Twisted ankle

Share your tips for safe hiking, surviving in the wild and managing hiking injuries!
User avatar
Helen
Posts: 234
Joined: June 21st, 2011, 5:13 am

Twisted ankle

Post by Helen » May 30th, 2012, 7:25 pm

I was hiking Eagle Creek about 4 weeks ago and twisted my foot/ankle. I think I would have avoided the injury if I had been using my treking poles. This is the third time I've twisted my right foot and I think I may be prone to future injuries.

I am wondering if I should go from a regular running shoe (which I love) to a hiking boot. I really don't like boots because they are not as comfortable, are heavier and I can't feel the ground under my feet as well so I tend to stumble more.

Do you think a boot prevents the ankle from rolling? Do most people wear boots for the ankle support?

I really don't want to go to a boot, but I also don't want to be 20 miles from a trail head with a 30 pound pack and twist my ankle again.

Thanks for any input.

-helen

User avatar
texasbb
Posts: 990
Joined: July 26th, 2008, 8:16 pm
Location: Tri-Cities, WA

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by texasbb » May 30th, 2012, 7:44 pm

My own experience is that I have MUCH more trouble turning ankles in boots than in shoes. Like you, I stumble more in boots. I think it's because God made ankles to move in many dimensions, and when a high boot is restricting that, it puts unnatural stresses on the leg. That leads to loss of balance and all the badness that follows.

That said, I find that trail runners will "flop around" on my foot a little, which can also lead to ankle injuries. So I've settled on 3/4 tops as the best solution for myself. I haven't turned an ankle hiking since I switched maybe 7-8 years ago.

I'm tall and have bony, narrow feet, which may play into the way things work for me. YMMV.

User avatar
mjirving
Posts: 802
Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by mjirving » May 30th, 2012, 7:46 pm

It sounds like you use trekking poles at least most of the time. That's what saves me...4-wheel-drive hiking.

Mike

User avatar
Grannyhiker
Posts: 4593
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Gateway to the Columbia Gorge

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by Grannyhiker » May 30th, 2012, 7:48 pm

Maybe an ankle brace? Maybe stiffer trail runners? Maybe more supportive inner soles? I started using the Green Superfeet just last week because of my plantar fasciitis, and they are really comfortable and support my deformed feet (fallen arches, fallen metarsal arches, bunions, you name it) far better than the flimsy soles that come with the trail runners.

One test is to try to turn your ankle in your hiking shoes. If you can, you probably need something more. I am absolutely unable to turn my ankles (which used to turn quite frequently when I wore boots) in my Montrail Hardrocks, but after Columbia Sportswear took them over, the Hardrocks deteriorated and have now been discontinued. You'll have to do some experimenting to see what works for you.

Eagle Creek is not a good place to take a fall! Please be careful out there! :)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

raven
Posts: 1522
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by raven » May 30th, 2012, 8:05 pm

IMO, this is a big subject to cover. But first, to narrow it, did you get a diagnosis of what tissues were injured?

BTW, I've turned my ankle in several scenarios over the years, and now nearly always use low Inov-8 running shoes with relatively little cushioning.

User avatar
Helen
Posts: 234
Joined: June 21st, 2011, 5:13 am

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by Helen » May 30th, 2012, 8:31 pm

raven wrote:IMO, this is a big subject to cover. But first, to narrow it, did you get a diagnosis of what tissues were injured?
No, I didn't go to the doctor. The swelling wasn't too bad; it didn't seem like that bad of a sprain. I thought I was taking it easy (no hiking), but I've taken my dogs to the Sandy river delta area to run them and just walking on the uneven (but level) trails sets the sprain off again.

Is there a particular type of doctor I should go to? I would imagine my GP would just tell me to not walk on uneven surfaces and take some advil.

User avatar
Grannyhiker
Posts: 4593
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Gateway to the Columbia Gorge

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by Grannyhiker » May 30th, 2012, 8:41 pm

Actually, the doctor, whether your GP or an orthopedic surgeon, will tell you to stay off the ankle (been there, done that, with my daughter as well as myself). In other words, crutches plus an Ace bandage and probably a splint. You are continually re-injuring it and retarding healing by walking around on it. He may want to take an Xray to be sure you haven't cracked a bone. The longer you wait, the longer the ankle will take to heal. Hopefully, if it's a minor sprain, a few days on crutches and a couple of weeks with an Ace bandage will do the job.

In the meantime, RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (elastic bandage), Elevation.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

User avatar
renegadepilgrim
Posts: 583
Joined: October 15th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Contact:

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by renegadepilgrim » May 30th, 2012, 8:56 pm

Sprains can often take longer to heal than a fracture, so you need to take it easy for at least 6-8 weeks. RICE is good for the first 24-48 hrs after the injury...after that, not so much.

Ask your GP for a referral to a sports medicine doctor...they may be more aggressive with treatment than a GP will. Also, an x-ray might also be a good idea to make sure you don't have an occult fracture. PT might help too. So might acupuncture.

Wearing an ace wrap or other type of ankle brace might also help.

Good luck!
Travel and Outdoor Adventure Website: http://www.renegadepilgrim.com
Instagram/Tumblr/Twitter: renegadepilgrim

User avatar
Helen
Posts: 234
Joined: June 21st, 2011, 5:13 am

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by Helen » May 30th, 2012, 9:01 pm

Grannyhiker wrote:Actually, the doctor, whether your GP or an orthopedic surgeon, will tell you to stay off the ankle (been there, done that, with my daughter as well as myself). In other words, crutches plus an Ace bandage and probably a splint. You are continually re-injuring it and retarding healing by walking around on it. He may want to take an Xray to be sure you haven't cracked a bone. The longer you wait, the longer the ankle will take to heal. Hopefully, if it's a minor sprain, a few days on crutches and a couple of weeks with an Ace bandage will do the job.

In the meantime, RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression (elastic bandage), Elevation.
Shoot, I wish I had read this a month ago, I'd be on my way to healing. This is a bad time of year to have a sprain.

I will get some crutches and forget hiking for the month of June. Bummer.

Thanks for all of your replies!

User avatar
Grannyhiker
Posts: 4593
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Gateway to the Columbia Gorge

Re: Twisted ankle

Post by Grannyhiker » May 30th, 2012, 9:37 pm

Do get to the doctor, please! Self-diagnosis is a lousy idea. Your GP can refer you to an orthopedic surgeon if necessary (you'll get in faster that way).
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

Post Reply