It's been a month since I injured my ankle at the 25K (see photo above) and I'm still unsure about when I'll be able to run again. The day of the injury, I went to a local Instacare and the doctor diagnosed me with a lateral ankle sprain. She told me I overstretched and partially tore my anterior ligament, which I know now was not the case. But for a whole month, I've been believing I had some kind of grade 2 ankle sprain and treating it as such, when it wasn't.
After a month of my ankle slowly getting more stable and less painful, there was still one concerning, underlying issue. It still popped. These pops would happen when my ankle or foot shifted positions, when I walked on uneven surfaces or sometimes even randomly. One thing that's always the same is that it's uncomfortable and surprising every single time. Some pops are more painful than others and leave my ankle sore and the bone tender to press. Even though the pops are now happening less frequently, I still get a pop almost every day and that is worrisome. I had no real answers into when I could run again and I needed clarity. I had an appointment with a sports medicine doctor today and he was able to give me more insight into my injury.
So what's wrong with my ankle? The sports doctor said I injured my peroneal tendons. He used the area of pain to determine it wasn't an anterior ligament sprain and thinks the popping and snapping sensations are from my tendons. They got stretched and irritated when I rolled my foot during the race and he believes they're now snapping against each other, which causes a popping feeling in my ankle. He said if left untreated, it could turn into tendonitis. Today, the nurse even made my ankle pop by applying pressure to the outside edge of my foot and asking me to press back into it. The room was so quiet that I audibly heard the popping sound.
I'll be doing physical therapy soon and am back in my ankle brace. We'll see if there's improvement in two weeks when I go back for a follow-up. If it's still popping, I might have to wear a boot. I wish I had seen a sports doctor in the first place and not a general Instacare doctor. It could have sped up my healing process if I was diagnosed properly in the beginning. I always had pain behind and around the back side of my ankle bone, not in front of it, which should have ruled out an anterior ligament sprain. There are tendons that run back behind the ankle which makes total sense with where my pain lies.
What this injury has taught me is patience. I'm trying to trust in this whole process. Knowing that I'll be going to physical therapy soon makes me feel a little more optimistic but I'm still sad about not being able to do what I love. I want to run, hike and be outdoors. I miss all of it. I won't be running the Salt Lake half this weekend and I'm not allowed to run until I'm fully healed and ready. I knew I loved running but didn't realize just how much until it was suddenly gone. It's only temporary though and I'll have to keep reminding myself of that.