Hello.. I sprained my ankle exactly seven weeks ago while coming down stairs too quickly. I heard some very loud snapping (as did the person a few feet behind me), so I went to the emergency room. They took x-rays and said it was fine, to stay off of it. Unfortunately I have never had any injury in my life and have only been running for a few years, so I didn't realize how severe it was. They even sent me out to go get my own crutches! (I work at the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela so things are a bit different here.) I got the crutches and went home. I stayed in bed a few days and put an ACE bandage on it. I finally went back to work and saw a part-time Embassy doctor a little over a week later. He was quite upset with the hospital, saying it was a Level III sprain, I should've probably had a cast, and I needed to go get a walking boot. I kept that on until a few weeks ago, although I continue to put a velcro ACE-like bandage on it. He didn't want me to start physical therapy yet because it was still so sore, and then he went on vacation (he is the only Embassy doctor).
My problem is that it's almost been two months. It's still slightly swollen in one spot, and sensitive all the way from my toes to the ankle. It is only slightly uncomfortable to walk now, but I cannot move it from left to right. Or at any angles. I am looking for a specialist that speaks English, but that could take a little more time.
Is this normal? What kind of physical therapy stretches/exercises do you recommend for sprained ankles? Should I be worried that my Half Marathon training program begins in 5.5 weeks?
I greatly appreciate ANY insight anyone can offer me.
That looks like it was a pretty nasty sprain - you're going to need some time to get your strength, flexibility and balance back. You probably don't want to hear this, but I'm thinking that starting half marathon training in a month is kind of pushing it. Strength exercises can usually start with something as simple as an elastic band for resistance, but you'll also need to do some things to get your sense of balance back. Simple activities like standing on one leg, walking heel to toe like you're on a balance beam, backwards walking, weave stepping, etc. all help to get your balance and body position sense back. Strength exercises should also include some stuff for your hips. Listen to your body - if it hurts, you are probably pushing a bit too hard. Gain your strength back in the up/down movements as soon as you can, it will likely be awhile before the motion of "in/out" feels painfree - so work that direction only within your pain free capabilities.