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  • still have pain from ankle sprained a year ago

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    Old 08-30-2003, 05:16 PM   #1
    AngelaA
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    Unhappy still have pain from ankle sprained a year ago

    In July of last year I injured my ankle severly. I was in Aircast for 3 weeks, then put in a ankle brace for a year. Had physical therapy for a month. (I couldn't afford anymore visits as insurance wasn't paying much for it. But I never noticed the therapy helping which was disappointing.) Initially the orthopaedist I saw 4 weeks later said it was a Grade 2 sprain. Recently I visited a podiatrist that said it was a grade 3 and probably I had also broken one of the ankle bones. This guy prescribes orthodics for everyone that comes in the door. I am resistant for two reasons: 1)insurance does not cover it and he charges $350 and 2) I wore orthodics for 4 yrs prescribed by a chiro and it gave me severe foot and low back pain because the orthotics were hard as bricks and being covered in leather they didn't dry out from sweat quickly so I had constant athletes foot.

    Doing as the orthopaedist said I still wear brace whenever hiking or doing anything active. I climbed around in a cave two days ago and now my ankle started hurting though I did not twist it to my knowledge. I just spent several hours walking around at a festival this afternoon, without the brace, and my ankle is screaming. I don't know if I should go get my ankle x-rayed again. Could I have broken it and re-tore (is that a word?) the ligaments & tendons from original injury the other day when climbing? I'm not sure what to do. I put my Aircast on it and it feels better. I hate to have to wear the cast though and have people roll their eyes at me at work for being hurt again.

     
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    Old 09-02-2003, 03:09 PM   #2
    Jess0018
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    I just read your post and it sounds familiar to me.

    I sprained my ankle 2 years ago in August. I went to the emergency room where I was put in an aircast and crutches for 7-10 days. I followed within 5 days with an appointment to an orthopedic surgeon.

    He told me I had a grade 3 sprain and had completely tore two ligaments and partially tore the rest. I was placed in a cast for a month to immoblize the ankle.

    When I got the cast off I was put in a lace up brace.
    About a month later I was still having my ankle give out and was having pain. I went to thearpy for a month and my ankle stopped giving way but was still painful to lean forward on.

    I went back in December and he told me this pain was not normal and sent me for a MRI.

    The MRI did not show much other than chronic tearing of all the ligaments and inflammation.

    At this time I had a shot of cortisone injected into my ankle. This made it feel a little better but did not last long.

    At this point my doctor believed I had inflammation of the synovial lining and this was causing the pain or pinch.

    I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in May of 2002. Even though I could live with the pain I wanted to try this treatment because at times the pain was moderate.

    I had the surgery and he found a synovial immpigement. Where the lining was into the joint and would pinch when I flexed my ankle.

    I followed with another month of thearpy.

    I have since been released even though I still have pain. I usually avoid movements that cause the pain and I also wear my brace once in a while. Sometimes the pressure of the brace will relieve the discomfort. I noticed that my ankle aches a lot and if I am physically active it gets sore.

    I can't really tell you anymore. Sorry this is so long and keep me posted. Also feel free to ask me questions.

     
    Old 09-02-2003, 05:40 PM   #3
    AngelaA
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    Thanks for writing! At least I know I am not alone. I've worried that I was a weakling for not having healed sooner. When I saw the orthopaedic back in June he said I was healing at a normal pace after having done such a number on my ankle. He has no answer though for why I still have a knot where my other leg struck the rock. It still swells up whenever I am active. I'm going to try to see a sports medicine dr and see if they can help more than the ortho.

     
    Old 09-03-2003, 04:41 PM   #4
    Jess0018
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    You are not a weakling this is just a slow healing injury.

    I was told by several people some who had this injury, as well as my doctor and physical thearpist that once you injure your ankle like this it is never the same.

    My pt and dr. told me I would have been better off to have broke my ankle than to have done this amout of damage.

    Good luck and keep me updated, I know when I had this injury I had a hard time finding anyone who could relate. Oh and by the way the doctor I saw was an orthopedic surgeon and also was in a sports medicine practice.

     
    Old 09-03-2003, 06:32 PM   #5
    AngelaA
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    Hi Jess!

    One of my doctors said the same thing that I would have been better off with a broken ankle than a bad sprain. Its been a week almost since I was climbing around in the cave. My ankle started hurting really bad last night. Since there is a month's wait to see an ortho or any other specialist in this town I went to the walk-in clinic where I knew they would x-ray it. The radiologist that reads x-rays was out, but the P.A. that saw me said there is a hint of a bone chip in the film. She was going to put me in a walking boot thing but alas couldn't find one that fits me. I don't feel any of the braces I have at home at adequately supporting me. My problem is being very short ankle braces do not fit me as they are too narrow or straps not long enough and if they are big enough to fit around my calf it is two sizes too big in the foot.

    This is so aggravating! I obviously need some kind of medical help, but who? The ortho shrugs me off when I told him before I thought something more was wrong. I think that I may have fractured my ankle or else tendons pulled away bone chips (both times).

    Any recommendations on good braces?

     
    Old 09-04-2003, 03:35 AM   #6
    halika2
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    2 1/2 years ago I fell and broke my foot. It was misdiagnosed for a month as a sprain, even after my foot swelled to twice it's size after a soft cast was applied. Lucky for me he told me to cut the cast off if it got too uncomforatable. That whole night right after the fall, in the dark, I was cutting away at the cast. In the morning my foot was totally swollen and every color of the rainbow!! I called the ortho who had me wait 2 days to come in. He had intended to put on a regular cast (I wouldn't have allowed one, cause I can't stand pressure on my achilles tendon) until he saw my foot - he was amazed! Instead he made a splint that I could put on and take off.

    That said, I eventually went to a podiatrist who had treated me for plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. He x-rayed and saw an avulsion fracture, where the tendon pulled away from the bone, taking a chunk of bone with it! He gave me a boot, cause I can't tolerate a cast and pressure on my heel. I had been WALKING on this break for weeks!!! Now I was to put NO weight on the foot at all.

    The pain I was in was severe. Finally he prescribed neurontin for nerve pain. The pain was gone in 2 days!!!

    Needless to say, 2 1/2 years later I am having all kinds of pain trouble with my foot. I have pain on touch at the break site; sometimes it feels like something "pops" out of place and really hurts til it pops back in. I have almost constant buzzing in my foot, but the podiatrist says it's from my back; now I have periods of pain in my toe area, and 2 days ago I woke up with my toes numb!!!!

    So, when you give your foot a real workout, expect pain. But if the pain is really bad, you should call your podiatrist and let him/her check it out. You can reinjure, probably easily. Good luck!

    Darlene


     
    Old 09-09-2003, 04:04 PM   #7
    Jess0018
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    I noticed you asked about a brace. I have 3 and the one that gives me the most support is a McDavid Lace Up Ankle Brace.

    I am sure you have seen these or maybe you even have one. I still have pain but I can tolerate it and will not have it checked until I have trouble walking. My ankle does get stiff on me and cracks and pops so loud that at times you would think I snaped a bone or someting else.


     
    Old 09-09-2003, 06:32 PM   #8
    AngelaA
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    I haven't seen a McDavid brace. I will search for it online and see if it might be something that I can use. I just got an Exoform brace from my podiatrist that is holding my ankle more securely than the AirSport did. I have an appointment in about 2 weeks with a sports medicine doc. Meanwhile my podiatrist said he would give me cortisone shot for it next Monday. I'm in so much pain I'm not sure which dr to stick with. I just want some help from someone! Meanwhile the leg I broke last summer is swelling and hurting so pain I can't sleep at night. Its rained two weeks in a row, so I am assuming this is arthritis pain. I have asthma so every anti-inflammatory med I have been given causes me breathing problems. (NSAIDS lower lung function...in everyone; its just worse for asthmatics). sigh

     
    Old 09-09-2003, 06:49 PM   #9
    Jess0018
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    Sorry to hear that things are not going so well but they will improve.

    As far as which doctor to go with I would see what the sports medicine doc says then I would make a decision. You may end up seeing both, but I don't know about getting a cortisone injection a week before seeing the sports doc. I know you are in pain but I think I would wait until after the visit to get the shot.

    Jess

     
    Old 09-10-2003, 05:07 AM   #10
    AngelaA
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    Hi Jess,

    Why would it matter about getting a shot before I see the sports med doc?

     
    Old 09-10-2003, 06:35 PM   #11
    Jess0018
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    Well they are going to be looking for where you pain is and sometimes the cortisone alleviates most or all of the pain. It is hard for the sports doc to evaluate you if you have no symptoms since you are being treated by another doctor.

    If you had an appointment in a month or two with the sports doc then I would say to get the shot now but if it is only a week away I think I would see the doc first.

     
    Old 09-10-2003, 08:14 PM   #12
    kslittledevil
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    I have started spraining my left ankle over ten years ago. At this point I have sprained my ankle over 200 times, 50 severe 3rd degree sprains and one labeled as a 4th degree which resulted in a reconstructive surgery. I have had 3 surgeries ( arthroscopic in 96, reconstruction in 01, and arthroscopic with a synovectomy in 02 ) and I am due for a fourth which will be a subtalar fusion because I have torn all the ligaments connecting the calcaneous ( heel ) to the talus ( part of the ankle ). There is no easy answers, I have been in the air cast ( pain in the rear ), aso braces ( another pain ), the cam walker ( a little better than the cast, and a cast. I have also done PT several ( 12-15 times ). Pt would help for a brief period of time and then I would flip on my ankle and damage it again. The pain for me doesn't go away, some days are better than others. I am only 32 and have a 3 year old daughter.
    I hope you don't ever have to go through surgery and yes it is very possible to retear ligaments ( I have in this past sprain and when the doctor does the subtalar fusion he will also do a reconstruction again ). If this continues, I will have and ankle replacement done. This is in my future, but they are trying to hold off until technology is better.
    For me the cam walker works the best as far as keeping my ankle stabilized. I have to wear this thing when ever I go out in public. As far as the twisting goes, I twist mine without noticing around the house. There is a syndrome associated with this in, I don't know the actual name, which a person doesn't notice the ankle and you will actually have to watch where you put your foot.
    As far as people rolling their eyes, let them. Until they are in your situation, they don't know how it feels.
    I hope this helps you and lets you know you are not alone with this.

     
    Old 09-10-2003, 09:56 PM   #13
    AngelaA
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    KS- Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in this. Since you've had a lot of experience with supports is there a brace you favor over others? The podiatrist thought the cam walker might be a good idea for me, but I am hoping a simple brace will be enough. I remember how inconsiderate people were when I was wearing an AirCast. I was limping as fast as I could in Walmart and someone who was very impatient went around me and smacked the AirCast with their shopping cart. Its a good thing it has a plastic shell because it protected me, but the jarring still made it hurt. I don't want to be in any cam walker with winter coming up (winter comes early here and lingers). I was very fearful last winter of walking on the ice with a brace. I have a limp with and without a brace now. My GP suggested I get crutches, but with it raining every day I don't want to use them. Past experience is crutches have no grip on wet surfaces.

    Have you had CT's or MRI's? Which shows the best image of your ankle? I am thinking of asking the sports doc to do a MRI to see if it shows something X-rays can not. I highly suspect that I broke my ankle last summer. Ever since it has felt like I am "missing something" that used to be there. I heard it snapped when my ankle was twisted sideways from the force of falling and getting my foot caught in the rock crater.

     
    Old 09-11-2003, 07:59 AM   #14
    kslittledevil
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    Whenever I sprain, I hear tearing noises. Scar tissue is built up with each twisting. The only way to get rid of it is arthroscopic. If your problem continues this may be suggested. I had this done in 96 and it felt so much better afterwards. Arthroscopic also allows the dr to see what is going on the best.
    In 2001, the dr was actually able to separate my foot from my ankle which caused the reconstruction.
    In 2001-2002 I had developed synovitis. This hurt so bad that I told the dr natural labor felt better. I had 2 MRIs done with this and the synovitis was so bad that the surgery lasted longer than expected. The pain was deep in the ankle joint and there was swelling from ankle to the top of the foot.
    With this new problem, the dr didn't even know to check the heel for stability until he contacted other doctors with more experience with the ankle. When he checked it, that is when we found out I tore those ligaments and that I also retore some of he ones that are reconstructed.
    The cam walker has been the best for me for everyday use. I use the aircast or neoprene support while swimming, and the aso brace for bowling.
    I have had the cortisone shots twice, both helped for about 3 months. The 2nd one sent my blood sugar over 300, normal is 80-120.
    As far as Wal-Mart ( I love to shop ), my biggest pet-peeve is children throwing balls or riding the bikes in the store. I am a smart allecky type and would have had to say something such as thanks for noticing the ankle, you could have said exuse me and I'm sorry. With the kids throwing the balls, I'll tell the store employee that I don't care if the parents pay for me to have my ankle redone; however, I don't think they would want to come up with that kind of money. People are very inconsiderate anymore. I've had that to happen to me several times.
    One thing I meant to mention last night is I don't know what the told you the purpose for your PT was, but mine was to build up the muscle to do the work for the ligaments. They also told me the problem with this is there is very little muscle in the foot and ankle and the muscle being relied on is the calf muscle. No wonder Pt doesn't work very well for ankles. I also had iontophoresis done to help out with tendonitis and a nerve. It helped, you may want to ask about this and see if this helps you.

     
    Old 09-11-2003, 08:17 AM   #15
    kslittledevil
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    Another thing I meant to tell you is the cam walker comes in two sizes, short leg and long. The short comes to mid calf whereas the long comes up to the knee. The cam walker also provides warmth ( like a cast ) and that helps with arthritic pain and you can take it on and off easily (can't with a cast). The only problem that I have found is that there is no grip on the bottom. When winter comes be very careful of the ice no matter what your in.

     
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