Coming in fourth in a snowboard semi-final, Trevor Jacobs flew down the slopes twice on Tuesday at Sochi even though it was very likely he had a broken ankle. He heard a loud pop when he took off during the first heat but continued to compete anyway. Apparently he’s had major problems with the ligaments around his cuboidbone and a broken anklewas confirmed once he got off the slopes.
As a Seattle podiatrist I always tell my patients that foot and ankle pain are not normal. Many of you are very active indoor and outdoor sports enthusiasts which I applaud. Although I always recommend physical activity for my diabetic patients and all patients who can be active, pushing through pain like an Olympian is never a good idea.
So what do I recommend if you do if you break or sprain your ankle?
As soon as possible follow the RICE Protocol:
- Rest- keep weight off of the ankle until your physician or surgeon tells you otherwise.
- Ice & Compression - as soon as you are able, an ice pack should be applied to the area (with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice) and held in place with an ace wrap or elastic bandageto provide compression.
- Elevation- Elevate your feet higher than your heart to promote drainage from the swollen area.
- A severe sprain will often mask a broken ankle, so it’s important that you be seen right away. If you can’t get in to see a foot and ankle surgeon, go to the emergency room so that your ankle can be properly evaluated.
- Follow all the recommendations of your foot and ankle surgeon which may likely include a course of anti-inflammatory medications and immobilization so that the bones and surrounding tissue can heal.
If you suspect a broken ankle, please call our Seattle podiatry office at once so you can be seen that same day. Call us at 206-368-7000.