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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Injured: Advice for Flying



Hi,

I have a sprained ankle - xray showed no breaks. I asked the orthopedist if it was okay for me to fly, and she said yes but to except some swelling. The problem is that I didn't make clear that the flight was not a one time deal, work requires me to take 5 hours flights twice a week. On my flight this morning my ankle swelled considerably, to day 3 level swelling (right before the flight, day 8, had minimal swelling). Will having my ankle swell twice a week slow my recovery or cause further damage / scar tissue? I am on crutches, with an air cast, and used an ace wrap on the flight. If necessary I can ask to work remotely for a month, but I would prefer not to.

Thanks,

Michelle

Dr Blake's response:

Michelle, sorry I am just getting back from vacation. The repeated swelling will delay, but not prevent, your healing. Support hose at 20-30mm Hg above knee (only need on injured side) can be found at some pharmacies and definitely helpful. Do ankle pumps every 15-20 minutes on the plane (10 up and down motions while in your seat). Elevate as much and as high as possible on the plane (see if the bulkhead seats are available). Ice pack for 20 minutes as soon as you are off the plane, and one more time that night. Hope this helps. Rich

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.