I've been reading around for about a week, and finally decided to make my post.
About 9 years ago I severely sprained my ankle, after loads of PT, they finally decided on fixing the ligaments. After a rough start to that, I have been fine ever since. (Minus having loose ligaments to begin with.)
Fast forward to April 20 of this year and I "rolled" my "fixed" ankle. I swear I heard or felt the pop. It started swelling and bruising almost instantly. I went to urgent care and got x-rays, nothing broken. Followed up with my primary doc and he said I badly sprained it. Gave me some Rx anti-inflamatories since I had major swelling after 3 weeks.
I know at this point I need to bite the bullet and make an appt with an OS, but I'm dreading starting all over.
Who has re-injured their fixed ankle, and is it really that easy?
Ok, I have unfortunately. I had countless sprains and then a big sprain with the pop and immediate swelling, etc. from playing flag football. It was a grade 3 and after failing conservative measurements, I had the surgery. This was 11 years ago. Like you after a rough start and recovery, I was fine. 2 years later, I just pivoted (no rolling or twisting) on that foot at work on a hard, flat tile floor and I popped the retinaculum. I had been hiking three days before that, but had had no problems with it. I was on a travel assignment in a different state and that doctor said I needed surgery, but I didn't go with it and decided to wait to see what my own surgeon said when I got home. The pain settled down so I brushed it off. One year later after getting married and moving to California, I severely sprained my ankle, tore the cartilage, broke the 5th met. Was told again then that I'd need surgery to clear out scar tissue, cartilage, etc. After being on crutches for 6 weeks and using a bone stimulator, I was thankfully one of the few that didn't need surgery for my Jones fracture because it made a union and therefore, since the pain wasn't terrible in my ankle, I brushed it off again. 3 years after that with on and off pain and weakness (giving out), I was working out on an inch thick mat. I stepped on it just right (or wrong really and that little inch made my ankle give out and twist so hard that it was grapefruit size in about 15 min. I had increased pain after that and then this past Sept (granted I was in 4" wedge sandals), I was at a wedding standing still. The line moved forward and I took a step on the bad ankle and that's all it took. It gave out and I went over hard and the only reason I didn't smack my head on the concrete is because my best friend's dad caught me! Sprained again. When the pain did not die down from that one 10 weeks later and I was supposed to do a 1/2 marathon in Dec, I had it checked out to be sure it was "ok". Well it was NOT "ok". I had blown out the first repair and had 3 torn ligaments, torn tendon, subluxing tendons, and a ton of scar tissue. I had surgery #2 to fix all that on 2/22/12 and I'm 3.5 months out and still in PT, stil experiencing pain and swelling, but doc says to expect that for roughly 6 more months, but progression is PT is going great!
Sorry that was so long, but wanted you to know my story and background and how I got here since you are in a similar situation. You definitely need to bite the bullet and make an appt with an OS! A foot/ankle one! That was my first mistake-I had a general OS do my first surgery. Not a good idea. Now I don't say this to suggest you will need surgery! I'm just saying get it checked out and if it needs to be fixed, get it fixed and don't brush it off so you don't sustain further injuries like I did that now looking back, I could probably have avoided them! Oh and welcome to the boards! Glad you posted! We are all here to be support systems for each other!
Well I finally got into the ortho on June 27. He seemed to spend a lot more time in the office with me than traditional OS does. (He is a non-surgical dr) But I felt like when I told him all the pain, swelling, brusing I'm having 2 months out I was dismissed. He then went on to tell me what things "Should" be like, and that I can't use previous experience to judge this. After going through 1 knee surgery and 1 ankle surgery and countless PT time before and after surgery I know my body. And my ligaments are already natually loose. But he swears the brace and the PT will be a cure. He didn't order any more x-rays, CT, or MRI, just used the x-ray from the urgent care I brought with me. He also never checked to see how "loose" my ankle felt. Never really touched it at all, and then left the next appt up to me based on if I still had pain after PT.
Fastforward, today I had my first PT appt, and she seemed very good. Checked a lot of things, measured my swelling...And said there was a lot more "give" than my good ankle. She has me building up the inside muscle on my leg to try and balance out the bulk of the outside muscle I have.. She was also surprised that I hadn't had any additional scans or even an appt set up to see him again.
I feel like I am missing something here. I feel like I'm more on the side of the PT, and I feel like the dr just kind of dismissed me with a simple sprain, not even caring that I've previously had the ankle ligaments fixed.
Wow, ok first of all, do NOT return to see that doctor!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE see a foot/ankle orthopedic surgeon! Not a general OS, sports medicine doc or another doc who isn't a surgeon or podiatrist. Please take it from someone who made the mistake of using a general OS the first time and might be part of the reason for #2 in addition to other issues! Also foot/ ankle OS will know all the issues that can and will happen and won't brush you off! They will order scans first off especially on a previously surgically repaired ankle! I'm floored and appalled by this doctor's apathy!! You need an MRI and he should've done an anterior drawer test, talar tilt test, and should've checked your peroneal tendons for pain and to see if they sublux. Something is obviously wrong with your ankle and you've had prior surgery and have loose ligaments to begin with (so did/do I), so it's really important for you to get to thr correct doctor to find out! Dont brush it off or let it go like I did! I'm so sorry you went through that! But I agree with you and your PT!!
What makes me the maddest is when I called and made an appointment they didn't want to have me see the last OS I saw who is a surgeon, rather they wanted me to see this other guy because I had an ankle sprain. I even stressed 3 times on the phone I've had a prior injury resulting in surgery. Before I saw him, I did my research on him. The downfall is 90% of the doctors in the practice, deals with professional sports players (STL Rams and Blues) so I feel like normal people problems are minor.
Thank you for telling me what I already knew in my mind. I knew after I walked out of the office it wasn't right. I had my mom with me for an extra set of ears, and even she thought everything was kind of odd.
He also told me that swelling could happen for up to 7 months and that it was almost impossible to mess up what they repaired before, and I know that can't be true.
I think I'm going to hold out for the 2.5 weeks of PT and then decide from there, just to say I didn't give up.
I'm off to go ice some more since I have lots of swelling and pain tonight
Oh I'm living and recent proof that yes you can mess up the prior surgery! Not only did I blow out my first repair, but I did more damage than the first time to more structures! Yes, what you felt and thought is correct and I also think you may be right about the whole "normal people problems don't matter so much" thing. Sad!! It's a good idea to finish out the PT so the next doctor you can tell you completed a round of PT and also because you and your PT seem to be on the same page with what's going on. In the meantime, please make an appt with a foot/ankle OS (not a podiatrist) because as a new patient there's a wait sometimes. Go ahead and make it because it's way easier to cancel it if you don't need it than trying to get in quickly as a new patient if that makes sense! Hope you can get the pain under control soon!!