|This photo of Judge Alex's ankle is from his twitter account; I do not own it.|
In some sort of freak boating accident, Judge Alex Ferrer sprained his ankle. Xrays indicated that no fracture is involved. In unusual cases, an osteochondral injury, which is a particular form of fracture usually to the end of a bone, can go undetected by a standard foot/ankle Xray. An MRI or CT scan (a CT scan is essentially a more detailed xray taken from more angles and may be necessary if healing doesn't occur on schedule or if pain continues to be greater than it should be after a given interval) is sometimes necessary. It is prudent to hold off on such diagnostic measures. CT scans, as do all xrays, expose a body to radiation. MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging scans, are expensive.
With extensive ligament damage or tearing, sometimes the only reliable diagnostic tool is a surgical procedure, which would usually be accomplished by arthroscopy, where by minimal incisions are made and specialized cameras are inserted. If damage is discovered in such procedures, repairs can often be done using arthroscopic instruments, thereby minimizing trauma to the tissue.
Judge Ferrer has demonstrated an at least greater-than-average pain tolerance. He once chose to have an endoscopy with no sedation so that he could drive himself home following the procedure. While I personally considered his choice silly in that particular case, as surely at least twenty people living in his area would have been more than happy to have driven him home, it was nonetheless evidence that he isn't exactly pigeon-hearted in dealing with pain. He says his ankle hurts when he puts weight on it but not too much otherwise unless anything has changed since I most recently communicated with him.
Please join me in sending prayers and positive thoughts, communicating good vibes, or doing anything else that you are willing and able to do to aid a person in recovery from an injury. Judge Ferrer is a physically active person who is probably going stir-crazy in not being able to carry out his normal fitness routine and in having to back out on previously scheduled jobs. He needs to be at or near physical capacity as soon as possible.
My knowledge of orthopedic injuries is limited to lecture notes and text materials in addition to personal experience from my own fractures and sprains and what has been communicated to me by medical professionals at the times those injuries happened. I have not yet fulfilled an orthopedic rotation, nor am I -- quite obviously -- an MD, and am thereby unqualified to dispense any medical advice of this nature. I am, however, at least one half-step ahead of a person who obtains his or her advice from wikipedia or other Internet sources. Furthermore, any reader who wishes to further investigate anything that has been discussed here is most capable of doing so, and if is so inclined,will do so himself or herself.