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Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor Breaks Ankle in Airport

Posted Oct 05 2009 10:02pm
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who was recently nominated by President Obama to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court, tripped at Laguardia Airport while trying to catch a flight back to Washington today. Once on the plane, she realized that she needed treatment and was taken to an ambulatory hospital in Washington for treatment. She is now using crutches as she continues her meetings with senators on the path towards her confirmation.

This is another example of an everyday activity gone bad. Last week, actress Jennie Garth stumbled in her home and broke her foot. Now we see how something simple as walking through the airport can have significant consequences. No, I'm not going to comment that she should have gotten to the airport earlier so she didn't have to rush (trust me, I'm not one to criticize that!). I do commend Judge Sotomayor for seeking care quickly...most do not.

The ankle has several ligaments on both sides to stabilize the joint. There are also several tendons traveling down all sides of the ankle. When an ankle is twisted, most commonly the supporting ligaments are damaged. This is known as an ankle sprain. Occasionally, however, the ligaments or tendons can pull off a piece of bone, which is an ankle fracture. The ankle bones may also fracture without a direct pull of the soft tissue.

Both fractures and sprains will be painful, with swelling and bruising noticeable. The idea that if it is broken or fractured you won't be able to walk on it is not true. The only way to tell is to get an x-ray, available quickly and painlessly in all podiatrists' offices. No need to go to the hospital for this, unless, of course, you're in the running for the Supreme Court.
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