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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308

    Sprained ankle...how long before I can bike?

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    Saturday I ran a relatively brutal trail relay and FUBARd my left ankle (read all the sordid details here).

    It looks like a second-degree sprain, but symptoms generally point to first-degree...I just bruise and swell like nobody's business (I'm a bleeder/bruiser and also have a history of bad edema issues--particularly during pregnancy and ever since).

    Anyhow, today is 2 days since the injury and I am still hobbling around, so I'm not planning to do anything other than upper-body and core workouts this week, in addition to some PT exercises for my ankle. I'm hoping that I will be able to get back on the bike early next week, then maybe be up to some short and easy runs a week or so after that...assuming I'm not in pain or dealing with serious ankle weakness.

    For those who have had similar sprains, what sort of course/timetable did your healing take? Did you need to wear a brace or support of any sort during workouts? If so, what type?
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I'll defer to the pros on your course of rehab, but I want to plug the ASO brace if/when you need one. Very low profile, rock solid support against inversion/eversion but still allows full ROM in dorsiflexion/plantar flexion. Love the thing (as much as anyone can love an ankle brace ). I'd offer you mine, but it's somewhere else now.

    Heal up quick!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Thanks, Oak...that is exactly the sort of recommendation I was looking for.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    361
    I sprained my ankle saturday before last. I couldn't walk on it for two days, just on crutches. the third day, I was walking with one crutch and started hobbling after that. Today, I tried running on it and I was fine. It still hurts if I turn it in too much, but I don't have any discomfort when I ran. It is still a bit swollen and discolored, but all and all, better than I expected. I iced it after I ran and I am icing it again now. I am going to try to get in a short ride tomorrow. I expect that since running didnt bother it, cycling won't either.
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by abejita View Post
    I expect that since running didnt bother it, cycling won't either.
    I'm very relieved to hear that your recovery has been fast...I hope mine is similar.

    I'm surprised you were able to run on it so soon. I've been actually thinking that one thing that will keep me off the bike for this week is the twisting motion of unclipping my pedals, plus the fact that I unclip my left foot and put weight on that for stops. That doesn't seem like something I will be able to do for the better part of a week, at this point.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    361
    I am a bit concerned about the unclipping because of the twisting. I sprained my right ankle and I unclip and stop with my left, so in theory, I will only have to unclip my right foot when I get off my bike.

    I guess it depends on how and where your ankle is sprained. According to this, I have an inversion sprain. I stepped of of my porch just the wrong way and my ankle bone touched the ground. Most of the pain is below and in front of my ankle bone. I was really expecting the worst because last time I sprained it like this, I was in a splint for 6 weeks

    I am hoping for a speedy recovery for you! I'll let you know how my ride goes tomorrow.
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Yep, mine is inversion, too. This is my first sprain. I have rolled my ankles countless times, but never with any actual injury. I wonder if this means I have reasonably strong ankles? I swear the roots on the trail were gunning for me!

    I hope your ride goes well! Report back with how your ankle tolerated things.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    I avulsively fractured my ankle last fall while I was racing 'cross (and FWIW - I finished the race ). I was literally only off the bike a few days before getting back on, but wearing a brace to support the ankle. No 'cross racing for 4 weeks (air cast and no running), but I did manage to finish out the season after only 4 weeks - I wore a brace for the remainder of the season though.

    This past weekend, at a wet, rooty MTB race, I rolled the same ankle. I'm back to wearing the brace right now, but am planning to ride tonight. The circular motion of pedalling doesn't cause any pain, although the unclipping CAN be an issue...

    Good luck, and heal quick. But also remember that you DO need some time for your body to rest...

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I sprained my ankle back in February (in heels, stepping off a curb and then barefoot running on it the next day iced the cake) and spent a very frustrating three weeks limping. It happened the week before the taper week for a half marathon and I was not able to run in the half marathon. I was really bummed about that. I could cycle just fine and could turn out of my pedals by turning in toward the bike.

    I followed the advice of a PT who advised me NOT TO RUN, but to walk on it and not wrap it for too long, and to ice it at night. So, each day I walked a little further, often with tears because it hurt. I started out walking about a tenth of a mile, and by week three was walking two to three miles a day with one day off each week. On week four, I did two long bike rides and two runs, (I am looking at my training calendar and it's funny because I noted those two runs with big grinning smilie faces!)

    Although I was tempted to run before four weeks, I am really glad I didn't. I think the walking allowed for a range of motion without too much pressure on the back of the heel and ankle. I also had to put off barefoot running until I could strengthen the ankle.

    So my advice from experience is: let it heal. Give it at least four weeks before running on it. Some people do just fine running on a sprain but then end up re-injured. I didn't want to chance that. If you are similarly cautious, give the thing a chance to heal.
    I can do five more miles.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I like the suggestion to walk. Plus I can do that with my 9 year old--he has 0 interest in running (a shame, since the kid has the perfect slim, leggy runner's build and boundless energy). I have also read that pushing things too soon can lead to increased scarring and chronic ankle issues for the remainder of a person's life--no thanks!

    I should ask you about the barefoot running thing, too. I think part of my problem was catching roots under the heels of my trail shoes. I wear Mizuno Wave Ascends, which are a relatively lightweight/minimal trail shoe, but are still fairly bulky and I always feel like the heels are hard and stiff. I really believe that I wouldn't have had so many issues with roots had I been wearing something like racing flats or Vibram Five Fingers.

    After this experience I am thinking I want to pick up a pair of Vibram Bikilas and start doing a few "barefoot" miles every week. That should help strengthen my ankles, too. There was at least one woman running in Bikilas on Saturday and it definitely is an intriguing option for future trail races. My best friend is transitioning herself from motion control shoes to Five Fingers and really likes it. She is convinced that her feet feel stronger.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    This past weekend, at a wet, rooty MTB race, I rolled the same ankle. I'm back to wearing the brace right now, but am planning to ride tonight. The circular motion of pedalling doesn't cause any pain, although the unclipping CAN be an issue...
    Update: I did ride (on the road) last night, but it was, indeed, painful, and unclipping was also painful/difficult. I think you've gotten some good advice here not to push things too soon.

    What I'm trying to say, is follow their advice, not my example!

    SheFly (who needs to stay off the bike for a couple of days)
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Awww...I'm sorry it's not healing faster, SheFly. My ankle is doing far better than I had expected. I'm hoping to get on my bike no later than next Tues (women's group ride) and maybe even this weekend, but if it's not up to it I will stay home and keep recovering.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Darn-it...I ran some errands yesterday and my ankle felt alright carefully walking around, but it's really sore today. I think I pushed too hard. And I really think I was in denial/wishful thinking believing this to be only a grade I sprain...this is definitely a II. I had wanted to do my first full century in just over 4 weeks, but I'm not sure that will happen. My longest run ever was a metric century almost 3 weeks ago and while I sit around I am losing fitness. I had hoped to get at least one 70-80 miler in before the 100 miler, but that is probably not going to happen. I will likely be scaling back to the 67 miler, instead.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    361
    You know what is funny...I've been cycling and running all week without any ankle problems. It started hurting yesterday when I was sewing (because I crawl all over the floor cutting the fabric)
    Mary
    ~Strong and content, I travel the open road.~



    http://www.the3day.org/goto/mary.aguirre

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by abejita View Post
    You know what is funny...I've been cycling and running all week without any ankle problems. It started hurting yesterday when I was sewing (because I crawl all over the floor cutting the fabric)
    Yeah, I was a bit tender last night and even this AM from slowly walking around the mall and the grocery store. I'm sure it doesn't help that I drive stick and have to use my left leg if I want to shift.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

 

 

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