Question regarding recovery from exploded ankles

Submitted by iawolve on October 15th, 2010 at 11:34 AM

This popped into my mind coming out of a post I just put on the board.

I understand the recovery from knees and we still see some lingering from Smith from his injury last year. There seems to be an assumption that Troy will be fully functional next year to add depth to the DB corps. Is that possible with the type of injury he has? Will he lose any mobility from an injury of that type since there has to be considerable ligament damage? With the need to plant and accelerate, I would think the recovery is non-trivial. Not sure if we have any doctors on the board or anyone who stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.



October 15th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

Not sure exactly how my injury relates to Troy, but....

I broke my ankle while at UofM and tore many ligaments in the process.  It was terrible.  My ankle required surgery (for the week after it was broken it looked like Favre's ankle after the NFC Championship game against the Saints). 

I likely had the same doctors that Troy had (the one I had did football player surgeries). 

If I remember correctly - I was in a hard cast for about a month, then a walking boot for about a month, then an aircast for another month when I started PT.  Being a young kid, I felt like I healed faster than some old fart (no offense gray hairs).  I felt like the timetable for recovery they had me on was too long - and I was playing basketball again by summer (I was injured in January).  Whenever I did return to sports, I did lack the confidance in my ankle to perform soundly.  Eventually that confidance was regained. 

To get your confidance back is what will take the longest.  I project TWolf would be fine by the start of next season - but he will need some game reps to "shake the rust off". 

Just my two cents...


October 15th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

Co-signed. I did the same thing back in high school football.

The biggest thing is trusting that your ankle isn't going to detonate when you make cuts like you used to. It's not even a concious decision. It just takes time to get that explosiveness back.


October 15th, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

same thing happened to me last March. I just started back with my marathon training in september. At first my main issue was with confidence that my ankle could handle the pounding it would take from running. Besides from soreness and weakness for the first week, my ankle has been great. 


October 15th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

that Smith blew his knee out in the last game of the season while Woolfolk destroyed his ankle in the preseason. Thats an extra 3 months of recovery time that Smith didn't get the benefit of, giving Troy a full year to get back to 100%.


October 15th, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

I play lacrosse for a MCLA team (not M), and I exploded my ankle real good about 17 months ago.  It was a very severe sprain--black and blue all over, I was in a boot for weeks, and my ankle hurt just thinking about running for months afterward.  The good news is I'm pretty much back to normal now and playing lacrosse at the level I was before--I can run, cut, and do everything pretty much the same before the injury.  That said, my ankle and calf still feel "off" or "weak" sometimes, and sometimes I'm afraid I'm going to re-injure it.  So, I don't know if my personal experience helps all that much (and I'm guessing Troy will have had better rehab than I did), but I guess my sort answer to "can he be fully functional" is yes and no.  It's one of those things that no matter how strong you feel, it sticks to the back of your mind when you make a cut or dodge.   


October 15th, 2010 at 11:55 AM ^

The ligaments he had damaged will be surgically repaired and the broken bone should heal without any issues as long as he adhered to the doc's advice.  The ankle is an easier joint to brace without much discomfort than compared to the knee.  Most people wear ankle braces or tape them as it stands, so he shouldn't notice much difference.  He might see some side to side differences but he will see more issues in the long run with increased degeneration of the joint and early arthritis.   As far as his Michigan career he should be fine. 




October 15th, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

What's the story on ACLs?  I've read it takes 7-9 months to be cleared for competitive sports.  The 9 month mark would have taken V Smith to the end of August.

Is it still fair to say that V Smith is still working through regaining strength in his knee/leg and that we can expect a more explosive V Smith in 2011, reminiscent of the 2009 version?


October 15th, 2010 at 12:44 PM ^

is the usual timeline for ACL injuries.  As long as you work hard on rehabbing and regain some muscles around the knees, you can get back sooner.  I was supposed to be out for 7-10 months but I came back in 5 just in time to play baseball.  I didn't regain my confidence until the end of the season.  My explosiveness, speed and agility didn't come back until the next year.


October 15th, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^

I'm not sure Smith really looks that much different than he did last season.  His rushing numbers last year were inflated by his big game against DSU.  Against Big Ten opponents he made more of an impact catching passes than rushing.  I think people simply expected too much out of him this year.  He's a young back who is still learning to be patient and find the right hole/cutback lane. 


October 15th, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

A dislocated ankle of the type that Troy had is a very severe injury with potential long term ramifications.  When the injury occurred, I spoke with my wife, a doc, who deals with the radiologic side of this type of injury fairly often.  Even with the best care, which I am sure he had, we and he need to keep our collective fingers crossed.   Here is a link to a very good article - check out the last page - prognosis.


  • Dislocated ankles should not be expected to return to premorbid function.
  • The amount of force and level of capsular disruption required to dislocate the inherently stable joint results in significant injury with lasting effects. To a limited extent, prompt intervention can reduce the risk of complications.