The Reality of Fantasy: Ankle Injuries

It is the injury felt around the Fantasy Football world. Ryan Grant of the Green Bay Packers is injured and will be out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his right ankle. Instead of Grant racking up fantasy points for over 100,000 league owners, he will be sidelined for the entire 2010 season. Which means you will spend 2000 hours, 33,360 minutes and 1,080,000 seconds regretting the fact that you drafted him this season.

Football is a full contact sport, but you don’t have to be an athlete to injure your ankle. According to American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Ankle Fractures, “More than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries.” The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Sprains and Strains, state that “More than 25,000 individuals sprain an ankle each day in the United States.” MaxWell Medical would like to give you some helpful advice on recovery methods and strengthening exercises for ankle sprains.

Our Doctor of Physical Therapy, Olayinka Akinsanya, recommends using three stages for the recovery process. The first stage is the Acute Rehabilitation. In this stage the initial treatment should be the R.I.C.E Principles. Which includes, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. It involves you spending plenty of time off your feet. Your main focus should be decreasing the amount of swelling and inflammation in the ankle.

The second stage is the Sub Acute stage which is when you begin a variety of mild assisted exercises to improve ankle function. The most recommended exercise would be Open Chained, which is when your foot is free to move while working out. This exercise isolates a single muscle group and a single joint. Examples of exercises that may improve ankle function are ankle pumps, ankle circles and ankle alphabets. To obtain full rotation of the ankle, we recommend that you do 30 reps of each exercise, 3 times a day.

The final stage is the Chronic Stage and you should begin active exercises including use of weights or bands. Our Director of Physical Therapy, Christopher Lee, recommends two exercises: Closed Chained Exercises and Proprioceptive exercises. Closed Chained exercise is when one part of the body, in this case the feet, are fixed to the ground while the other joints are in full motion. It helps work multiple joints as well as muscle groups. An example of this exercise is as simple as squatting with or without weights. To obtain the full potential of recovery we recommend you do 3 sets of 10 reps. An example for Proprioceptive exercises would be single leg stance. Stand on just your injured foot and close your eyes while doing so. Keeping your eyes shut will make it more difficult for you to balance but will help enhance your proprioceptors.

Remember to listen to your body. Check with a doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you feel continued discomfort or pain, call MaxWell Medical to schedule a consultation.