May 19, 2014 8:45 AM
First of all, I have to say that I will go see a physiotherapist (and maybe a doctor too) regardless of what is said here (already made my appointment with the physio). I also realize that it is not possible to diagnose over the internet. What I would like are some general ideas on what might be going on in my ankle so I get to understand it a little better and maybe help prevent the same type of injury in the future:
I was running a mountain race yesterday. It was a half marathon and I was doing pretty well (I had been training extensively). The race was uphill up to km 8 and then it alternated up and downhill for the rest of the 21 km.
At km 10 (so I had been running downhill pretty fast for 2km after a long climb) i got injured. In a curve I had my right foot firmly (I thought) in the ground but when I shifted the weight, the ankle gave way and I felt (and heard) a loud crack. I believe it was the articulation (all my articulations do this only this time it was louder as I usually cannot get my ankles to crack). I started feeling pain inmediately, not crushing but definetely uncomfortable. The pain was a little intense in the anterior part of the ankle and was only felt when I put weight into it.
THE REST OF THE RACE
I have a history of sprained ankles (used ot play handball and that happened all the time) and this one did not look too bad so I thought I could run slowly till the finish line (I also have to add that there were not many other options short of getting a helicopter to pick me up at that moment). About a km later they gave me some anesthetic gel (reflex) and I felt the pain subside inmediately .
I kept at it, and I even could go "fast" in the uphill section. I was not forcing the articulation, I just could keep running without having to walk or even slow down because of pain (of course I never run too fast uphill in any case, I am more than happy if a can keep a slow steady pace). Sadly, in the following (and very steep) downhill section I did have to ask more of the injured part and the pain went back. I stopped running, hopped on the other foot until I was back on the plain (crossing my fingers so I did not sprain the other ankle as THAT would have been a laugh) and abandoned the course (in which was effectively the first "easy" ocasion I had since the injury). This means I still had to run about 3 km but this time on level ground and without any hills. At this point I was walking but I realised I could run again with only very slight dicomfort (no pain).
"THE DAY AFTER"
After getting to the finishing line I was given some more reflex so I could make it home. A Physiotherapoist friend who was also running had a look at it and told me it would swell and probably bruise but that by the way I was able to move it did not look too bad. When I got home I started putting ice on it and also took some ibuprofen. Now roughly 24 hours have passed, the sweeling has subsided slightly (it still looks huge) and all shades of purple have started appearing around it. I had to go to work so I am not "resting" completely but I am trying not to move it too much (it does only feel a little "tender" when I go down stairs). I am also wearing an ankle brace in order to move it as little as possible.
WHAT MIGHT BE GOING ON?
As I said, this is "not my first rodeo", I have had quite a few ankle sprains and I would not even consider this to be one:
- It is swollen bad, and it looks terrible (see attached image, I fear I might be kindaped by my girfriend and taken to the hospital against my will)
- I got scared by the cracking sound, it was pretty loud (and at the first moment someone would had to carry me out)
- It does not hurt. When I did sprain an ankle in the past it usually hurt (quite a lot) and this time I do not feel any pain. Even at the worst moment during the race the pain was there but it was bearable. I stopped because I did not want to hurt myself, not because I could not stand it. I realise the ibuprofen might be helping but I am not taking much and when the effect wears off it still does not hurt (to be fully precise, it aches just about the same as the rest of my muscles after running a mountain half marathon yesterday).
- I can move the ankle "normally" (yes it does feel tender, yes it does feel weird because of the swelling).
So, whay do you think might have happened?
My guess: The violent motion (speed, wrongly placed weight) produced the ankle to move in an "unexpected" way. The muscles around it held it together but got hurt in the process. The swelling comes from the increased blood flow produced by my body trying to heal itself. The damage to the aforementioned muscles just happens to be less than that of my previous sprains.
Thanks for reading this. Yes, I now I am overthinking it but I had to do something with my time now that I will have to stop running for a while. Any comments or suggestions will be most welcome.
- ankle.jpg (52.3 K)
5k: 20:12 (December 31st 2012)
10k : 42:30 (March 9th 2014)
Half Marathon: 1:35:27 (February 3rd 2013)
After completing my 10th HM it's marathon time. To be totally honest now it's recovery time due to an ankle injury, THEN I'll think about the Marathon.