It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-17-2008, 01:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi,
I'm new to this site. I don't know much about ankles so my questions may seem very simplistic. I had a very bad inversion ankle sprain on my left foot a year ago on January 3, 2008. I didn't follow-up with my sports med doctor for that (b/c he had moved to a different city). In stead, I followed-up with with my family med doctor. I did PT religiously for 2 months after that and I was back to doing my stuff about a month after the injury...I started biking about 3-weeks after the injury. (I'm very active...teach fitness classes...work in a warehouse..bike, hike, jog, do plyometrics, snowshoe, cross-county ski...etc).

On November, 20, 2008 (a month ago), I was laying on the couch RELAXING and watching "Survivor." I was gently stretching my feet-doing little ankle circles..then...BOOM my ankle snapped and popped and I couldn't walk. I've been in an air cast for 3-weeks now. I was doing good walking with it...working restricted hours at work...still working out.. but since the last week and a half it has gotten worse. MRI report states that I have a small area of localized subchondral bone bruising....partial tear and partial avulsion of the talar insertion of the anterior deep deltoid fibers and portion of the tibial spring ligament.

My sports med doc told me NOT to work for 5 weeks and to keep all of my weight bearing to a real minimum. He is very hopeful that with conservative therapy this will heal. He said that a month is very early in the healing process and that I need to be patient. I'm freaking out b/c my ankle feels worse, especially where the deltoid ligaments are in my foot...it feels like it's going to give out at any moment...and I get some intense pain and numbing. ANYWAY..I am meeting with an ankle specialist tomorrow b/c I am fearful that this conservative therapy will be a waste of time and that I'll end up needing surgery...and being UNABLE TO WALK even longer.

So, I guess my two main questions are as follows:
1) Is it normal to go from doing well...to having a lot of pain and instability...during the healing process?
2) Can partially torn ligaments heal on there own...or do they usually require surgery?

THANKS...any input would be much appreciated!!!! I just want to walk and hike again...that is all I want to be able to do!

"let me walk!!"

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 12-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

That doesn't sound like an injury to the subtalar joint. Subtalar is where the talus meets the heelbone. Seems like you are talking about the true ankle joint, where the talus meets the tibia and fibula.

No, suddenly getting much much worse during the healing process is not normal, and I'm glad you are seeing a specialist.

Partially torn ligaments can heal if they are very well protected. By air cast, do you mean a little thing that fits inside your shoe, or a big boot?

The subchondral bruising the MRI found, basically that's a minor bone injury, less than a fracture, but still painful. That should heal given time.

If there's a reasonable chance that you will heal without surgery, it's generally worth taking, because surgery is no fun. But see what the specialist says.

I understand how frustrating it is being unable to walk. Let me know if you have any other questions.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 07:07 PM   #3
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
That doesn't sound like an injury to the subtalar joint. Subtalar is where the talus meets the heelbone. Seems like you are talking about the true ankle joint, where the talus meets the tibia and fibula.

No, suddenly getting much much worse during the healing process is not normal, and I'm glad you are seeing a specialist.

Partially torn ligaments can heal if they are very well protected. By air cast, do you mean a little thing that fits inside your shoe, or a big boot?

The subchondral bruising the MRI found, basically that's a minor bone injury, less than a fracture, but still painful. That should heal given time.

If there's a reasonable chance that you will heal without surgery, it's generally worth taking, because surgery is no fun. But see what the specialist says.

I understand how frustrating it is being unable to walk. Let me know if you have any other questions.
WOW, JaneWhite1...thanks for your fast reply. I really appreciate it. I'm in an air-cast..one that goes up to my knee...a big. grey clunky thing. When I was first put in the air-cast (with restricted hours at work...still biking and working out) I could walk around like it was nothing (I took my cast off to bike). Then I started to walk around a little bit without the cast...I did some vacuming without it. I could actually walk around...kinda..like a normal person. However, ever since then the pain has been worse. Since my follow-up with my sports med doc on Monday...I've been REALLY GOOD at using my crutches and keeping my air-cast on and taking time out to sit and elevate my foot. Do you think I did more damage to my ankle from walking around and vacuming one morning without my cast and biking a few mornings without it?

I seem like a pest and so needy for input...but this is scarey!! I will see the specialist tomorrow...but...this is so difficult to deal with (and my problems aren't anything compared to some of these posts)...not being able to walk like humans are supposed to do!!! (It sounds like you've been through a lot...are you able to do normal daily functioning things? I hope so!!!)
Thanks!
let me walk!!!

 
Old 12-18-2008, 05:37 AM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Well, going without the cast probably at least caused more swelling, which will hurt more. No biking for a while, but there's nothing wrong with lifting weights for your upper body. I know that going to the gym really helped me emotionally when my ankle got really bad.

When you are walking in the cast, the shoe on your other foot should have a sole as thick as the middle part of the boot (2 inches or so).

I am doing very well these days, after 6 months either on a cane, in the boot, or on crutches. I still have occasional soreness, but nothing that gets in my way, and I consider myself 95-98% better. I walk, bike, and skate. My problem turned out to be scar tissue inside the joint from repeated "minor" sprains, and a surgeon was able to remove it easily.

Hang in there, and let me know what the surgeon says.

 
Old 12-20-2008, 04:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi Janewhite1,
You're really helpful. I appreciate your feedback. Ankle specialist says that I will walk again (THANK GOD). I mostly have soft tissue damage...deltoid ligament..some tendon injury. The kinda tricky thing is the bone bruise..Osteochondral injury. The bone bruise is tiny 6mm. It can heal on it's own (Chances are that it will)...and it might (might is what he stressed) lead to bone death, which would lead to a pit in the bone. That could cause uneven wear on the bones. That can be addressed with surgery (if needed) and, I guess, some people don't have problems with it?!? Anyway...I am relieved to know that I will eventually walk and hike again. I guess I have a couple of questions:
1) Do you have any experience addressing this issue?
2) I'm just really curious...you know a lot...I've seen many of your posts throughout this site...what do you do for a living? I hope that isn't too forward.

THANKS!
Let Me Walk

 
Old 12-20-2008, 09:44 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

The bone pit thing (which you do not have yet and, since you're being treated early enough, you probably won't get) is called OCD, and we have some people here who have recovered well even from that, including return to sports. I don't have any personal experience, but I know the talus is a tricky bone to heal, due to its poor blood supply and the fact that small injuries to it sometimes go unidentified for far too long. My mother had a spiral fracture of the talus years ago, and she was in a cast for about 6 months! (Today, they probably would have done surgery at the time of injury.) But she eventually recovered fully.

Still, the fact that it's been identified and addressed while the injured bone is still alive is very good. Just be very patient, elevate your foot whenever possible, and don't push it. When you get cleared for PT, work hard. Do the exercises several times a day if you are allowed to. Make sure you retrain your balance and get back all your range of motion. Don't return to sports or work until you are explicitly permitted, and you might want to wear a light in-shoe support for up to a year. Canes are good, especially in crowds and on buses, so you get personal space and a seat if necessary.

I am no professional. I came here because the pain in my ankle made me desperate for answers, and my doctor had told me there was nothing more that could be done. I stayed because there were other people here in the same boat, desperate for answers.

 
Old 12-23-2008, 06:14 AM   #7
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi Janewhite1,
I'm freaking out now b/c my condition (possible OCD). The doctors are assuming that my bone bruise happened when I sprained my ankle a year ago (pretty bad ankle sprain). I did my PT religiously after that. I was able to resume normal activities up until this event. They are telling me that I did enough PT to strengthen most of the tendon/ligament fibers...but not all of them...so this incident was likely to happen at some point. So, my question is this....if my bone bruise has been there a year do you still think I have a good chance of healing without surgery. (The bone bruise is really small 6mm) I'm freaking out b/c although I can bear weight on it...and when I'm in the shower without my cast...I am doing much better...but the pain I feel is deep and can't be described. Are torn ligaments and tendons hard to heal? (Why was I able to rehab my first ankle sprain without all of this drama...especially if I had that bone bruise then?) I'm just scared about this again. Realistically...how long does it take to heal torn ligament/tendons....(I'm 34 days into this....)Thanks. Let Me Walk

 
Old 12-23-2008, 02:59 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

The MRI would show if you had OCD. Since the injury to the bone was diagnosed while the bone is still alive, assuming that you have decent circulation and aren't on massive doses of steroids, it should heal normally. OCD usually happens when an injury to the bone goes undetected.

Torn ligaments/tendons take quite a while to heal, at least a month, maybe as many as four months to heal fully.

Hang in there. Stay in touch with your doctor, make sure you do everything he tells you.

But while you are being good and waiting to heal, there's no reason to put your entire life on hold. It's going to take time, so find a way to make the best of it. Me, I joined a gym and got nicely toned shoulders.

I also became a Healthboards replying fanatic, but maybe you can find a better hobby than that.

 
Old 12-25-2008, 05:46 AM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi Janewhite1,
Thanks again for your reply...much appreciated!!!!!! I do work out a lot...fitness instructor...personal trainer...work in a warehouse (not now though). (No steroids or anything like that...just a LOVE to move the old body) I love your comment about getting nicely toned shoulders while healing your foot. I'll try not to bug this site too much...but when I get freaked out about the possibility of having surgery I need to vent here. I'm keeping a journal of my healing process and logging all of my activities...pain...good days...etc. Happy Holidays. Thanks A LOT for your support!!
Let Me Walk

 
Old 12-25-2008, 06:25 AM   #10
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Oh, believe me, we all freak out when contemplating surgery. And if we can do at least some of it here, it reduces the burden on our loved ones. That's a huge part of what this site is for.

Oddly enough, I've learned on this site that women tend to go through a period of fanatical housecleaning in the days before a scheduled surgery. I did, Copchick did, so did several others. Not 100% sure why.

 
Old 12-27-2008, 04:05 PM   #11
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi Janewhite1,
Please forgive me for being really needy...but today is turning out to be awful. I have been doing pretty well for the past 2-weeks (36 days into this). I've always been able to take my boot off to take a shower...going VERY CAREFULLY..using my crutches to get over to the shower then into the shower. Today, however, as I was getting to my crutches...it felt like my ankle collapsed a little...then INTENSE pain right on the tendon...you can even see a nodgule on it. I've been in the recliner ever since...icing and elevating my foot. Inside my boot...my foot involantarily will move and jerk a little bit and then this promotes that intense pain. I gave my self a major panic attack (my husband thought I should go to the ER b/c I couldn't get a grip). I got on my crutches and paced around the house slowly to calm down...that helped...and now I'm a the computer writing you, which is helping (not looking forward to trying to sleep tonight). Is healing from a partially torn tendon and tendonitis (along with torn ligaments and bone bruise) supposed to be this UP and DOWN...and this painful....the pain is really intense (and I haven't even had surgery)? I guess I need to know if this is how it goes with an injury like this? Please...any info would help me...I'm totally scared (I know you told me to be patient and that tendon and ligament injuries can take a really long time..but is this up and down stuff part of the deal??).

THANKS!
Let Me Walk

 
Old 12-27-2008, 06:09 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Bad days, sure. But there's supposed to be healing, the curve is supposed to go more or less upward.

It sounds to me like something that was partially torn might have just torn all the way through. I certainly could be wrong, (and I hope I am!) but do not put any weight on that foot, booted or otherwise, for the rest of the day, and call your doctor if it doesn't start feeling better by morning.

 
Old 12-28-2008, 06:41 AM   #13
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 197
let me walk HB Userlet me walk HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

I ended up having to sleep with my air cast on last night (first time I've ever had to do that). This may sound like a dumb question...but is it alright to sleep on your side with that thing on? I didn't b/c it felt weird...so I had it proped up on a pillow and slept on my back, which I hate. I'm not scheduled to see my Dr till January 19th (for follow-up...). However, the pain is still there...I have not tried putting any weight on it...to scared to do that. I may go to urgent care to get some pain medication (I hate taking meds...but the pain is pretty weird.....have you ever taken pain medication? I have never...). I feel like I'm never going to walk again...the ankle specialist was encouraging me to walk with the cast and by Thursday (January 1) he wanted me to try gentle ROM on the bike. I don't think that is going to happen. I almost feel like it's worse than it was when I first injured it...at least then I could kinda walk on it even without the boot.

Did you ever experience where you were doing really well...then BOOM...you weren't? I was doing so well yesterday morning...then I went to take my shower and the rest is history.

 
Old 12-28-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bitterroot Valley, Montana
Posts: 372
akirka HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

Hi Let Me Walk,

I hope you're feeling better today. I thought I would chime in because I partially know what you are going through. I had an inversion sprain 3.5 years ago and had constant pain from it. I did PT religiously but it never improved. Almost a year later I was diagnosed with a very large OCD of the talus. I don't have any of the tendon, soft tissue issues that you have but the OCD was plenty of pain enough on its own. It's that very deep, hard to describe pain you mentioned. Some days your foot feel pretty good and other days you can hardly walk. Some people live with it for years and then a simple activity will eventually cause the injury to 'break down' and cause a lot of pain. I'm here to encourage you so I hate to say that casting an OCD only has about a 40% of healing - after a year it may have lesser odds. But that still can give you hope that it could heal. My OCD was 18mm, much bigger than your 6mm so you may have a chance of it healing. 6mm seems tiny but that is an average size OCD and it will cause you a lot of pain. Unfortunately, you may always have some pain from this injury. I went from running, gymnastics, hiking, to a very sedentary lifestyle. It's been really hard but I've tried to stay positive and do what I can. Finally last year I had a fairly radical surgery called OATS that has almost 'fixed' my foot. My foot feels great and I'm slowly returning to activity. This surgery was scary, but worth it. If you were to have surgery, I bet it would be subchondral drilling which is much less invasive than OATS. The hard part is just being off your feet and not being able to do what you want. Be patient - it will definitely be worth it in the long run if you can get this thing to heal! There's an OATS recovery thread on this board if you want to talk to other people who have had a similar injury.

Feel free to ask any questions!

Abby

 
Old 12-28-2008, 07:13 PM   #15
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 32
janewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB Userjanewhite1 HB User
Re: Subtalar Joint Injury

I had a lot of setbacks. During 2007, on several occasions I simply woke up to find my ankle was too swollen to move properly. No accident, just swollen up. It became incredibly frustrating. I didn't know that there was something wrong inside the joint that wouldn't go away on its own, I thought I was just being careless about my recovery somehow. I was so relieved when I had my surgery and then I could start getting better.

I definitely think you should get this checked out again as soon as possible, what happened to you the other night does not sound normal. Call your doctor and tell him what happened. Do mention that you've been in a significant degree of pain at all times since.

Painkillers? Are a good thing under certain circumstances. Obviously, they deserve caution, but if you really need them, they are a lifesaver. You can't heal properly if you can't rest, after all.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
help... questions about subtalar fusion! looics17 Foot & Ankle Problems 15 05-06-2012 02:50 AM
Subtalar fusion stepbystep89 Foot & Ankle Problems 35 02-22-2010 07:47 AM
Shattered Heel and Subtalar Joint Injury rhiannon1984 Foot & Ankle Problems 2 01-30-2010 04:54 PM
Subtalar Joint Fusion kimberp Foot & Ankle Problems 12 01-25-2010 06:08 PM
subtalar fusion Carol41 Foot & Ankle Problems 118 11-04-2008 11:42 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



roxygirl1 (187), Zerk (135), Titchou (132), Missyluke (121), Hollywood48 (119), ginger62 (100), LadyKanner (97), LisaBdot (83), AdkLizard46 (55), janewhite1 (52)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1004), Apollo123 (905), Titchou (848), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (754), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:12 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!