My left ankle has been swollen for about 5 years. I have been to numerous doctors in town and they couldn't diagnose what's wrong with my ankle. I have gotten MRI, CT, X-Ray, and my blood test and everything came back negative. No arthritis, no broken bone, all my veins are working okay, and no heart problem. All the the doctors told me is that I have fluid around my ankle.
Sorry you have this problem. Doesn't sound like an arthritis problem but more of a circulatory problem where the fluid gathers in one area and the body just can't seem to drain it away.
You might want to do a search on the diagnosis of lymphedema. I've seen it hit the lower leg and the entire leg(and arms) but I don't see why it can't hit just the ankle. It is a failure of the body to be able to drain out lymph fluid that bathes the tissues and it just accumulates. The tiny canals that drain the fluid are either gone or decrease with age.
But I'm glad they didn't find any arthritis or signs of inflammation. All those scans would have shown that for sure so that is why I suspect it's the drainage system. We all know what happens when the drains back up in our homes.
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: h4145 (08-26-2011)
Okay, the thing about ankles and feet is, MRI can be wrong. There are so many tiny little parts, all overlapping each other. I had a "clean" MRI on my ankle, but a doctor eventually determined I had scar tissue inside the joint. A fairly simple surgery repaired the problem.
If you haven't yet, see an orthopedist who is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon. Bring the reports and actual films from all the scans, and the blood test results. See what happens.
If you have had this for 5 years then he good news is that it is should not be a bad pathology. If I were you I would start from the beginning, see a PT, have it strapped up for a week or two and when the swelling has gone they can examine your lower limb especially foot and ankle for any abnormality. In the elderly, especially smokers who have an intransigent ankle swelling, injured or not, should get their Doc to examine their pelvic area.