The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone

If it’s possible to overdose on chocolate, I think I definitely did.

But besides that, we had a great weekend with a house filled to the rafters, and we almost finished the whole swinging quart of fudge sauce. And about 100 other pounds of food. In fact, about the only thing that would feel good right now would be going for a run, for about 20 miles, but (clunky segue here) did you know I broke my ankle this summer?

I mention this not because I really want to run 20 miles, but mostly because A) I have some good visuals to share and B) most of my good friends visiting this weekend didn’t know about it, so in the spirit of chronicling what goes on here, I give you The Story of The Day I Fell Off The Steps.

It’s not much of a story, which is generally how these things go, of course. In fact, in the orthopedist’s office, I asked him if anyone ever had a good story for this kind of thing, and he agreed that the narrative leading up to most of the bruised and swollen limbs he sees is generally lacking in either excitement and/or common sense.

With that enticing lead-in, way back in June I was running around, late for Will’s haircut appointment, packing for a playdate afterwards and remembering all the things I left in the house after the boys were already buckled into their seats. Grabbing a giant canvas tote full of suits and towels, I stepped out of the front door to my right to allow said giant tote to clear the door as I pulled it shut and locked it, but I stepped too far and rolled my ankle off the two-foot drop that is the side of my steps.

Yawn, I know, but I saw STARS, and without going into the mind-numbingly boring details, I remember equating the pain with childbirth, in that taking-over-your-whole-body kind of way, and later at my friend’s house, (Yes, I drove there, I didn’t think I could be alone with my kids since I couldn’t walk) I needed blankets to deal with the shock-shivers that came on later. (I thought I was just cold from the ice.)

The bruising that developed was pretty spectacular, but here’s where Dr. Google failed me: I assumed it was a sprain, and I searched for images on Google of a sprained ankle. What I learned later was if you search for images of a broken ankle? The pictures look roughly the same. I don’t have a photo of my own ankle, but after a few days, including Henry’s birthday (=on feet all day), it looked like this, but actually way more swollen.

Not my own ankle, thank you anonymous broken ankle friend in Googleland.

Fast forward through four weeks of persistent pain and swelling, and I showed it to my emergency medicine practitioner friend visiting for a play date, saying, “Shouldn’t this sprain be healing by now, because, wow, does it hurt!”

Well, it was her opinion that I perhaps hadn’t followed the wisest course of treatment by DOING NOTHING AND WALKING AROUND ON IT, she speculated about torn ligaments and fractured bones and advised an immediate trip to the doctor. I’m finally realizing that it shouldn’t hurt this badly so many weeks later, and I start envisioning images like this after my doctor takes one look and packs me off to the local hospital for x-rays.

Also not MY ankle, don’t get excited.

So I get my x-rays back, head to the orthopedist’s office and…drumroll….

See that LEETLE TEENY CHIP? That’s my avulsion fracture. Isn’t it cute? According to Wikipedia,

An avulsion fracture is a bone fracture which occurs when a fragment of bone tears away from the main mass of bone as a result of physical trauma. This can occur at the ligament due to the application forces external to the body (such as a fall or pull) or at the tendon due to a muscular contraction that is stronger than the forces holding the bone together. Generally, muscular avulsion is prevented due to the neurological limitations placed on muscle contractions. Highly trained athletes can overcome this neurological inhibition of strength and produce a much greater force output capable of breaking or avulsing a bone.

Did you see that last part about this only happening to HIGHLY TRAINED athletes?

I think I need to go run 20 miles.

The Aftermath:

No cast, because it was starting to heal, even though I walked around on it for five weeks. It still hurts a lot, you can still see the swelling and I still can’t run. Good thing the London Olympics aren’t until 2012! And thanks, Shannon, for the first aid, and thanks, Maria, for sending me off to the doctor!

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21 Responses to “The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Ouch! Hope it’s feeling better soon.

  2. andiana Says:

    Of course you’re a highly trained athlete! Aren’t ALL mothers??

  3. B. Says:

    way to suck-it-up like a jock (highly trained athlete)!

  4. sdh Says:

    thanks for hosting all of us while you were disabled! i hope all of the chocolate we consumed helped numb the pain at least a little bit…

  5. Maria Says:

    Do you have a “theraband” to work on your strengthening exercises?
    Just curious….

  6. carrie Says:

    Oh good fright! I love that you just went about things like it was a sprain – definitely a highly trained athlete there!

  7. Brenda Says:

    Enjoyed this… mostly because I recently had a chip fracture like that in my thumb (from walking into a glass door with hand in front of me, doh!). Hope it heals fast…!

  8. Sara Says:

    Summer is the worst time for an injury…although I don’t really know if there is ever a good time for a broken ankle. Did your Dr. tell you that ice cream is the best therapy for broken bones? The cold reduces the swelling internally and the calcium aids with bone repair. It is proven fact*

    *I totally made that up; it is not a proven fact. But it should be. Feel better!

  9. Christina Says:

    Yeee-ouch! Good gosh, Anna, that makes me feel like a whimp for complaining about my stiff knee the last few days!

  10. Heidi Says:

    I hope your ankle is all better soon. I think it’s the bruising that would distinguish it from a sprain. Sprains usually swell, but don’t bruise as much. I fell off porch steps and sprained my ankle last summer and of course just kept on going like you. We moms have no time for sprains or fractures!

  11. libound Says:

    Argh, and no story over sauce? No complaining? No drama? I have to come to H&W to get this news? No wonder you sent B on long Sunday walk, although you pushed that mighty stroller back from the beach without a peep! Since when are you a hero/martyr? Oh yeah, since always, and I’ve known you a long time! Brave, Anna, quick, administer more sauce, and no run!

  12. katherine Says:

    Holy Cow! sounds awful… funny thing is we would have rushed our KIDS to the ER immediately!

    Take care of yourself! :)

  13. JenBun Says:

    Ack! I can’t believe you walked around on it for so long!!!

    Hope it’s healing nicely… put a little hot fudge on it! ;)

  14. Marie Says:

    how did i miss you having broken your ankle? did you know when we were in maine? or, just pregnancy memory loss on my part?

  15. Mike Says:

    Um, I think that picture really was you. I mean, I saw it. It was swollen. I agree with Sara….ice cream!

  16. Jess Says:

    Ouch! This does not look like a pleasant experience.

  17. thelandofka Says:

    Wow! You must go to my school of thought on doctors – no bone was protruding so it was fine, right?? ;) Well, at least it is feeling a little bit better, right?

  18. Maya Says:

    I cringed when I saw the pic of your foot swollen. Ouch!!!

  19. jenni Says:

    Wow, that looks just like the xray 2 days ago of my ankle after a fall – only the chip was higher up on the ankle, the “pointy” part of the ankle that sticks out – chipped right off. I was 99% sure it was “just” a sprain, til the x-ray. Amazing such a little bitty thing can hurt so much. I am in an opera on Sunday. I’ll be doing it on crutches!

  20. x-ray of my ankle - Page 4 - Yamaha Blaster Forum Says:

    [...] x-ray of my ankle Seems he got both pics from the link below. The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone Hank & Willie __________________ 1995 Banshee lots of mods and a 2002 Blaster in [...]

  21. Fiona Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing I had an exact injury as yours except I am not a supermom or brave as you are. It’s been three months since my injury and the pain persisted. I have not been able to run or jog so we decided to have an MRI and found 7mm piece of chipped bone that the doc says he needs to remove surgically. Very frustrating because I had an X-ray on day one of fall and 2 weeks later and the bone chip was not caught. How big was your bone chip? Did you need surgery?
    Thanks so much

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