Avulsions a-go go!

I learned a new word yesterday. Avulsion.

When I was about 18, I had a series of episodes where I sprained my ankle very badly. The first time I was playing volleyball and I jumped for spike and I landed on the edge of a teammate’s foot and rolled my ankle over. My ankle swelled up like a bastard and turned imperial purple. I was sure it was broken.

They took me to the sick bay but the Dr said no break. Bad sprain. Bandage and rest for a couple of weeks.

The exact same thing happened four or five times in quick succession. I’m sure it’s broken. Xray says “not!” Rest and bandages.

Eventually I learned to cut out the middle man. “Think your ankle’s broken? Rest and bandages!”

I have had a several episodes likes this where I repeatedly sprain my ankle over a period of several months. I started wrapping my ankles when I played football and it stopped happening so much.

On Sunday, I played football with the old men. It was the first time I had played on grass- in cleats – for months and I kept mis-judging my kicks because of that weird extra half inch that studs give you. I scuffed a bunch of shots and stumbled a few times.

Late in the game, I found myself charging towards the goal with just two defenders to beat. It’s always fun to run at defenders with the ball. It’s extra fun when the defenders are aged 70 and up (!!) but this time the defender was Mark.

Mark is at least 10 years younger than me and a very good footballer. I decided I was gonna beat him.

At full sprint, I dragged the ball to my right and stepped over it for a Cruyff Turn. Mark beats me with that move at least once a game. I was about turn the tables when my stud caught the turf. The toe of my boot dug in to the ground and then the entire impact of my speeding 200lbs bent my ankle into a quite unnatural position.

I knew instantly that my game was done. They carried me off and gave me ice and a beer. I knew the drill for swollen and purple ankles. Rest and bandages! (and more beer!)

The next morning it still hurt like hell and the missus made me go for an xray. The doc told me all about avulsion fractures.

An avulsion is where the ligament tears away a little piece of bone. He said I had so many avulsions that it was hard to tell which was old and which was new.

“Does it hurt here?”
“aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhh!”
“That might be a new one.”

Turns out the treatment for an avulsion is the same as for a sprain – rest and bandages – but, this time the doc didn’t seem too optimistic about the prospects for my recovery. He kept repeating over and over how this is a very serious injury and  all the soft tissue is damaged and the chances of a full recovery are slim.

I might have to find a new way to injure myself on Sunday mornings.

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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