Ankle woes

About 6 months ago, I suffered a bad ankle injury in a football game. X-rays showed a bone chip, no MRI was taken, and the doc thought that surgery to remove the chip was not necessary. After 4 months of rehab, my ankle felt 100%. Now I am beginning to get soreness in my ankle that is corresponding to some lower hamstring problems on the same leg.

I believe some of this problem may be related to tempo running on a shitty rubber track (grass has been covered in snow). I now have access to an indoor pool, and the snow has melted however.

So, are there any guidelines for swimming tempo work (ie. distance, effort)? And, besides moving to grass and the pool, are there any other precautions I should take for my ankle or hamstring? I am afraid that when lacrosse season starts (lots of continuous running, change of direction) these problems will start again.


Anyone? theory is that the muscles surrounding the ankle, and the calf have been weakened by the injury, thus causing the hamstring to work harder during the push-off. Is this reasonable at all?

How is the ankle flexibiliy compared to the other?

It’s safe to say that your current problems stem from your previous ankle injury. After your initial rehab for the ankle what started giving you problems first, the ankle or hamstring?

I think tempo in a pool was covered in a previous thread, I cannot remember the details but someone may have a link?

That is certianly a reasonable theory. Any time an injury occurs the body will compensate by altering movement patterns to avoid further injury. It’s a subconsious protective mechanism. So a combination of muscle weakening and the good possiblity of altered running mechanics doing tempo on a bad rubber track may well have done it. It’s one of those situations of what came first, the chicken or the egg?

It sounds to me like you are taking some good initial steps in addressing the problem.

Thanks for the replies.

The hamstring started acting up before the calf did. After I stopped doing tempo on this track my ankle has gotten better, but I suffered a pretty severe hamstring pull doing sprints

I just measured both calves and the calf on the injured side is about 1/2 inch smaller than the calf on my non-injured side. Standing plantar flexion is also much weaker on the injured side. Flexibility in all 4 planes of movement is slightly worse.

I think my most recent hamstring injury has been a blessing in disguise because it is going to force me to look at the possible mechanisms…so far I determined them to be:

  1. Chronic tightness of left hamstring (probably biggest problem)
  2. Lack of general hip flexibility
  3. Lack of balance between squatting and p-chain movements
  4. Weakness and atrophy of left calf.

Any ideas for the calf/ankle?

I am sure some good ART people are out in the Long Island area, you should look into getting some work done on the ankle.

If you are ever in the Philadelphia area and are looking for ART work shoot me an email.

In terms of your ankle/calf, make sure you are not training through pain. Doing this will force your body to develop altered movement patterns to take stress of the joint. The body will do everything in its power to avoid pain!

The main idea is when your ankle feels good, make sure you don’t train to the point where it feels bad. This was a concept that Ian King drives home in his writings. Don’t let the psychological need for wanting to train overcome the physiological need for the rehab process to take place.