Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

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aly160
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Hi fellow hobblers...I sprained my ankle 4 months ago and was sent away from the hospital walking. To make a long story short, I wasnt healing after 2 plus months of movement and Physio (what I was recommended to do), and my orthodedic surgeon put me in a walking cast for 6 weeks. I have 2 weeks to go, and still swell in my cast and fell numb. I was reading about Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain, and my symptoms match to the tee, including: 

"Pain, usually on the outer side of the ankle, may be so intense that you have difficulty walking or participating in sports. In some cases, the pain is a constant, dull ache.

Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels

A feeling of giving way (instability)

Swelling

Stiffness

Tenderness"

Can anyone relate?

Please share your thoughts, insights, successes, etc. 

Wishing you all a speedier recovery 🙏

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Aly,

    Sorry to hear you joined the ankle club with us.

    When I had my ankle fracture/sprain I followed the strict recommended protocol of PRICE. The 2 key elements of that protocol is rest and protection of injury (stay off the ankle and protect it with a bandage or boot, depending on severity of ankle damage).

    You are missing some details from your story, such as severity (what was grade of ankle sprain?), whether any x-rays or other diagnostic tests were performed, and what instructions the hospital staff gave you when they sent you on your merry way (walking on a sprained ankle as if nothing ever happened-- good grief).

    The above missing details are part of your injury recovery narrative, and without them it is hard to make sense of where you are in recovery and where you are headed.

    In any case, I wish you all the best. This forum audience has been through almost every conceivable ankle mishap, so don't hesitate to ask us for advice.

    • Posted

      Hi...thank you for your responses and well wishes. I had an X-ray right after the injury, and was told it was a Grade 3 sprain and was sent out walking, given the RICE advice and a prescription to Percocet. One step down on exit from the hospital, I knew there was no way I could walk. So I picked up some crutches. Tried a boot, but the swelling was so bad I gave that up. Then went to California to visit my son, while on crutches and using RICE as often as possible. When I got home 2 weeks later, I went to my doctor who said I needed to walk and go to Physio, and keep moving. Then had an ultrasound, which revealed a torn ligament. Still told to move move move. So I did. Then an Orthopedic Surgeon told me that if I dont immobilize it, it'll never heal. That's when the walking  cast went on for 6 weeks. It's been on for four weeks now and I still feel no difference. I'm so so frustrated. I don't trust any doctors anymore 😟

    • Posted

      Aly,

      Thanks for clarifying the details.

      I'm so sorry for you that got very bad professional advice after your sprain and during 'recovery'. That is such bad luck.

      But please don't be discouraged. You know what you have to do now-- give that torn ligament and other injured tissue more time to heal. Be patient. You want to avoid at all costs risks of developing chronic ankle dysfunction subsequent to an ankle that never healed properly. Please do everything in your power to help your ankle recover. Your future normal mobility may depend on it.

      If it were me in your situation-- at this critical point-- I would find a very competent and sympatico ankle injury specialist to help steer you through any recovery pitfalls.

      If you have perused this forum to any extent you will encounter many a sad patient story of ankle injuries that never got healed completely, and then these poor souls suffered through repeated remedial ankle surgeries to try to fix it.

      So, take some deep breaths and march on. You can and will whip this problem.

    • Posted

      Thank you kpower for your support. I do feel very alone with all of this. It truly sucks 😟

  • Posted

    Hi Aly, I hope you are feeling better today. I broke my ankle in 2 places and was in a cast for 8 weeks. The cast was taken off and now I am seeing a physiotherapist once a week for awhile. I hope you did have an X-ray to rule out a fracture or break. In my case, I could not weight bear for the entire 8 week duration. Maybe if you treated your injury as being a break/fracture and don't bear any weight for awhile, your foot will have a chance to heal. Maybe you did have an X-ray and there is no fracture. Non weight bearing could speed up the recovery of a bad sprain too. Apparently there is bound to be swelling for quite awhile. The physiotherapist told me to work through the pain. If you do have a fracture, it is probably premature to work through any pain until your break has a chance to heal. Anyhow, I hope it all gets better for you!

  • Posted

    Hi Aly,

    When I fell and broke my left ankle, I also fractured my right ankle.  I left the ER with a soft cast on my broken ankle and an air boot on my fractured ankle. I couldn’t place any weight on my ankles for about three weeks and used a wheelchair getting in and out with my dear husband’s help.

    I have been treated by a trauma surgeon who did multiple operations on my left ankle. Now, three months later my right ankle still swells and turns shades of purple when I stand. I use a compression sock to help with the swelling. It doesn’t hurt that much now but I do elevate it every evening along with my broken ankle. To give you some hope, it is much better and I use it to be somewhat mobile since I can’t bear any weight on the broken ankle for two more weeks.  

    These injuries are pretty terrible and the pain can be very intense as I’m sure the other members of this forum can attest. 

    Try to pamper yourself and find a doctor you trust.  

    Best of luck-

    Karen 

    • Posted

      Thanks for your well wishes and long words, Karen. Two broken ankles is very challenging. I also broke my toe on my other foot at the same time as my sprain. They told me there was nothing they could do. It's still experiencing pain and doesn't touch ground...4 months post injury. I have scheduled a second opinion with an orthopaedic surgeon in San Diego. Won't stop looking for answers till I'm healed in both feet. 

      Feel better very soon 🙏

    • aly160
      2

      Posted

      Good words not long words, Karen smile
    • Posted

      No worries. I had an error in my post as well. Auto correctsmile 

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