Fracture of the Talus

You may have never heard of the talus bone, but without it, you would be unable to walk. This bone is located between the base of your leg bones and your heel bone, providing a crucial source of stability so that your legs and feet can support your body weight. A fracture of this bone is called a talar fraction, and it occurs mainly as a result of a car accident or a fall, and with increasing frequency among snowboarders. That’s because the boot used in snowboarding is not rigid, and therefore can’t fully protect your ankle against injuries.

A fracture of the talus causes intense pain, which is accompanied by swelling. You also likely will find you can’t bear weight on the injured ankle. Your sports medicine specialist will ask you about these symptoms, and likely will order an X-ray or even a CT scan to get a better look at your talus and to make a diagnosis.

Treating this fracture can prove challenging, but leaving it untreated, or letting it heal improperly, can cause significant problems down the road, including chronic pain and potentially debilitating arthritis. It could take weeks to months for your fracture to heal. The common treatment approach is a removable boot or a cast to immobilize your foot, and you’ll likely need to use crutches to avoid putting weight on the affected ankle.

If parts of the fractured talus have moved out of alignment, however, surgery will be necessary. A surgeon will make an incision, then move the bones to their correct locations before securing them with a screw. After that, you’ll need to wear a cast until the fracture has healed, then perform physical therapy exercises to regain maximum function of the ankle. Along the way, your doctor may use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take note of how much blood is flowing to the foot; weak blood flow can slow healing and even cause the bone to die, in a condition known as a vascular necrosis or osteonecrosis.

Once you’ve fully healed, the only way to prevent re-injuring your ankle is by avoiding the activity that caused it. Unfortunately, that may mean your snowboarding days are over.

How do you avoid a pulled muscle?

Critical warm-up tips to avoid muscle pulls

You wake up early intending to start the day with your morning training.  Throw on your work out clothes, do a few stretches, and off you go.  What is wrong with this picture?

A few key things to understand.

1.  In the morning, the body is tight.  Over the course of the day, it loosens up.  If you plan to wake up and train first thing in the morning – keep this in mind.  Your brain may be geared up to get started, but you have to allow your body to catch up.  You may have a lot of energy in the morning, but you are still stiff compared to later in the day.

2.  Stretching while cold can be a recipe for a muscle, tendon or ligament pull.   Most substances are more flexible when warm than they are when cold – your body is no exception.  The point of a pre-training stretching is the open up range of motion and warm up prior to all-out activity.  But to do this right, you need to follow a natural order.  This natural order is:

A) Warm up your insides.  Maybe you are gung ho to get started, but doing a bit of deep breathing before you start running around will serve you well.  If you heart and lungs are challenged a bit by deep breathing, before your muscles are screaming for them to keep up, they’ll be better prepared to handle the job.

B) Break a sweat.  Warm up your muscles and joints with light activity.  Ease into it.  By the time you’ve broken a sweat, you’ll be ready to ramp up.

C) Ideally, once you have broken a sweat, you can go through some range of motion movements (aka stretches) to make sure your body is loose and ready to go.

Why go through a joint’s range of motion?  Take the ankle for example.  You breath, loosen up a bit, break a sweat and your feeling good.  But you don’t take your ankles through their range-of-motion paces, you just head off on a run.  As you run, you step off a curb at an awkward angle.  You strain a ligament as a result and are laid up on injured reserve for a few days because of it.  How could you avoid this?  One way to help is take your ankle through full ankle circles after you warm up, but prior to your run.  Most muscle pulls, tendon or ligament strains are the result of a sudden force that is too much for the tissue to withstand.  A little more flexibility can defend against such situations…

Okay, you say.  This all sounds good, but looks like it takes some time.  You have a couple of options that can also help.    Hot shower- The heat will bring up your circulation and get your blood moving – the muscles are ready for action.  Another option if you are short on time are QiVantage Performance Sprays – they are like a warm up in a bottle. Spray them on to boost circulation, which is what you need to get things rolling, and you can save the shower for when you are done working out!