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Ankle isn't broken but...

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I posted a few weeks ago about a bad ankle. 

I saw a dr for it. Xrays didn't show any break. Basically said take NSAIDs and ice and stay off of it as possible. I've done all but the NSAIDs because I can't take them for other reasons. 

BUT it's been over a month and its still swollen and hurts even more. I've quit impact exercises (just weights and swimming with no kicking now) and try to stay off of it as much as possible during the day. I'm not sure what to do. If it is torn, which I'm starting to think it is, does that mean surgery is necessary? I really can't afford to have surgery right now. 

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If it's not getting better, it's time to see a orthopedic specialist to see if some physical therapy might help or if you need an MRI or bone scan to see if you have a ligament/tendon injury or stress fracture or something.

Agree with Tina. I had such a severe sprain in college from vollyball that our trainer said it almost would've been better if I had broken it. It took a good 6 weeks to not have to wear an aircast and then I still had to brace it or tape it, especially when I played. I did exercises in an "ice bucket" twice a day for 20-30 min each (rotations, writing the alphabet with my big toe, stretches) and that helped. An ice bucket is where they filled a 5 gallon bucket with ice all the way up then added water. It was still a few months before it was totally back to normal. Hope an ortho can give you some answers.
Sigh, sorry to hear it. Sprained my ankle on Thanksgiving and just got off crutches last week! Physical therapy made a huge difference for me - l only wish l could've afforded more than 2 weeks' worth. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

I sprained my ankle very badly a year and a half ago, playing collegiate soccer. It's never been the same since, and I am still rehabbing (mostly because I never took the proper time to rest it before getting going again). If you've got damaged/torn ligaments or tendons, I would hugely, HUGELY recommend asking a doctor or physical therapist for a recommendation for someone specializing in Prolotherapy or Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in your area. I've been getting these injections since last November and the improvement is huge.

That's a little information on it. That coupled with strengthening exercises/visits to a physical therapist when I could have made an enormous difference. I'd recommend the injections to anyone who might benefit from them. It is also cheaper than surgery (keep in mind, however, that many insurance companies do not cover the injections, deeming them "experimental") with far less down-time (about 24 hours off the ankle, then you're back to normal movement with a little bit of tenderness, then you can basically recommence your workouts in a few days). I'd be happy to answer any other questions if you're interested, btw.

Best of luck in your recovery!

I'm sorry you're having trouble. I sprained my ankle pretty badly in January and it will still ache or feel stiff.

It might be a good idea to see an Orthopedic doctor, if your insurance covers it. It's worth the copay to find out and get a recovery plan.

Take care of yourself, the body takes time to heal. Also, do you take a multivitamin? I think that can help fill in the gaps.

I sprained my ankle several times and then had a triple compound fracture.  So I'm sorry - I feel your pain.

I agree with others - you should try to see an orthopedic specialist - especially if it is still swollen and painful a month later.  I also wouldn't work out on it at all.  I would rest it, elevate, and ice, ice, ice.  I ice constantly and it really helps.

Sorry - hang in there.  But a month later - you should really see a specialist.  I'd be surprised if it were torn - I doubt you could walk on it - probably a bad sprain or strain.

I'll try to see an ortho on it. I have a pretty high pain tolerance (ran on a stress fracture for a very long time. It was painful but I didn't bother to get it checked out until it was impossible to walk on) so theres a chance it could be torn and I'm still able to walk on it. 

I'm more concerned that I'm able to see a huge difference in the amount I can move it. For example, I can't point my toe as much as I used to be able to/as much as my other foot. Not because it hurts to point... its because I can't. It kinda gets stuck. The swelling isn't too bad so I don't think its the cause. Pain only comes if I turn my foot inward... and that causes a ton of pain. 

Remember when you favor a joint it tends to stiffen up. It took a while for my ankle to get flexible again. Same thing with my knee when I had my ACL reconstructed.

I just read this post by a fitness model / competitior on facebook win/334719333251797

This could be what you might have- worth exploring at least

I have been fighting a pretty bad ankle injury for at least the past 4-6 weeks. It got so bad last week that I finally took myself to the doctor. Come to find out that I have a high ankle sprain and severe tendonitis. A high ankle sprain is no regular “twisting” of the ankle. A high ankle sprain is when the ligaments that connect your tibia and fibula (the two bones in your lower leg) are basically stretched to the point of tearing and ripping. High ankle sprains can become so severe that the ligaments tear completely, leaving your bones to scrape against each other. The only way to treat a high ankle sprain this severe is with surgery, where they go in and place a screw in your leg that connects the tibia and fibula until the ligament heals back around it. Luckily, my sprain has not gotten to this point of severity. However, doc said if I don't stay off of it and let it heal, it will only get worse, and I will eventually be doomed to go under the needle... Then deal with an ever longer recovery time of possibly several months. When this all really set in, I knew right away I had to listen to my body. I had been ignoring it for too long, taking heavy doses of ibuprofen several times a day, telling myself I was tough, and that I would push through the pain. But I realized how serious this really was. I had to draw out of the competition.

the link doesn't seem to work, db

Original Post by deleseo:

the link doesn't seem to work, db

well the quote sort of explains the drift of the injury

ok, thx.

I had a pretty severe case of tendinitis that didn't respond to anything else but NSAIDs. Two months of no running, biking, even swimming, let alone weights, and no change. Two weeks of Advil, and I was back on my feet.

So if you can't take a certain class of drugs, perhaps your doctor can prescribe something else.

Update. I got an MRI about a week ago and tore through a ligament. High Grade/Class 3 ankle sprain. We're looking at ligament reconstruction surgery. 

sorry to hear of the diagnosis and probable surgery.  Good luck, take it easy and heal fast!!

Original Post by melodic:

Update. I got an MRI about a week ago and tore through a ligament. High Grade/Class 3 ankle sprain. We're looking at ligament reconstruction surgery. 

Sucky.  :( Good luck with your recovery.

Thanks for updating us. 

Good luck with the recovery. BTW, increased demands for vitamins C after injury, and after surgery, make supplementation worthwhile (assuming OK from your Dr.).

Sorry to hear that :(  At least now you know what you are dealing with and how to fix it.  Hopefully this will all be a distant memory soon!  Good luck with your recovery :)

Thanks everyone, there's a slight chance I'll be able to put off surgery so I'm hoping that happens. I'm terrified of going under the knife and want to avoid it at all costs. 

19 Replies