

One week post surgery, it's clear that I'm not anywhere near where I was even right after the initial surgery. Even just accidentally and lightly catching my foot sideways creates a sharp stab of pain. It gets better every day, but it's going to be a long way back. I doubt I'll be playing any competitive tennis this year.

Thanks for the info about your injury and recovery. It always helps knowing someone has gone through it before and has returned to playing.

princess bossass
06-22-2007, 10:02 AM
For anyone who stumbles upon this thread in the future, here's a good site (href="http://www.vsm.vanderbilt.edu/ankle.html) for tips on ankle rehab--only for minor sprains, though.

koolperson359
06-22-2007, 10:39 AM
well my ankle broke recently and i've been on a removable cast and ankle brace the past 5 weeks i get mine off in another week...my advice is to just get an ankle brace at ur local sports store and use that wen u play tennis...and wen u roll ur ankle let it heal for like at least a week

princess bossass
06-23-2007, 10:37 AM
Another good site (http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/Handouts/anklesprain/anklesprain.html) with full recovery advice, including balancing, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Includes a self-test to determine if your ankle is ready for normal activities again.