Gee, that’s swell! July 25, 2006Posted by ouchmyleg in Personal Experience, Resources.
Before you break your ankle, I guarantee you that you have no idea of the amount of fluid and swelling your body is capable of generating. For the first few weeks my ankle inflated to Star Jones (pre-stomach stapling, of course) proportions, swollen and bruised to the point where I wasn’t sure it was my own foot. Elevation (above the heart) and ice packs are the best remedy to reduce swelling, but even they don’t really seem to do much for the first while. Now that it’s been two months since my accident, I’m very aware of the triggers that cause swelling and how to manage it. The primary causes are (in order)
- Gravity (keeping the ankle vertical for too long or extended periods of hobbling)
- Exhaustion or sleepiness
- Exertion (doing my flex and release strengthening exercises)
On Friday, my swelling was as bad as it’s been in ages. I’d tried to work for the day without my cast (and while keeping my foot elevated as much as I could), but by 7pm my ankle had swollen up to the size of a papaya. Not sexy. In fact, it was the first time in my slender-ankled life that I’ve ever had a “cankle”. Gah! CANKLES! Fortunately, after two episodes of South Park and two ice packs, the crisis passed and I’d returned mostly to normal. Now I’m trying to spend at least an hour a day with ice packs on the foot and my ankle in the air to see if that helps things long term. Keep you posted.