Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

I just had the hardware removed from my left ankle in early december, and it’s healing well I dislocated my ankle in moab march 2002 which broke my fibula and broke the knob off the tibia, I am inserting the x-ray of my left ankle after surgery. It was very painfull and it took a long time to regain full range of motion and use of my left foot,and I expect it will never be quite as good as before. The injury occured in kind a freakish mannor I was trying to avoid being catapulted forward off the unicycle and I was dismounting back with the unicycle in front and I had my right foot on the ground, the unicycle seat got away from me, my left foot was stuck to the pedal and the unicycle spun around taking my foot with it, dislocating and breaking my ankle. I was standing on my right foot looking down at my left foot which was at about a ninety degree angle to my leg :frowning: . I was evacuated from the slickrock trail on a large atv golfcart sort of thing which was more painfull than the initial injury. I am back riding Muni and I was able to attend the moab munifest 2003 but I was definitly being very carefull and I allways use ankle supports now. It’s gotten a lot stronger since moab and by the end of summer I was up to full speed, but I still avoid big drops and I haven’t been doing much trials since the injury. I just wanted to say I can’t recomend ankle supports enough I never ride without them and I’m sure I wouldn’t have broken my ankle had I been wearing them. I have found several ankle supports besides active ankles that are less bulky and work well, the ankle supports I use are called ASO(ankle support orthosis) and come from medical specilties Inc 1-800-334-4143 they lace on and then have figure eight straps and a velcro cuff to hold the straps tight, they support your ankle well and dont have hard plastic parts like active ankles. another very similar support is from called Swede-O InnerLock 8 Ankle brace and are $35.95 each, and they also have a brace like the active ankle called the Hinged Ankle Brace Flex Lite for $29.95 each. Protective gear is a personal choice but I am recomending ankle guards to prevent you from going through what I did. I am also wondering if any body else has broken an ankle while riding Muni? My friend Bobbi a telluride muni rider broke her ankle this spring and now also uses ankle supports. Take care of your ankles.

Dan Wilson

I sprained my ankle this summer at NAUCC hopping on a log and was out for about 4 months. Now I always wear my AA’s for off-road. They are too bulky for freestyle.

I’m glad to hear you are back!

Walking is great ankle rehab because of its weight-bearing and range of motion.

Re: Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

In article <>,
Tellurider <> wrote:
)the Hinged Ankle Brace Flex Lite for $29.95 each. Protective gear is a
)personal choice but I am recomending ankle guards to prevent you from
)going through what I did. I am also wondering if any body else has
)broken an ankle while riding Muni? My friend Bobbi a telluride muni
)rider broke her ankle this spring and now also uses ankle supports. Take
)care of your ankles.

I badly sprained my ankle hiking over the Christmas break, so I’ve been
doing some research on this (with an eye to Moab). (If I had the MUni
I would have been fine, of course).

The downside of habitually using ankle braces is that they keep the
joint from having to stabilize itself–your muscles gradually weaken
as they’re used less. Also, if you’re injured, and using a brace to
allow yourself to participate in an activity that would cause pain
without the brace, you may be further injuring yourself.

Ankle supports have a place, but I would consult a doctor (preferrably a
sports doctor) before using them prophylactically.

Re: Re: Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

I always wear active ankles while riding. I don’t think the above statement is true, but I’m open to discussion about it. It seems to me that there is enough flex in them that your muscles still have to work at stabilizing. The AA’s just prevent your foot from rolling (sideways) past a critical point where injury would occur.


Not an ankle exactly. I broke two of the long bones that run back from the toes (the arch area) and tore the ligament that runs accross the foot. I remember the doc’s vaguely mentioning a bone in the ankle once, but im not sure about that. I did it last may, and about a month and a half ago tried riding again. For my own range of motion, the day after the fast was off (but still non-wieght bearing) I had almost full. Very lucky indeed. after two months of no cast, and no weight bearing, I began to walk again. Now im at a point where I only notice it once or twice on a daily basis, but it doesnt bother me with off road or trials riding, and some freestyle. At the time of the injury I was also wearing active ankles, and if I wasnt wearing them I think I’d have broken more in the ankle, plus a much longer recovery time.

Oops, forgot the xray.


Nah. It was the wheel-walk-the-wheelchair-backwards-uphill regimen that you followed.

I agree with Eric. I’ve been wearing AAs since a sprain in the Spring. They don’t feel like they limit the motion of the ankle in a normal range, so I don’t think they would weaken the ankle. This might be more likely with a lace-up brace that holds the ankle more tightly.

Since the Active Ankle is articulated (they have a hinge) they don’t affect normal ankle motion during pedaling much at all. There’s enough play in the lateral direction to let your foot rock a bit; more than enough while pedaling.

Never hurts to consult a doc, though.

Re: Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

There seems to be so many nasty unicycle injuries these days!

Could I ask you to clarify something I don’t understand about your description i.e. how was your left foot stuck to the pedal?

Hope you make a full recovery.

I am not big on checking with Doctors on much of anything. THey generally only know how to fix it after its broke. They don’t seem to get much training or continuing education on Preventative Maintanence. Not much money in keeping us healthy.:wink:

This thread definitly has me thinking more about Active Ankles since I can already feel some cracking and popping in my ankles lately. Trying things that I haven’t tried before seems to put alot more stress on the ankles. Not that I think they will resolve that, time will probably be more helpful as my body adapts to the new stresses. My concern is landing wrong trying something new while my ankles are under that additional stress. Just something else to spend money on.

Does anyone not like wearing them while riding? I tried riding in my hiking boots recently and really didn’t like the feel at all. I am a little concerned I won’t like the Active Ankles either and they will collect dust on the shelf.

Are high top converse good for muni/trials?

I wore my regular shoes the first time I used AA, and the hinge of the Active Ankles caught on the nub of my KH24 crank arm IMMEDIATELY, causing me to bail. I now only wear them with hightop hiking shoes which cover the AA hinge.

Re: Re: Re: Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

I think its only true if you wear them ALL the time (not just while on the uni). I use mine only for MUNI. My ankles still get plenty of practice stabilizing.

I sure could have used this info about a week ago. I’ll definetly be looking into an ankle support of some sort after I’m all healed up. It’s been a week and a half now since I rolled my ankle and it’s still swollen and quite sore. It was x-rayed and I was told that it wasn’t broken but I think I’ll go back to see if there was any ligament damage. I’m not sure if they can even tell .Hopefully there is no permanent damage

I agree with Tom. I like to wear tramping boots to support my ankles. I have worn them for years, and since I have always had the support, my stabilisers are particularly weak. I bought some shoes because they are lighter and not as hot as tramping boots, but I got a couple of nasty sprains while wearing shoes that have minimal ankle support. I damaged my ligaments in the sprain over four months ago and they still hurt a bit. I can ride OK but big drops are out of the question, and I have to be careful about falling off on uneven terrain. Pictures of my second unicycling sprain are here.

I guess they would be OK, I’ve never tried them though. I suspect that stiffer leather boots would provide more support though, just having a high top does not guarantee full ankle support.

Unrelated to unicycling, but relative to this thread, on the first of December 2003, my friend Alexander Scott had a plan to leap down from a balcony and suprise the unsuspecting person below him. He drunkenly leapt down from the balcony, and smashed his heel upon the awkward landing. He now has many pins in his heel, and walks around on crutches. Zander is a world class fencing champion, and has put himself out of action for his sport for a while. I thought his X-ray pictures might go alongside the others quite nicely. One from the side and one from below showing the many pins and metal plate:

When you switch from hiking boots to shoes, you have be very careful and slow for many miles before your legs adapt. For long-distance hiking, I switched to lightweight running shoes. My legs and feet didn’t really stabilize properly until I had walked over 2000 miles in training and hiking. Eventually, though, I was hiking normally in running shoes with a pack, even on extremely rough Vermont trails in the snow and dark.

This is one of the many prices of civilization. We grow up on artificially flat surfaces wearing shoes.

Re: Re: Ankle Injury/ Ankle Supports

Originally posted by onewheeldave
There seems to be so many nasty unicycle injuries these days!

Could I ask you to clarify something I don’t understand about your description i.e. how was your left foot stuck to the pedal?

I had very gripy pedals with lots of pins sun ringle zu zus and I was on a down slope and the pedal was coming up as I was trying to lift my foot away from it and I was wearing shoes that had just a bit of a heal and as the unicycle spun around and slamed down I just couldn’t get my foot away from it. I have switched to less grippy pedals I now use shimano DX pedal which have smaller and less pins and i wear shoes that don’t have a heal. I agree with Tom H to some extent I think if you wear ankle suports all the time it will weaken your ankles but I think riding MUni you come off so fast and riding on loose rocks and uneven surfaces that your ankles take some hits that you don’t experience doing things like hiking. My friend Bobbi who broke her ankle came off her muni and landed on a rock that tiped and it rolled her ankle which slightly dislocated straight to the side which broke her fibula and tore a ligament, and she does a lot of hiking and has never injured an ankle before. Thing like hiking and walking will make your ankles stronger but sudden impacts will not, but thats my opinion. Dan

I don’t think the hinge on the Active Ankle support is a major issue, not enough to put you off buying a pair anyway. I had a minor problem to start with as the hinges kept nudging my cranks, but I slowly got used to riding with my feet just a tiny bit further out on the pedal. It’s not a problem now. Like the man said, look after your ankles!

Don’t get me wrong, I still wear em’. Just not without shoes that cover the hinge. It probably wouldn’t have been such a problem with different cranks.

I have no desire to win another “best ankle injury” award at a MUNI weekend.

Well its five months since I broke my fibula while hopping down a flight of steps on my trials uni. I haven’t gone back to riding trials but I am back on the road with my 29’er and have started some MUni as well.

I have an AA for the broken side though the doc told me that there should be no need for an ankle brace as the leg, if strengthened diligently during the recovery period, will be as good as new in a full year’s time.

In the meantime, I DO wear the AA when doing MUni where I can still expect to come off onto uneven surfaces which may compromise my newly healed bone. I don’t wear th AA when road riding as the brace does sort of get in the way of the crank which is a bit of a hassle.

As well, I wear the AA when going out longboard skateboarding or slalom skateboarding…anything where I just may come off of a rolling object and land a bit funny. I am definitely not looking to break any more body bits in the future no matter what sport I’m enjoying.