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Question
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-21

Sprained/swollen ankle again after injury 7 years ago

I injured my ankle 7 seven years ago by falling over my own feet while running downhill in heels. I went to my GP who did a little bit if infra-red therapy, and he just suggested rubbing the wounded area (the ligaments under my ankle) with Arnica oil. This worked and in a few short weeks my ankle was fine. In Febraury this year, I went for my last hike, and i think i aggravated the ankle/made it worse by walking on the rocky beaches of Cape Point during this hike. As a result thereof, my ankle is now permanently tender. It keeps swelling up after excessive walking or standing and I afraid to get back into running because it feels like there is very little strength in my ankle. What do i do? And will i be able to run again?

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Our expert says:
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Hi there

I suspect that it's a different injury, though your ankle is probably a little weak after that last injury. But 7 years is a long time, so whatever the problems back in 2002 would have been cleared up by now. SO I have a feeling this is a new injury, with the possibility that a weakness helped to cause it.

My advice is to see a physio, which is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it needs to be assessed what the specific weakness and problem might be. Your ligaments might be really lax (loose and over flexible). But it's important to assess it and then make the treatment decision. You probably also need to rest it right now, because if it is swollen, it means it is inflamed and that is not good for it, so give it a couple of days of rest, then begin training.

I have no doubt that you will be able to run again. I think you will just need to strengthen the ankle really well, which might involve a couple of weeks of exercises (which the physio should give you) and then a gradual start to running and hiking, but it should be OK once it's stronger.

Good luck

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