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Sprained ankle - To ski or not to ski?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 



Almost 4 weeks ago I had an ugly fall while telemark skiing, and my skis didn't release. It was pretty steep where I fell so I kept on rolling down about 20-30 meters on hard pack. My ankle twisted pretty badly inside the boot as the skis weren't as easy to flip around as my body while rolling down (i somehow rolled, i didn't slide). 


Everyone thought it was broken, so first I was sent to the emergency room near the ski area. He looked and squeezed my ankle a bit and suspected that I had torn somethng or broken something, so he sent me to the hospital for x-rays. They couldn't find anything on the x-rays, so they assumed that it was a sprain, but it was hard to tell by then because my foot was so swollen. 


After a week I threw away the crutches and assumed that it was nothing worse than a sprain since I was able to walk on it (barely) and I slowly regained mobility. 


Now, almost 4 weeks after, my ankle is still slightly swollen, but the pain is almost gone and I am not far away from walking without a limp. Stability has increased a lot the past couple of days, and I do a lot of balance exercises to strengthen my ligaments.


This upcoming weekend I have a trip planned, and am wondering how stupid of me it would be to start skiing again? In my head i sort of know the answer to this question, but I'm hoping that you guys will either knock some sense into me, or surprise me with positive answers.


I've planned this trip for a while now, and it would suck to let it go to waste. If i end up going I will make sure to properly tape my ankle. The only way to hurt it again is if i fall and twist it. I don't really fall much. I fall more when I walk outside (i live in the worlds most slippery city) than when I ski. (trying to convince myself that skiing isn't stupid here). 

post #2 of 10

I've raced with a stress fractured ankle, really dumb idea but I had fun. 

Smart answer: don't ski

Dumb answer: ski

post #3 of 10

not a doc but have had a 3rd degree tear.  An akle injury can take several months to heal. Was/is it black and blue? bottom line, is revert to "smart answer" Dumb answer" above....


Also, strenghtening is a great idea. I am sure you did some searching and proprioception and strengthening is really important. When I blew mine out, I did lots of those type excercises and lots of ice. It took several months to heal fully. its a very painful injury.





post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 


I have decided to be partially stupid and go skiing, but I won't go telemark skiing, I'll just do regular alpine skiing on groomed slopes. 


I'm not entirely sure what degree I have, but I would guess it's 2nd degree, since I was able to move my ankle after a week. At first I couldn't, but I assume it was because of the swelling. As far as I have understood, if you have 3rd degree you shouldn't be able to move your ankle and you need surgery, right?


Finndog, how was the recovery process for 3rd degree? 


After 4 weeks I am able to walk almost without a limp. There is still some swelling. I was kind of optimistic and went for a light, short run. Ankle ended up being twice the size again afterwards, but better the next day (except some periods of really bad aches). 


And yes, it was very blue! At first it started out being blue on the inner ankle, pain on top and in the back, and swollen on the outisde. After a day or two my entire foot was slightly blue, but very blue on the inside and underneath, and the entire foot was swollen. It was so swollen that it was actually longer than my other foot. 


I'm getting very restless. I want to go back to skiing at least twice a week. 

post #5 of 10

An alpine ski boot gives you more ankle support than any footwear I can think of.  After four weeks, if the swelling allowed me to get the boot on relatively pain-free, I would give it a cautious try if I felt like it.

Edited by NE1 - 3/21/11 at 9:28am
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone who tried to knock some sense into me, and even more thanks to those who did not! 


I did en up going skiing (XC one day, and alpine the next. When i XC i somehow manage to shut out everything that even relates to pain, so it was not so bad. Somehow I think this trip strengthened my ankle quite a bit. Although it was quite big afterwards, it was much better the morning after. 

Alpine the next day was strange. My ankle was very unstable and it was very noticeable. My ski sort of kept going from side to side like i was wearing a boot that was much to big. My boot fits me perfectly. Don't know if I agree with the ski boot being very good ankle support. Yes, it is stiff, but the rest of my body sort of moves. Besides, it gives you pretty limited movement, which can be painful, especially when walking uphill (don't have the strength to support my entire body on my toes). I've held off another week now, and I think I might put on my telemark skis some time this week! =)

post #7 of 10

I sprained my ankle skiing on a friday early in december.  I took the rest of the weekend off and skied for two hours the following Saturday for a training clinic I needed to take.  It was ok but by the end of the two hours I was pretty much only using my good ankle.  I've skied pretty much every weekend since and haven't had many problems, including Tele.  I still have slight pain if I step wrong.  It is definitley a slow healing injury, and it sounds like yours was worse than mine.  Good luck healing up!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ankle is still a bit swollen, and now I'm getting sudden episodes of sharp pain inside my ankle. They only last for a few seconds, but I have them daily, often multiple times a day. They always come while walking. Any idea what that could be? Tele is still hopeless, but alpine works. Getting pretty sick of this ankle of mine now... it has soon been two months. 


Thanks for the good luck PaSucks, and likewise =)

post #9 of 10

I have had several minor injuries over the years where skiing was easier than walking.

On my recent trip, the ball of my foot was acting up.  The swelling made getting the boot on difficult, but it felt pretty good after a half hour or so.

My foot hurt less after skiing than before, and actually seemed to heal during the week.

A ski boot makes a pretty good compression bandage.  


Not that this is relevant to you injury, of course...just a point of comparison.  Hope your ankle starts to get better soon.

post #10 of 10

Just doing some research here- I sprained my ankle glade skiing in a snow storm- 3/11/14    Hit a stump hidden under the fresh powder. Right Ski went left- twisting and left ski released- I flipped over- missed the other trees, and no knee injury.


Skied the rest of the day in pain- it was a powder day!

Today- I stayed home- decided m=not to push it- I Have to teach skiing two days from now and fly to big sky next Wed--


I need to recover fast- so big ski will be good- Using ice and motrin- its gotta work. Sprain is not too bad- only hurts some when I walk- have not tried putting ski boot on yet.


Skiman NH

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