Saturday, March 5, 2011

Learning to snowboard...

I'm still here in the snowfields of Colorado but the original plan of learning to snowboard this season has bitten the dust. Sadly, I managed with customary grace, to break my ankle in the process.  Not so badly that I can claim a medal but still badly enough that I’ll be on crutches for four weeks. On the good side I won't need surgery and it should stimulate my writing - if at the cost of my snowboarding.  Still... if this is the worst thing that happens this year it will be a good year.

I'd originally thought it was simply sprained but after four weeks and still limping I got some x-rays done. They were all clear so I continued limping for another two weeks until I got bored with that and did some googling on ankle injuries. Only to find out about a type of ankle fracture that almost never shows up on x-rays but is so prevalent among snowboarders that it is called 'snowboarders ankle'. Turns out that it accounts for less than 1% of reported ankle injuries but in snowboarders, these fractures account for 15% of all ankle injuries...  (Clearly I'm not exactly a trendsetter with this one lol).

So off I trotted to get a CT Scan. The CT scan produced over 300 cool images and the fracture is visible in only 3 of them. At least it turns out that I wasn't just malingering.  I now know that I have a "fracture involving the medial aspect of the talus".  So, the moral of the story is: 'If you have a badly sprained ankle that is taking ages to heal, get a CT scan'.

On a brighter note, I did at least manage to get the basics of snowboarding sorted before I did my ankle. And whilst thinking that my ankle was only sprained I managed to limp around and spend 2 weeks kayaking in Belize, go indoor skydiving and get back into pistol shooting again so I can’t really complain.   Meanwhile in between the odd outing to lectures about Shackleton or watching Chinese acrobats do things that I couldn't do with or without ankle injury, I at least have a view out over Lake Dillon and the mountains beyond while I write. A tad frustrating for an outdoor sort of a guy but what can you say...A few weeks on crutches and I should be fine to dance again. Actually I couldn't dance before but you get the general idea...

Luckily the apartment has fabulous central heating – a must for a warm weather guy like me :-)

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