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For Parents Question about recovering from injury?

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mom2newgymnast

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Hi everyone! I have a question about recovering from an injury. Not asking for medical advice, just wondering if anyone has experience with the timeline involved in healing..

So, my daughter was all set to compete level 8 this season. She had a successful level 7 season, had been training for level 8 for a year and was more than ready to compete (she had all of her skills solid). Less than a week before their first meet, she fell doing a series on beam and landed wrong and broke her ankle. It's her first injury ever, which is amazing, but the timing really sucks.Fortunately, as far as ankle breaks go, she was lucky. She has a non-displaced lateral fracture of her distal fibula. It was a very clean and uncomplicated break and the doctor we saw thought recovery would be fairly quick and easy. And, so far at least, it really has been (knock on wood!). She was put in a boot and on crutches for the first 10 days. At the 10 day followup they said it was healing great and were pleased with everything. It was still a little swollen then, so they have her using an ace bandage under the boot, but told her she didn't need the crutches anymore. She's been very mobile since then, hasn't really had any pain in the boot since the first couple of days and her ankle and foot aren't swelling at all. This happened a little under 3 weeks ago. So her next appointment is in 12 days. The doctor said if it still looked good, they would have her go to a brace then. He didn't think she needed PT, but we have someone that comes to the gym for PT and so I'll definitely have her see her anyway.

So, my question is, do you think there is any chance of her competing this season? She's already missed her first 2 meets and will miss the third which is in 9 days. The next one is 2 weeks after she hopefully gets the boot off and then the final one is 2 weeks after that. Her coach thinks maybe bars at the 4th meet and then AA at the last meet (but likely doing a timer on vault instead of the yurchenko). How realistic is that though? She hasn't missed a single practice and does all the conditioning and whatever she can (lots of handstands, upper body and core work mostly), but obviously can't do any actual skills in the boot. I don't know what it will be like for her once she is out of the boot as far as lost strength and range of motion. And also how long it will take to get her skills back? I hope it helps that she was really strong with her skills before so maybe they'll come back quicker? I don't know though. She's motivated and absolutely wants to compete this season and qualify for states, but of course she won't be if it isn't safe. Any stories to share? Odds on her being ready and able to compete, at least on some events? Thanks!
 

ldw4mlo

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It is seriously not possible for us to begin to predict the timeline for healing. Both mentally and physically.

Healing is more important then competing.

My daughter had a very very minor fracture of her distal fibia. It was 8 weeks for full recovery as in full on gymnastics. She never completely stopped practicing, conditioned, did splits, the drills that she could, worked bars, no leadings. And it was back in compulsories.

And her tumbling took the longest, I believe that was more mental then physical. And by longest I mean the uptraining slowed.
 

mom2newgymnast

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It is seriously not possible for us to begin to predict the timeline for healing. Both mentally and physically.

Healing is more important then competing.

Yes, I know that. I was just asking for people's experiences. And I specifically said "She's motivated and absolutely wants to compete this season and qualify for states, but of course she won't be if it isn't safe. ".

My daughter had a very very minor fracture of her distal fibia. It was 8 weeks for full recovery as in full on gymnastics. She never completely stopped practicing, conditioned, did splits, the drills that she could, worked bars, no leadings. And it was back in compulsories.

And her tumbling took the longest, I believe that was more mental then physical. And by longest I mean the uptraining slowed.

Thanks
 

kipnastic mom

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I can give you my daughters experience. She broke her cuboid bone in her foot the day after our 3rd meet of the year a few years ago. She was put in a hard cast and non-weightbearing for 5 weeks. During that time, she went to gym and worked bars (no squat ons and no landing/dismounts) and did a ton of ab and arm conditioning. She came out of the cast 2 weeks before state (she had qualified) and into a boot. At that point, her dr and PT (I wanted both's opinion as her dr sometimes allow gymnast to come back too early) allowed her to start working bars and dismounting into the pit. One week out from state they cleared her to dismount onto a mat and essentially approve her to do bars only at state. It was not good from a scoring perspective, but, it was good for her mental state of mind heading into off season (up training). She wasn't fully cleared to tumble/vault for about 2 months. Beam she was cleared pretty quick but her balance took a very long time to come back from. Honestly, she was almost 1 year from injury before mentally she was back with full confidence. The positive is, her casting is amazing now as she spent 5 weeks with a weight on her foot and just kip casted!!!
 
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Gymbird4

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It might be possible but have her only do what she wants to do. Her health and safety are more important than meets
 

mom2newgymnast

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I can give you my daughters experience. She broke her cuboid bone in her foot the day after our 3rd meet of the year a few years ago. She was put in a hard cast and non-weightbearing for 5 weeks. During that time, she went to gym and worked bars (no squat ons and no landing/dismounts) and did a ton of ab and arm conditioning. She came out of the cast 2 weeks before state (she had qualified) and into a boot. At that point, her dr and PT (I wanted both's opinion as her dr sometimes allow gymnast to come back too early) allowed her to start working bars and dismounting into the pit. One week out from state they cleared her to dismount onto a mat and essentially approve her to do bars only at state. It was not good from a scoring perspective, but, it was good for her mental state of mind heading into off season (up training). She wasn't fully cleared to tumble/vault for about 2 months. Beam she was cleared pretty quick but her balance took a very long time to come back from. Honestly, she was almost 1 year from injury before mentally she was back with full confidence. The positive is, her casting is amazing now as she spent 5 weeks with a weight on her foot and just kip casted!!!

Thanks for replying! I think my daughter would be happy to compete any event this season. I do wonder about the mental aspect. Of course I knew it wasn't like she would get the all clear and then be back out there flipping and twisting the next day. I know it will take time to physically be able to do the skills, plus the mental part. I was just trying to get an idea from others as to what to expect. I appreciate your help.
 

mom2newgymnast

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It might be possible but have her only do what she wants to do. Her health and safety are more important than meets

Yes, I agree. I just wanted an idea of what to expect after the boot comes off. I know no one can predict what her recovery will be. She is doing everything the doctor has said and it not taking any risks. Her coaches have been great at not having her doing anything that isn't safe. She doesn't complain and continues to work hard and have hope.
 

thefellowsmom

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given that it completely varies by injury and person, I would highly recommend doing a lot of pt appointments after she is out of the boot if the goal is to get back as soon as possible.

my dd has recovered from several leg injuries, one a broken ankle with a boot etc. we had a great pt we saw two, I think even three times a week for the first few weeks, and she monitored her recovery and was able to tell her exactly what she could and couldn’t do in the gym. She also was able to monitor her status and be like nope, yesterday you did too much need to back off a bit or wow you loaded it yesterday and it looks great I think she can now add this tomorrow.

i know some docs may be hesitant to give pt for a simple break but I would push it or just do it on your own if you have that option.

the other thing is if you have a a good chiropractor available to you being in a boot really throws their alignment off. My daughter was very off and seeing her chiro regularly really helped her come back stronger and more quickly.

good luck to your daughter!
 
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mom2newgymnast

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given that it completely varies by injury and person, I would highly recommend doing a lot of pt appointments after she is out of the boot if the goal is to get back as soon as possible.

my dd has recovered from several leg injuries, one a broken ankle with a boot etc. we had a great pt we saw two, I think even three times a week for the first few weeks, and she monitored her recovery and was able to tell her exactly what she could and couldn’t do in the gym. She also was able to monitor her status and be like nope, yesterday you did too much need to back off a bit or wow you loaded it yesterday and it looks great I think she can now add this tomorrow.

i know some docs may be hesitant to give pt for a simple break but I would push it or just do it on your own if you have that option.

the other thing is if you have a a good chiropractor available to you being in a boot really throws their alignment off. My daughter was very off and seeing her chiro regularly really helped her come back stronger and more quickly.

good luck to your daughter!

Thank you for the advice! I definitely plan on looking into PT for her and I will consider seeing a chiropractor if it seems like she needs it. She has some teammates that swear by it, so I am sure I can ask who they see. Luckily, if things go well at her next appt, she'll only have been weight bearing in the boot for about 3 weeks (first 10 days were on crutches), so hopefully she won't be too "off", but I guess we'll see.
 
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