Author Topic: rolled ankle and potential medical bills  (Read 1315 times)

Case

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rolled ankle and potential medical bills
« on: May 15, 2016, 10:11:06 AM »
Like many of us here, I'm on a high deductible health plan so I typically pay medical expenses straight out of pocket; so I'm incentive to avoid potentially unnecessary medical expenses.

I rolled my ankle a couple months ago, and at the time it appear to be a minor spain; no swelling, could walk on it without pain within 30 min.  However, now a couple months later, the healing process has been pretty slow and I still have pain when i stretch it beyond its somewh limited range of motion.  It does appear to be healing though, but slowly.  I did have a couple re-rolls along the way that certainly didn't help; i'm now being pretty careful about preventing this.

So I went to a sports doctor and had it checked it out to make sure my course was a reasonable one.  He prodded it a bit and checked for stability and concluded that it felt stable and probably it was a slow healing minor sprain.  He did however prescribe an x-ray 'just in case' there is something like a minor fracture.  He also prescribed PT and a follow up visit in a month.

I an tempted to skip the x-ray because I'm not sure it will change the course of treatment even if they find a minor fracture; does anyone with medical experience have any idea about this?  I'm not sure how much an x-ray costs but I would guess a few to several hundred bucks.

I will probably go ahead with the PT and stop it after a couple sessions (in which I've learned what to do for myself).  I am doing home exercises that strengthen the ankle and improve proprioception.

Any thoughts?

Case

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Re: rolled ankle and potential medical bills
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 05:25:59 AM »
Like many of us here, I'm on a high deductible health plan so I typically pay medical expenses straight out of pocket; so I'm incentive to avoid potentially unnecessary medical expenses.

I rolled my ankle a couple months ago, and at the time it appear to be a minor spain; no swelling, could walk on it without pain within 30 min.  However, now a couple months later, the healing process has been pretty slow and I still have pain when i stretch it beyond its somewh limited range of motion.  It does appear to be healing though, but slowly.  I did have a couple re-rolls along the way that certainly didn't help; i'm now being pretty careful about preventing this.

So I went to a sports doctor and had it checked it out to make sure my course was a reasonable one.  He prodded it a bit and checked for stability and concluded that it felt stable and probably it was a slow healing minor sprain.  He did however prescribe an x-ray 'just in case' there is something like a minor fracture.  He also prescribed PT and a follow up visit in a month.

I an tempted to skip the x-ray because I'm not sure it will change the course of treatment even if they find a minor fracture; does anyone with medical experience have any idea about this?  I'm not sure how much an x-ray costs but I would guess a few to several hundred bucks.

I will probably go ahead with the PT and stop it after a couple sessions (in which I've learned what to do for myself).  I am doing home exercises that strengthen the ankle and improve proprioception.

Any thoughts?

I'm gonna bump this just once.

GuitarStv

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Re: rolled ankle and potential medical bills
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 06:43:48 AM »
I spent many years doing martial arts.  Any martial art where you kick and spar you'll sprain your ankle with some regularity.  If you have a minor fracture and the pain isn't too bad, the treatment is pretty similar to that of a sprain . . . it just will take longer to be fully recovered.

Immediately after you sprain the ankle you want to apply compression on the ankle, occasionally ice it through the day, and elevate it.  The bulk of the damage that happens from a sprain is from the swelling.  Reduce the swelling, and you can speed recovery time.  You also want to stay off it for a day or two.  After a day or two you want to keep your ankle compressed with a tensor bandage or something, and start very slowly applying a small amount of weight to the ankle.  You don't want to feel any sharp pain when doing this, if you do . . . stop.  Once you can stand on both legs comfortably without pain, then you start doing gentle stretches to regain range of motion.  Extreme stretching will make things worse.  You should be experimenting with strengthening exercises at this point like balancing on one foot, and doing heel raises, that sort of thing.  You shouldn't feel any sharp pain when doing these.

Most people stay off their ankle for far too long, then start using their ankle too hard when they come back.  This almost guarantees that you will sprain and re-sprain the ankle, making it almost a chronic problem.  Properly rehabbed you should be back to full strength after about two to three weeks depending on how bad the sprain was.  Once you get back to full strength, doing a few exercises daily like skipping (boxing style, two bounces on one foot then two bounces on the other food), single leg balance work, and heavy weighted calf raises with a barbell will help reduce the incidence of sprains in the future.

Rezdent

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Re: rolled ankle and potential medical bills
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 06:50:01 AM »
I'm not sure I can give good advice, I don't know how bad the injury is or exactly what's injured.
Did you ask these questions of the doctor when they ordered the xray?  If not, could you call back and ask them now?

I can tell you that I fell and hurt my ankle once.  The orthopedic wanted to put a screw in it because he said it would never be stable again.
I pleaded to try pt first.  His answer was, okay but you'll be back in here later for surgery anyway.

It's been ten years.  Pt worked fairly well plus they taught me how to kinesiotape my leg and foot to force different muscles and tendons to strengthen and compensate.
I did switch to boots while I was healing, the extra support stopped me from reinjuring.  Because it isn't stable, it is easily reinjured, even now.  It took more than a year to heal, but mine wasn't a minor sprain.

SimplyMarvie

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Re: rolled ankle and potential medical bills
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 10:25:44 AM »
I sprained the hell out of my ankle 4 days before my wedding in 2003, and was a complete moron and decided that getting down the aisle in my dress and the 4 inch heels that went with it was more important than proper ankle recovery. I am only now getting to the point where my foot is strong again and I don't periodically re-sprain it. Ankle injuries are a beast, especially if they're not treated well to begin with. From what you've said, I think you're just healing, but slowly.

At this point I would focus less on the X-ray (I agree, probably not useful) than on PT and stabilizing exercises. Toe raises, a $6 therapy band, standing on one foot, etc. That is what finally is building up enough strength that I'm not re-injuring myself periodically. Also, watch your shoes and wear something with some proper support until your ankle is stronger.