I've torn the ATF and CF ligaments in my right ankle a few times over the last 10 years, the most recent being Memorial Day weekend when I fell in an inshore hole. (STFU and stop laughing, I can hear you).....
Yesterday after a nice weekend of boogin', I noticed that my right ankle and foot was a bit swollen and slightly tender to walk on. I stuck my TENS unit on it and iced it for the night. It was still a bit tender today, so I called my orthopedic surgeon, who squeezed me in for an appointmet and an MRI at the hospital.
The ligaments are pretty shot, there's a lot of scar tissue and there is some tendonitis in there. I have to have it surgically repaired, and I'll be out for 4-6 months.
I'll be having surgery in December, after my Bahamas vacation.
Here's just one of the many sucky things about this. My OS told me that he'd like me to stay out of the water (but he knows that I'm not going to, being that I only have a limited amount of time left). I have to wear a brace all the time now. I also can't wear fins anymore, because the action of finning is too stressful on the severely damaged ligaments. He also doesn't know if he wants me wearing fins after the surgery, because even though swimming with fins is good therapy post surgery, using them in the ocean isn't. They want you to use them in a pool.
I finally found fins that I really love, and are comfortable on that foot and work well - Kicks and Laguna Neofins, and it took me half a lifetime and a million pairs of fins to find them.
Does anyone else have any experience with ankle ligament injuries??
I refuse to be stuck in waist high and less surf for the rest of my life because I can't wear fins.
Here's a funny and not so funny story of mine regarding an ankle injury:
My buddy and I went to go check the surf one day. We were super amped, ran up to these steps to check the surf from the walkway. We saw this absolute perfect nugget come in and barrel for like 4 seconds with not a soul in the water. Needless to say, we were stoked, so running back to the car to get suited up, I jumped off this 4 foot stairway, landed sideways on my ankle and spent the majority of the remaining day in the emergency room.
I sprained my ankle very badly, but it doesn't sound as bad as what you are going through. I dont think i tore any ligaments, but my ankle had a baseball size knot in it. I was on crutches for a while and out of the water for a couple months. Fortunately, I dont have issues with it anymore.
So, I'm no doctor, but hopefully you wont be finless forever. Being out of the water can suck... But, can be productive to. After being sidelined from shoulder surgery, I missed the surf so much, that I picked up a video camera and then 3 years later, MIA, the first east coast bodyboarding video was born.
You know, my stomach actually turned over when I pictured your ankle flipping over and crunching on impact after you jumped down those stairs.
The whole ankle thing is my own fault. I showed horses in hunter/jumper for many years and even though I always wore a brace on it when riding after my first injury - your ankles are your shock absorbers and anchors over jumps. You also need a huge stretch through the Achilles and a very unnatural "turn out" position in the stirrup. It's something that becomes second nature, but obviously it's decimated the ligaments in my foot.
Being that forecast looks like its going to be the usual surf for around here, I'll go out without fins and "jump" into the waves and arm paddle. I have a sick No.6 board that just flies, and I'm sure I'll have some fun until December.
Your story about shooting MIA while you were out is awesome. I wish I had one of those surf chairs so someone could push me onto the beach while I'm casted during my recovery. I like taking pictures of my friends riding horses or bodyboarding.