Ankle Sprains

What's the difference between Conor Mcgregor breaking his ankle vs. you breaking your ankle? Mcgregor still gets paid millions and you probably don't. Although it's still controversial if the leg kicks Dustin Poirier delivered destabilized the ankle prior to the actual break, it's undeniable that his ankle rolled out with a rotational force, which ultimately led to his tibia and fibula breaking. Luckily, the bone did not break through the skin, which would have been classified as an open fracture and resulted in a much longer and more complicated recovery; regardless Mcgregor has a long way to go if he wants to consider a fourth fight with Poirier.

Ankle sprains commonly occur secondary to inverting or "rolling out" from landing awkwardly, tripping/falling, or exercising on uneven surfaces. It is more common to see ankle sprains on the outside of the ankle because these ligaments are much weaker than the ligaments on the inside of your ankle. Spraining your ankle repeatedly eventually leads to instability and excessive stretching of the ligaments, for which your foot/ankle specialist may recommend surgery to repair/tighten those ligaments. I recommend seeing a foot/ankle specialist after such an injury to evaluate if the surrounding structures were compromised and to get x-rays to ensure that no serious injuries are missed. Normally, patients with a simple sprain are sent out with a CAM boot and told to rest from 2 weeks up to 8 weeks depending on the severity of the injury.

Some people are more prone to getting ankle sprains based on their foot structure. Higher arched feet have a tendency to sprain their ankles more than their flat-footed counterparts. One way to prevent ankle injuries is to see your podiatrist for a custom-made orthotic. Adjustments can be made to orthotics to correct the way you're walking and support the arch so that inversion ankle sprains are less likely to happen. If you already know you are prone to getting ankle injuries, physical therapy is a great way to strengthen the structures adjacent to the lateral ankle.

Regarding ankle fractures, given that the bone is well-approximated, it typically takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to heal which could vary based on various factors like smoking status, age, diet, etc. The nicotine from smoking greatly decreases the circulation in our bodies that we need to help heal fractures, so if you have the willpower, I would highly advise the cessation of smoking during the healing process. As we get older, it takes longer to recover from injuries because our immune systems are not as strong as they were when we were younger. Hence, why children can run around and bump their heads all day and recover almost instantaneously but we can't. Stress has been proven to delay healing, as well as poor nutrition, which can be tested through your blood by evaluating your albumin levels. There have been studies that protein-rich foods such as lean meats and dark, leafy greens aid in optimal bone healing secondary to the protein providing a scaffold to build new collagen.

Another option to supplement fracture healing is an MLS laser. This laser is FDA-approved and was originally designed to treat neuropathy but has since evolved to treat capsulitis, tendinitis, myositis, arthritis, any -itis (inflammation) really, and even fractures. It heals fractures up to 50% faster so instead of the usual 6-8 weeks of waiting for a fracture to heal, it'll take about 4-5 weeks instead. The laser utilizes 2 different wavelengths of red light to penetrate deep into the tissues to heal the target area. Treatment is typically 3x a week for 10 sessions and has worked miracles for many patients of mine.