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Old 03-30-2009, 01:16 PM   #1
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Unhappy Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Hello,
In the spring of 2007, I developed achilles tendonitis in my right ankle. I had never had tendon/calf pain prior to this, and I hadn't had any dramatic changes in my routine, but at the time, I wasn't too concerned. However, I have been unable to get rid of my achilles tendonitis in the two and a half years since then, regardless of the stretching and strengthening I do. I have gone to physiotherapy, my family doctor, a chiropractor, and done Active Release Therapy, and none of it has helped in the long-term (I would occasionally have temporary relief). Not only that, but I have also developed a multitude of other tendon related problems, none of which I have had before. I have had shin splints for the past year (and yes- I have been to my doctor, had x-rays, bone scans, the works), despite never having them before, and not being a runner. I have also developed pain in the tendons that run up the front and sides of my shin, and I have tendonitis in my arms that has re-occurred four times in the past 8 months.
I am now starting to wonder if this is more than just bad luck- I have been paranoid about preventative stretching, strengthening etc, I have new shoes, and I have been assured by multiple medical professionals that there is nothing wrong with the way I walk (other than the fact that I am knock-kneed). And yet- not only can I not fix the problems I already have, I am constantly developing new ones. This is severly impacting my lifestyle and my health (running, hiking, sometimes even walking and biking are all out). I am having trouble believing that these are all unrelated problems, and I am starting to lose hope that I will ever be able to resume my normal activities.
Does anyone know of anything that could cause this? And (more importantly), does anyone know of anything that could help?

 
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Did you take any of the newer antibiotics shortly before this "adventure" began? Some can cause tendonitis

Have you had blood tests to rule out autoimmune diseases and lyme disease?

 
Old 03-30-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Statin drugs have also been reported as causing these ailments. Are you taking any medications?

 
Old 03-31-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Nope- no medications, except for the occasional anti-inflammatory (Advil).

 
Old 03-31-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

I would push for blood tests to rule out autoimmune disease or infections like lyme.

 
Old 04-06-2009, 10:10 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Thanks- I've got a doctor's appointment coming up, and I'll ask him to run some tests...At this point, any news would be good news.

 
Old 04-07-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Update: I also seem to be developing eczema (or some other skin rash). I don't know if it's related.

 
Old 04-07-2009, 07:16 PM   #8
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

It absolutely could be related. Lupus, psoriatic arthritis and lyme disease all have specific rashes associated with them. Describe the appearance and location of the rash, if you would.

Or, it could be completely unrelated, or it could be you're just getting a rash because you are stressed. My mother always gets rashes when stressed.

 
Old 04-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
It absolutely could be related. Lupus, psoriatic arthritis and lyme disease all have specific rashes associated with them. Describe the appearance and location of the rash, if you would.....
I would agree with Jane, here...but I would also suggest taking a picture of the rash and KEEPING it as not all doctors are trained to id these kinds of things. The rash that is associated with Lyme is called an Erythema Migrans, by the way.

Also, I'm not well versed on the diagnostics for all the conditions that Jane has mentioned, but I do know that there are no conclusive tests for Lyme, unfortunately...so diagnosis is based on symptoms. If you have a doctor who tells you that you don't have lyme because you've tested "negative" for Lyme, you're consulting with a doc that doesn't know enough to diagnose you for this condition and you need to go elsewhere. I've read that Lymies see between 12-24 doctors before getting a diagnosis...this delay causes needless sufferering and expense.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-09-2009 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Clarification

 
Old 04-09-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

The rash started on my neck. My neck went red and kind of mottled. There weren't really any bumps, but if felt patchy. It stung if it got wet (in the shower or if I sweated), or if my clothing was against my neck. The rest of the time it just itched. But I'm now getting a similar thing (although not as bad) on my legs and arms (but these ones only show up after I shower, or exercise).

 
Old 04-27-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Ok. I'm back with an update. I saw both my GP and a Sports Medicine doctor. My GP (still) can't find something wrong with the way I walk, although he keeps checking, so he had me go for blood tests on pretty much all the important vitamins/minerals. But he told me he is stumped, and shooting in the dark at this point. The Sports Med guy said he couldn't tell what was going on from the first visit, and so he didn't want to say anything until he'd seen new x-rays of my ankles and feet, and blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. I'm actually fairly happy with this, as they are not just throwing the "rest, ice and NSAIDs" at me, like they have before.
Also, the last month, my ankles and lower leg have been really swollen- to the point where I was in pain just from the amount of swelling. Then (about two days before my doctor's appointments), the swelling miraculously disappeared (although I still have my regular, seemingly-chronic pain in my Achilles, wrists, and shins). It happened in about a day and a half, with no changes to my routine. While I have not had swelling before, this is pretty much what happens- I get my symptoms, I try to treat them, nothing seems to be working, and then boom-they're gone. But two weeks (or two months) later, they'll be back, no matter how slow I take it, or how much I stretch etc. Prior to this, my doctor's have thought that I'm "fixed" at this point, and left things, so I guess I'm going to have to be more pushy this time, and tell them that it's not fixed.
The biggest problem I am finding right now, is that I've forgotten what "normal" is for me. I get asked if my skin color/sensation is normal, but I don't know anymore (although I know my ankles have been redder since this started). Instead of having normal function as my normal, I've found myself thinking that general pain is normal, as long as I can still function.
Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions. If there is anyone who has had similar symptoms and found a solution, I would love to here it. And for anyone with similar symptoms who is looking for a solution, I will keep posting my progress here.
Oh- and I am now getting quite a bit of pain in the bottom and inside of my heel. I'm praying it's not the start of a heel spur or plantar fascitis. Other than that (and staying off my feet), there's not much I can do, as I've already made sure I have good shoes and no problems with fallen/high arches.

Last edited by Morganio; 04-27-2009 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Forgot something.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 10:59 AM   #12
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

I would think you need to consult a rheumatologist. If you have any type of autoimmune disorder, this is the doctor you need to see.

Last edited by shisslak; 05-01-2009 at 10:59 AM.

 
Old 05-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #13
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Unhappy Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Well, I got my blood test results back yesterday, and they were all normal. I had my RF (Rheumatoid factor) Anti-Ana, ESA, CBC (complete blood count), and sedimentation rate (althought that one might be one of the acronyms above) checked. So, whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be autoimmune. The shin splints are the worst right now- they were so bad that I took a month were I did nothing (no walking, not even any standing), and as far as I can tell, nothing has changed. In fact, some things have gotten worse. I sometimes get muscle spasms in my calf, along with tingling (the tingling is in my feet, ankles, arms and wrists as well as my calves), and I have started getting sharper pains (like beeing stabbed with a long needles, or an electric shock) in my feet, ankles and wrists. I sometimes get feelings like a spot on my leg is burning, as well. My legs are permanently slightly red (almost more pink than red though), but the sports med doctor ruled out compartment syndrome, and thinks that might just be a reaction to swelling. And I have funny red blotchy spots on my arms as well now. Anyway, the doctor is stumped, and can't find a connection between everything, and so is just treating the shin splints. Although by "treating", I mean telling me to buy orthotics, and then come back in a month. I asked for a referral to a rheumatologist, but I was told that it "wasn't necessary." I don't know what to do now- my doctor thinks I'm paranoid and imagining things and has made me scared to bring up new concerns with him (especially now that I've started having weird symptoms like seeing spots in the corner of my eye), and I have very little faith that orthotics will fix my problem. They might help, but my doctor has even told me that there is nothing wrong with how I stand or walk, and that the orthortics are just because he can't think of anything else. I feel like I'm just waiting for the next thing to go wrong (all I can do is swim right now, so I'm terrified my shoulder will go next...). Maybe if I break down and have a hysterical crying session in my doctor's office he'll realize how important fixing this is to me...Anyway, as I said, it's not autoimmune, so I'm at a loss (althought I'm happy it's not RA). If anyone has gone through similar symptoms, I would love to hear from them, even if you don't know what it is yet...

 
Old 05-18-2009, 11:02 PM   #14
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

HI, I'm there with you..no answers, but at least reading this I know I'm not alone!

Here's my story..

I've had tennis elbow in both my elbows for probably 12 years, about 5 years ago I had surgery on both & while it took a long time to fully recover, I was good as new.

4 Months ago I was in to see my orthopedic dr for a neck/upper back issue & hip bursitis. no big deal right? Well, I can't figure out how it is related, but he gave me ultram ER, within 3 days my knees/leggs started, by day seven of taking that medication both arms were flared up, both legs. I stopped the medication, it's been 4 months now & it's still there & moving. On my left arm, its ar the wrist, back of the arm, front of the arm, above the elbow going up towards the shoulder, into the shoulder & just recently it has moved into the chest. Other arm, it esed up a tad & is just at the elbow. Both knees & both shins are awful..and, as of this morning, I can add achillies on the left foot to the list.

So far I've had 3 MRI's, an EMG, have seen 5 different Drs. & I've got nothing..my next step is the Cleveland Clinic pain clinic, then I'll also have access to all their Drs. too. I'm getting ready to go out of town so it will be another couple of weeks before I will be able to get in there..

Question, are you, or have you ever had hyper mobility? The Rheumy made note of it to me that I do..but the others Drs. were like yeah, whatever..nobody will give me a second of connection with Ultram & what's going on..maybe it just woke up the sleeping giant..the last Dr. told noticed I have "mottled" skin..he thought that might be related. That same Dr mentioned that it just wasn't normal that I had to have surgery on both elbow tendons in my 30's...unless I was a pitcher, KWIM?

Anyway, right now, I am miserable & I feel like my life has been changed. I can't find anything to give me any answers online, I lost count of how many hours I've spent googling..

So far the best medication I have found is Aleve, I've only been trying it for days now, but wow..I can semi function!

Just wanted to let you know you are not alone in this!

 
Old 05-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #15
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Re: Chronic tendon pain in lower leg/ankle

Morganio,

I do think that you should also be tested for lyme and related diseases. They can certainly cause widespread joint problems. Like meems asked, do you have hypermobility?

Buy the orthotics. If they help, great, if they don't help, at that point, your doctor has exhausted all his ideas, and might be willing to send you to somebody else.

Meanwhile, you might want to try a gentle stretching only routine, just to keep your sore parts moving a little bit. Yoga, something like that.

 
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