I sprained my ankle badly about 4 weeks ago by inverting my foot with alot of force. The pain was unbelievable. I went to the emergency room and they said after an X-ray that it wasn't broken. The doctor put me in an ankle brace and sent me on my way.
Well four weeks later it's still acting up. It's better than it was the first week, but I still have pain when I flex and point my foot, some days worse than others. On days where I have to climb stairs alot or I'm on my feet alot, it swells right up and looks awful. In general it's very stiff and there is a lumpy, fleshy mass right beside my outer ankle bone; not sure what that is.
I am not sure if this is normal healing for an ankle sprain? I promised my family I'd have it checked out, but I don't want to overreact.
I'd get to either a Podiatrist who is knowledgable on ankles or a O/S who is a foot and ankle surgeon and get an MRI done. X-rays are great for showing fractures but they do not show tendon injuries. Good Luck! -eko
"Every good has a better and every bad a worse."
I agree with EKO's advice - you should see a Dr. that deals with a lot of ankle sprains - probably an OS with specialty in Sports Medicine or Foot and Ankle problems.
What you have sounds like a sprain - a grade II or grade III sprain can take months to heal. You should get a specialist to look at it though because a severe sprain can cause a lot of problems down the line (I had surgery 10 days ago to have my ankle ligaments tightened due to repeated sprains and instability). Most doctors treat sprains by saying "it isn't broken" and then sending you on your way. Grade II and Grade III sprains are serious and you should be prescribed physical therapy to regain strength in your ankle and to work on prioperception. Without proper rehab for an ankle sprain the probability of you spraining it again is high and with each successive sprain you cause more and more damage which can lead to instability.
Hey BigDog, I was just curious how things are going for you post-op and if you had any pearls of wisdom to share. How soon were you able to return to work (if you have already returned) and start getting out and about? I know it is too soon to reflect on the long term results, but anything short term would be much appreciated. I'm pretty much in the market for any insight and advice I can find before I go through with the surgery. Thanks!
Its been 10 days. I just went to my first follow up visit this morning and got a new cast (blue). My surgery was Nov. 23rd.
I elected for general anethesia, which worked well for me. My Dr. had me stay overnight at the hospital, which I didn't want to do, but in retrospect worked out well. While they do wake you up a lot, they also give you lots of demerol. Following surgery I had this splint/cast thing that was mostly plaster and cotton with an ace bandage holding it together. It was pretty heavy.
All day Wednesday I basically slept and watched movies. I love to read and thought I'd get a lot of reading done, but the pain meds caused me to fall asleep and interfered with my ability to focus. I was on a lot of pain meds initially, 2 vicodin every 3 hours. I stayed on that much for about 5 days and then tapered off. Yesterday (day 9) was my first day off the narcotics, and I have been taking alleve every 7-8 hours and tylenol every 4 hours. That is working pretty well.
I went to my parents (about 40 minutes away) for Thanksgiving (2 days post op), but it was probably doing too much too soon.
I did go to work on Monday (I work in an office - do financial stuff) but didn't get a lot of work done. Due to the pain meds I mainly surfed on the internet. Check out the artwork/cartoons on www.explodingdog.com while on pain meds. Very entertaining.
I had client meetings all day Tuesday and was able to make it thru ok. Fell asleep at 8:30 pm though.
I am on crutches for 3 weeks and then walking in the cast for 3 more then aircast for about 5 more weeks. The crutches aren't too bad and aren't causing me too much trouble - I think it is harder for females though.
The 6 or 7 days were somewhat miserable, but much better now. All in all, its not too bad. My stress and worry about the surgery and being in a cast for six weeks and the recovery, etc. quite frankly are worse than the actual experience.
A few tips: (1) for the first few nights, set your alarm for every 3 or 4 hours and give yourself pain meds - you don't want to wake up in the sort of pain that happens without the meds, (2) start taking a laxative the day of surgery - pain meds cause constipation - you want to stay ahead of that, (3) elevate, elevate, elevate, (4) stay ahead of the pain with your meds - take them before it gets really painful and (5) relax and enjoy having time off from the demands of your life - you have a week or two of guilt free laziness.