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Oct 24, 2022
7
43
Hi,

My daughter is a 8yr old L4. Two weeks ago, she fell of the beam doing a split jump. She said the side of her foot landed on the beam and she twisted her ankle on the way down. She’s been complaining that her ankle hurts ever since. She limps around at gymnastics and complains to her coaches that her ankle hurts. Sometimes, she even sits out to ice it. There is no bruising and no swelling. HOWEVER, most of the time at home, she seems to walk around fine. She even plays soccer - like full on sprinting- without hesitation. I hate to say it and can’t / haven’t said this to her, but no one really believes her ankle hurts bc we see her do all the other things without hesitation. She came home from practice again last night and said her coach thinks she should have it looked at bc she keeps complaining at the gym. I don’t see the signs at home that this needs medical attention. I think this is some type of attention play, but feel guilty even saying that. Has anyone ever dealt with something like this? How did you handle it? She’s middle of the road on her team, for what that’s worth.
 

GymOwl

Coach
Gymnast
Fan
Feb 6, 2021
28
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I don't think it'll hurt to have it checked out, ankle injuries can be tricky. Have you asked her to point out specifically where the pain is? Or how it feels? (Achy, throbbing, sharp, etc) That way you have an idea on what the problem could possibly be.

I did have a foot injury around a year ago that didn't affect my walking at all. I was even able to run, jump, and tumble. Had no swelling or bruising either, just a deep ache so I continued training on it for nearly 2 months until it got worse, and eventually got diagnosed as a stress reaction (a step below a stress fracture) Not saying this is the same situation with your daughter, just saying it's better to get it checked out now instead of waiting until it possibly gets worse.

Best of luck to you and your daughter!
 

welovethegym

Proud Parent
Oct 12, 2022
46
Region 6
I did have a foot injury around a year ago that didn't affect my walking at all. I was even able to run, jump, and tumble. Had no swelling or bruising either, just a deep ache so I continued training on it for nearly 2 months until it got worse, and eventually got diagnosed as a stress reaction (a step below a stress fracture) Not saying this is the same situation with your daughter, just saying it's better to get it checked out now instead of waiting until it possibly gets worse.
This happened with my DD as well. I strongly recommend you get it checked out if she still complains of pain. Her doing soccer is putting her at more risk of injuring it more. Stress injuries often don't have bruises and a lot of times don't swell too much.
 
Oct 24, 2022
7
43
Thank you all! This is really helpful. I assumed if there was an injury that it would show itself either thru visible signs or an inability to really put weight on it (ie: not be able to run around and kick a soccer ball).
 
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Dad1234

Proud Parent
May 12, 2018
71
43
This sounds exactly like my daughter. My daughter had tendinitis in her ankle that was diagnosed after what I thought was a sprained ankle. It only bothered her when doing pounding activities at the gym, but she could run/walk otherwise without issues. Her PT even gave her permission to run a cross country race on it because it was only aggravated by pounding.
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
828
Virginia
For injuries that are probably not injuries (more like aggrivations that Drs wont do anything for anyway) I typically visit our PT to get an evaluation to see if Dr intervention is neccisary. Gives the kiddo some piece of mind and saves me trips to Dr and Xray. Also they will often give us strengthening exercises to do for that particular area.
 
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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
It's not surprising that a kid will push through pain to do stuff that they find fun and then use the pain to get out of things that either (1) hurt more (like vaulting), or (2) they just don't want to do. They're kids. That's why parents need to make rules.

My daughter has the energy to play switch all day when she's sick but finds it impossible to muster the energy to feed the cat. Is she lying about being sick because she doesn't want to feed the cat? Of course not.

You shouldn't be guessing about ankle sprains. Go see a sports medicine doctor or PT for evaluation. If she has even a slight sprain she shouldn't be messing around on it -- you're incredibly more likely to sprain your ankle again if you don't let it fully recover: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955312701091

A lot of the chronic gym injuries that people have start with a single minor issue that was never properly addressed, because god forbid an 8 year old kid miss a week or two of practice to get fully healthy.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
694
Agree with @Scream4IceCream that it might be fear based. Could also be that she simply may not want to continue gym, based on fear or loss of interest, or loss of passion...whatever the reason. But at the end of the day, gym is a barefoot, high-impact landing, repetitive full-body-weight landing sport. Soccer and walking around the house are not. So definitely best to take her to see ortho. If she is only 8 years old, better to start with pediatric ortho vs. sports.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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It’s not unusual for an injury to hurt at gym but not elsewhere. That is because in the gym we are using our bodies and kicked in ways we don’t anywhere else. It’s also not unusual for it to hurt doing some things and not others.

I would get it checked out.

I’d be concerned that she is sometimes sitting out to ice the ankle. If she is sitting down and icing it, then joining back in, that is dangerous. Cold mucked are very prone to injury.

If w child has iced a limb, they should not be joining back in without a closely supervised, carefully done, full rewarm up. I highly doubt that would be happening.
 
Oct 24, 2022
7
43
I definitely agree you should get it checked out. However, is she possibly scared to do that skill again (or even other skills) and is using her ankle as an excuse to avoid training things she’s now hesitant about?
Yes, I’ve been wondering if she’s using it as an excuse to avoid certain things. She’s great at beam and floor - always seems able to do those. Is fairly weak on vault and tends to complain about pain on vault. After reading these responses, I will certainly have her checked out.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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The wouldn’t discount it. Vault is the hardest apparatus on the ankles, it requires a lot of running and pounding.

If there is an ankle problem, it will show up on Vault.
 
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Oopski

Proud Parent
May 25, 2012
495
Texas
I’d find a good PT now, you’ll likely need them more than you want over the years. You’d be surprised how tricky a minor ankle injury can be. Good luck
 
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jillc

Proud Parent
Apr 1, 2016
174
42
Parenting is hard sometimes!

But I tried to use situations like these as a teaching/learning moment for my DD. I would involve her in the decision on if she needed to go to the doctor or not.

I would talk to her about — since it is her body - she is the only one who knows how it feels. That means she is that will needs to describe to doctor what makes it hurt (and what doesn’t), exactly where it hurts, and what the pain feels like. Like you talk about in your post — I made sure to let her know I was listening and believed her (even if I had some amounts of doubt of my own). I think that communication itself is really hard at this age.

I also talked her through possible outcomes that the doctor may propose. We went to the doctor at this a couple of times — and they turned out to be real issues, but ones where we just needed to better know how to treat/deal them — not ones that required time out of gym.

Even that conversation between her and I before going to the doctor really helped me better understand how she was feeling about things and if the injury was “real” or not.

I think doing that early (level 3 and 4, she is now level 9) really helped her and so get on the same page. She seems to more easily know when to push through minor things, when to take a break, and when she needs to be checked out. She also seems to able to better communicate how her body feels with her coaches which helps tremendously.
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
357
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The wouldn’t discount it. Vault is the hardest apparatus on the ankles, it requires a lot of running and pounding.

If there is an ankle problem, it will show up on Vault.
And if there's an ankle problem, on vault is where they'll favor one foot the most. My kid has chronic ankle issues, and normally they'll pull her off vault because of the risks of favoring one leg over the other and injuring the other leg in an effort to avoid putting as much pressure on the hurt ankle
 

WV Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2022
72
49
If this was my daughter, I would have her in to see sports Ortho for an eval. Its 100% possible for gymnastics to really irritate a chronic ankle injury in ways that soccer or just general play cannot. Gymnastics is a completely different level of stress on wrists and ankles.