I have a really bad sprained ankle, and I don't feel like I was taken seriously at the Doctor's office and I was thinking about getting a second opinion about this. First off I sprained my ankle when I missed a step down while walking out of a resteraunt. When my foot hit the ground it was already turned medial ( I think medial is right, towards the midline?) anyways the outside of my foot hit the ground first and my ankle rolled so bad that there's a bruise on my leg where my leg had hit the ground just above my ankle. The sounds that came from my ankle when I rolled it sounded like a nasty cracking\snapping sound and i felt a popping type sensation followed by intense pain. The pain was some of the worst I've ever felt and I think I went into shock because I got really dizzy and started breaking out in cold sweats.
Now I know that pain is subjective and everything but I've been told by multiple Doctors that I have a pretty high tolerance of pain and this pain was just overwhelming to me. The following day I went to an Urgent Care facility and when I got there they were not very empathetic and the whole time I was there the only person that looked at my ankle was a nurse. They took X-Rays, and then the nurse came back in and told me it was just a bad sparin, and gave me a brace and a prescriptioin of 600mg motrin. They said give it about a week and it should be pretty well healed. In the week since the injury the swelling has gone down but I still am nowhere near being able to walk on my ankle. The pain is as intense as it was the day after the injury and the motrin hasn't seem to block the pain very well. I've been icing it regularly, I keep it wrapped, and I always use my brace, I can't walk without it. My entire foot has bruising on it, It's purple on both sides of my heel and at the bottom of my heel. I have purple and black toes and if my foot isn't purple in a spot it's green-yellow color.
Now I trust the urgent care center that my foot was not broken but I feel like I did some serious damage to the ligaments in my ankle. I've sprained this ankle numerous times and I've never felt anything like this, it just feels like something is wrong. So I was wondering if I should go and see another doctor for a second opinion... I was also wondering if they would be able to see if my ligaments were torn on the xray? I wouldn't know because I didn't even get to see the X-Ray... Also is there a sign that I should pay attention to that would signify my ligaments are badly damaged?? any comment is greatly appreciated, thank you.
The snapping/popping sound could be a sign you tore a ligament, and certainly the fact that you still have a significant amount of pain and swelling a week out is a sign you've done substantial injury.
If you foot is sort of dangling, if it's hanging off to one side or you have trouble turning it to a neutral position, that would be a sign of major ligament damage.
Soft tissue damage would probably not be visible on x-ray, except indirectly. Further, x-ray of the foot and ankle is notoriously difficult to read, as there are so many tiny overlapping parts, each of them vital. Even MRI can miss things in that area.
I would go for a second opinion with an orthopedic or sports medicine doc. Try to find one who can fit you in within the next week or so. Meanwhile, keep it propped up and stay off it.
I would definitely get another opinion. I sprained my ankle last year and went to the ER. The x-ray said no break, and the Dr. basically told me the same thing that you were told. It ended up that I had actually broken my ankle, torn ligaments, and damaged a tendon. I think that it's just a good idea to get another opinion, hopefully with a DR. specializing in ankle injuries. Hope you get good results and feel better!
I urge you to get a 2nd opinion immediately...um, like yesterday. I think you might have torn ligaments. I have been in your shoes and I am now s/p a double ankle reconstruction. It sounds like you might have a Grade 3 ankle sprain which is usually complete tear of the ligaments. You more than likely need an MRI and an ultrasound. Like you, the outside of my foot and leg hit the ground with a lot of force and all my weight (I was playing flag football). I heard and felt the popping/cracking. I had sprained this ankle previously several times as I was a gymnast. Nothing had felt like this before. My ankle was purple, black, blue, red, green, and yellow. My toes were too. I had intense pain in my ankle, foot, and toes. The swelling did go down somewhat, but the pain and the discoloration didn't. Walking was painful no matter what and was seriously impaired, but it was impossible without wearing both an AirCast and an ACE wrap. Even then, I would hop or hold onto something to keep my weight off it. I saw an orthopedic surgeon who took my history and symptoms and then did a few tests which I promptly failed. The drawer test which tested the ligament most frequently injured in an ankle sprain, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and the talar tilt which tests the 2nd most frequently injured ligament, the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL). I had torn them both. I was given anti-inflammatories, narcotic painkillers, told to ice frequently and was sent to MRI. MRI doesn't always show clearly the ligaments. It did show my ATFL and it was torn. The CFL was poorly visualized, but based on my clinical findings, he decided to do surgery. Both were avulsed and he repaired them. I have permanent sutures that I can still feel today (surgery was 7 1/2 yrs ago). I was in a cast for 2-3 wks and a boot for another 3-4wks. Crutches for a month and PT for a while. It took a while, but I got better. So the biggest advice I can give you, is get to an orthopedic surgeon immediately and stay OFF that ankle. Find a pair of crutches instead of hopping and leaning on stuff like I did. And if you are like me, no part of your foot can have weight on it without pain. Even my toes were swollen and throbbing!! Please let me know how it goes! Good luck! (I have had some problems since the surgery, but I don't believe them to be surgery related. I am currently having pain, but will post this on a new thread).
Ankle sprains can often times be worse than a break. I worked as an athletic trainer in college, and some of the sprains we saw looked ridiculous. A break can be set and heal fine, but a sprain has the potential to never fully heal, and also leave you more likely to have sprains again in the future. It is also possible that you did tear ligaments or do more serious soft tissue damage. Sprains usually take 4-6 weeks to heal, depending on the severity.
If I were you, I would first try "treating" it yourself. Wrap it with an ace bandage, wear your brace, and also put yourself on some crutches. See if after a week of keeping weight off of it helps it improve. If it does feel like its getting better, then I would hold off on seeing a doctor. Like I said before, sprains can take 4-6 weeks to heal, and usually its just a matter of taking it easy. If after a couple weeks its not getting better, then I would definitely see another doctor (orthopedic probably) and get a second opinion.
In order for them to see soft tissue damage, they would need an MRI. If you choose to see another doctor you should bring your xrays, although the new doctor might want to take his own.
First of all I want to thank all of you for responding to my post. It's been about 4 weeks since I injured my ankle and it's doing a lot better. I haven't been back to the doctor mainly because it would have been about a month before I could get back in to see the right Doctor ( I live in a smaller sized town). Since I couldn't get in to see a Doctor I figured I would just keep an eye on it and continue to rest and ice it.
Today my ankle feels like it's healing very well. The bruising and discoloration is gone, some pain returns occasionally if I've been on it a lot, but its not severe. The only thing that worries me is sometimes I will get an odd burning sensation if I rub my ankle above my lateral malleolus. The pain lasts for about 5 seconds and then fades. I'm afraid that it's nerve damage and if it doesn't stop in the next couple weeks I'm planning on making a follow up appointment. Other than the burning I'm confident, that I'm making a full recovery, which will be very relieving if it turns out I don't need surgery.
I'm glad you are recovering. However, before you get back to any sports, you should get checked out. You might need to do some exercises to restore the ankle to full strength, and you might need to wear some sort of support during sports for the next several months to a year.
My ankle sprain became an epic tale of woe mainly because I re-sprained it 6 months after I though it was fine...
yes get another opinion from a specialist save time and pain and hopefully you will not need surgery. ive been down that road and its not preety, that is why im on this site. good luck.if you do get better please log in again to help others. in your situation. take care and good luck. wingnutt 001
Your injury sounds a lot like mine. I missed the last step and my ankle rolled under, inversion. I heard the familiar "pop". However, I went immediately to the the ER and had ice on it the entire time I was en route. When I got there they gave me another ice pack and it was on there the whole time, except for during x-rays and splinting. I have an avulsion fracture on my talus along with the grade 3 sprain. When I got to the ortho 2 days later, my x-rays were so cloudy from all the bruising that he could not see the break. It is very possible that you broke your foot/ankle and it wasn't seen in the x-rays due to the bruising. My fracture is healing good, but my sprain is not. I am currently scheduled with the pain management dr to see if they can't help me. You can go to that forum and read my story there.