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Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?


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Old 10-03-2017, 06:37 AM   #1
spdy1
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Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

He said I don't have permanent damage.

I'm 22 and last September, I inverted my ankle while walking down the stairs. I was stupid and continued doing my usual activities, and my university clinic even told me I was fine and didn't give me crutches/brace. I didn't even know I had a sprain at the time because my ankle didn't feel that bad.

Two weeks later, my ankle swelled horribly. A week after that, I had persistent heel pain. And I've been on crutches since.

I'm pretty sure I injured my ATFL and CFL ligament. I've had 4 MRIs, and after my most recent one two weeks ago, the surgeon said I DON'T need surgery. I just need PT! I've done formal PT for one week but I still have really debilitating heel pain so I don't know if PT will help. The therapist thinks I have plantar fasciitis but I told him I don't think I do. He said I don't have permanent damage, and I'm freaked out because I'm scared I won't ever walk again. Please give me some reassurance guys. Words can't describe how sad I've felt these past 13 months.

Here are my MRI results:

Bones are in normal alignment. There is mild bone marrow edema present along the inferior aspect of the calcaneus and midl soft tissue swelling adjacent to the posterior aspect of the plantar fascia suggestive of a mild stress reaction less likely plantar fasciitis.The deltoid, calcaneal fibular, anterior and posterior tibiofibular and talofibular ligaments apear intact. The tendons appear to be within normal limits.

Last edited by spdy1; 10-03-2017 at 06:39 AM.

 
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

I'm scared that this is going to be the rest of my life. Please help me.

 
Old 10-05-2017, 06:08 AM   #3
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Surgery cannot and does not fix soft tissue damage. You need to elevate your foot as much as possible and REST it. You need to take care of yourself. I cannot stress this enough.

Take it from me, one that has had several broken bones & took care of myself wrong too, you will be fine. You will recover. I was one month before turning 18 when I got my first broken bones, and it's 50 years and a few other broken bones later.

How you recover depends on you; it's not too late. You can buy an inexpensive ankle brace or support at a orthopedic supply store or at most general stores in the foot care section. Read how to use it and don't make it too tight or loose. You can take it off while sleeping or sitting. Wash it now and then. Also, while using crutches, stand up straight. Lean only on your hands, not on the under arm pads. Lift your injured foot, and don't put it down to stand on it while it is in acute pain.

Doctors cannot fix a sprain. Surgery does not fix a sprain. You must ALLOW & HELP it to recover, by elevating it, resting it, gentle stretches, & icing for swelling and/or acute pain. It is imperative that you take care of yourself during recovery. No one will follow us around and aid us in this process. Do not at all try to do everything you had been doing until the acute pain subsides. How long it takes depends on whether you take care of yourself appropriately.

Do not put ice next to the skin. Wrap ice in a towel. Use over the counter pain meds following the directions. Don't over use the meds or use pain med to mask the pain so you can abuse your injury! not over use your foot. It needs rest to recover. The earlier that you learn to take appropriate care of your body the better. I wish doctors were more instructive but they almost always deal with the injuries and usually supply little instruction for after care. But you have the internet, so use it to read up on caring for a sprained ankle.

All that said, the report basically says you have soft tissue damage and the foot is otherwise fine. if you injured yourself further, maybe see a different doctor or go to urgent care and ask for a new x-ray. But unless the bone is broken, you have to take care of a sprain and soft tissue damage as mentioned above.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Thank you so so much Yayagirl! I've been resting my heel for about a year now (sometimes I put weight on it) so it's not acute anymore. My outer ankle ligaments have felt a lot better but I still experience deep heel pain. My physical therapist wants me to put weight on my heel but I've been experiencing a lot of pain from doing it.

I don't really know what's wrong. I must have made my heel injury a lot worse by continuing to walk on it after my initial sprain. I really hope I do get better. It's a scary process!! It's been 13 months and I feel like everyone is moving on with their life while mine has stalled.

 
Old 10-08-2017, 11:49 PM   #5
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

With appropriate treatment a bone bruise can take as long as two years to heal. I suggest that you try thick gel or wool heel pads in your shoes and slippers. Don't go barefoot, always use the orthotics till your foot heals.

You do need to try to use your foot normally and to keep on doing stretches and exercises so you don't lose strength or flexibility in your ankle and toes, but use crutches and be very gentle on that foot. Don't hold your foot up to walk on crutches, but put gentle pressure on the foot when you take a step, keeping your body weight mostly on your hands on the crutches.

I think your foot would also benefit from gentle massage that you do yourself. Make sure to not use aspirin or Motrin, as those are blood thinners and can make the blood too thin which can cause pain inside the foot.

Really the foot needs a period of rest after a sprain. If you never rested it, that could be part of the problem. I know it's hard to do. But elevate it on a chair or pillow several times a day as much as you can.
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:28 PM   #6
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Thank you so much Yayagirl! I've been meaning to respond to your post for awhile but I wasn't able to log into my account until this time.

How did you know I have a bone bruise? Last October I had an MRI done and it said that my edema may be a result of a bone bruise. It's just been so difficult and everyday I feel anxious about my injury. I have a lot of regrets about not resting my foot after hurting it but it's useless to dwell on the past.

2 years is a really long time to get better I think it may end up being 2 years. I'm really worried because this is the time when I should be employed and independent, and instead I'm injured and have to rely on my family to help me out. I'm a very outdoorsy and independent person so this has been the most difficult period of my life. Every day, I wake up and I feel like I'm failing.

I started going to PT, which I think has helped, but my heel still hurts and the recovery is ridiculously slow. Have you heard of people who never recover? Will I eventually get better? Help!!

Last edited by spdy1; 10-15-2017 at 04:30 PM.

 
Old 10-19-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

You're very welcome!
From my own experience with broken bones, I just assumed that weight on your foot bruised it, because it is not fully healed. I had two little ones to raise by myself when dealing with broken bone issues so I understand. I was out doing things I should not have been doing, instead of asking for help. I should have taken better care of myself. Ah well...most of us do that.

The point is that it's not too late to rest your foot. All you did is delay recovery, and who knows whether it would have healed by now? No one can know. I'm also a very outdoorsy and independent person. I had to face that my own disabilities are permanent. It seems like yours aren't. So do what you know you can do now. Apologize to your family if it makes you feel better.

Then, forget about regrets. What was done is done. Doctors usually assume we know what to do and why. Many of us overdo so that happens. You still can recover. It's really not your fault so much, but forget who is to blame and use crutches or walker or whatever you have to use and keep weight off the foot. Elevate it whenever you can. if sitting, elevate the foot with a chair and pillow. In bed, elevate it with pillows.

Listen, a heel injury is a very difficult place to recover from. It's not like a wrist so we can use other parts of our body. Anything affecting our mobility is hard to deal with because we just want to get mobile as quick as we can. It's not like we are four-legged and can run like a three legged dog.

Just do what is needed now and you will recover. Maybe you can take a class VIA the internet and use the time productively. Also you can ask that clothes from the dryer be dumped on your bed so you can fold them, and things like that to show that you want to do what you can around the house.

You ARE going to recover.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Another thing you can do is get some gel insoles for your shoes/slippers. Some people insert lambs wool in the shoe. You can find those things on the internet.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:32 PM   #9
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

I also think I bruised my heel, but my physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon tell me that I'm recovered and that the pain is in my head. There is edema in my heel and I do feel that it has not recovered.

I used to walk extremely fast and walked really far everyday - even after I got injured and walked less, I was still walking a lot, I think. I must have made my injury worse and everyday I'm just scared that this will be the rest of my life and I won't be able to accomplish my goals and live my life the way I always envisioned it to be.

I know it's futile to compare yourself to others, but pretty much all my friends and peers are starting their careers or going to medical/law school, and I'm delaying my plans because of my injury.

Last edited by spdy1; 10-27-2017 at 09:34 PM.

 
Old 10-28-2017, 10:48 PM   #10
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

I am in closing in on 5 years since I tore my peroneal tendon in my left foot. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would still be dealing with this, I would have not been able to handle it. I am 58.

If you're not already doing so, obtain some kind of membership where there is an indoor pool like a YMCA. I have survived this ordeal despite no surgery and being in a boot /and /or/foot brace/ on crutches / the entire time.

Exercising in a pool is a life saver no matter what age you are . When you are unable to walk normally and using crutches, the water is an excellent way to stay fit and even do therapeutic exercises. You can even walk in a few feet of water even up to your neck and the buoyancy takes the pressure off your feet some.

The best part is this ordeal challenged me to the point where I cried out to God and found faith.

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Old 10-29-2017, 05:41 AM   #11
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Thanks for the advice. I feel like crying now. I, so sorry about that! 8' scared I'm going to be the same.

 
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:08 PM   #12
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Despite the age gap, I can relate to the fear of not walking again and the frustrations of dealing with family, Dr.'s, PT's , and well meaning friends. I've had doctors scoff at my suggestions and fears. And Physical therapy helped until one day it didn't when I had a new therapist that was too aggressive.

Back in Dec. 2012, I had just overcome a 3 1/2 year battle with a knee injury. I had finally took a mini jog on a football field after a torn meniscus injury in May of 2009. I was a runner, and I said some of the same things you are saying. "I told myself I would never run again. " Well, I ran for two weeks and then this ankle injury hit me. So it's been since 2009 that I have been dealing with these type of injuries that limit your mobility.

I was 49 back in 2009 and in very good physical shape. I was a runner. I could outlast a lot of young people biking/running. Then I was stopped cold. First with the knee , then the ankle.

It's not over for you. There are other things in this life besides what we had planned for ourselves. You might fully recover. Or partially. But nevertheless, it's not over.

 
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:34 AM   #13
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

That sounds so hard! Right now I think I'd just be really happy with being able to walk around and do normal things without using crutches or being in pain. I really regret having pushed my body so hard with workouts in the past...sometimes I wonder if I overdid it too often and that's why I got injured. I'm just scared that this will always be my life - having chronic pain and feeling like a failure because I can't do things normally anymore. Most people my age can't relate to what I'm going through.

 
Old 10-31-2017, 08:10 AM   #14
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Everyday I'm mad at myself for not having rested my foot and skipped all my classes after I sprained my ankle. I would've been better a whole lot sooner. But I was stupid and kept doing my normal activities. I was really busy at the time, but I should've stopped and taken care of myself rather than pushed through. Now I'll have this disability for the rest of my life

 
Old 10-31-2017, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Injury not better after 13 months - but surgeon says I don't need surgery?

Most of us have made the same "mistake" of continuing our activities . But we are fearfully and wonderfully made! The human body can recover with and even without proper medical care. Therapy can do wonders. I took what I have learned from PT and have worked diligently on exercising in and out of water like I suggested. Are you on crutches full time? Even in the house? Are you wearing a boot or some kind of support part /full time?

We do pay for our " mistakes" ,but there are hidden blessings awaiting you if you look in the right places and don't give up and continue therapy at home , in water, and seek to know the One who made us so wonderfully that we can mess things up and still be blessed and even recover partially or fully.

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