In the past two weeks, I’ve gone to the physiotherapist twice. First for my shoulder, second for my ankle. The first appointment was nothing special. He gave me some isometric exercises to practice at home, to strengthen my muscles and ligaments without moving them around, and hooked me up to a TENS machine that left bruised hickey octopus sucker marks all over my skin. The second appointment, though, which focused on my ankle, was a little bit life changing. Turns out, and why none of the doctors ever figured this out, I don’t know, my ankle was dislocated! The physiotherapist did a few motion tests, prodded conclusively with his fingers, then, incredibly, just pressed the bones back into place. It was a very peculiar feeling, but the relief was immediate. There’s still pain, but it’s a dull ache instead of a chronic, constant sharp pressure, and the brain fuzziness that accompanied it is almost entirely gone.
It seems that when I went rollerblading in broken boots all those years ago, the compression of the ill fit slowly shoved my bones out of place, wrecking some of the connective tissue and setting a precedent in the flesh for it to slip out in future, much like my shoulder, which is why my injury would flare up randomly when I ran or even stepped off a curb the wrong way.
To finally have an ultimate solution, to be able to stand and walk and know what was wrong, has been revolutionary. I have been given exercises to keep it in place – standing on one foot on a balance board, twenty minutes on a stationary bike, pushing with the other foot to give it a ride, and fifty pound leg presses, as gently as possible – and the fellow that sold us my new ankle brace recommended a very good series of stretches, where you trace out the alphabet in the air with your toes. My problems now are only healing and strength. Healing, to get over the tiny soft tissue tears from misplaced bones, and strength, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.