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High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!

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Old 04-24-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
amkgiddens HB User
Exclamation High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!

Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, and I am desperate for some advice!

Not sure if the info is needed, but I'll throw it out there anyways:
I'm in my late 20s, I never sit still, I coach little kids' softball, and although I am fairly fit and active, I can afford to lose about 15-20 pounds.

I rolled my ankle while leaving softball practice on 2/27/10.
I immediately thought it was broken, because I've had ankle sprains, and this felt NOTHING like a sprain.

In the ER, they did x-rays and determined that it was a high ankle sprain. They sent me home and didn't even tell me to ice it. (yeah, don't get me started).

I went to my podiatrist the very next day (I'm glad to have an awesome contact who was able to squeeze me in). I have a history of plantar fasciitis in both feet. That started about a year ago, and I had been going to PT up until November. They had healed nearly 100% before I hurt my left ankle on the 27th.

The podiatrist ran another x-ray because the ER's didn't tell him what he needed to see. The podiatrist determined that I tore two exterior ligaments on the outside of my left ankle - yup, a severe high ankle sprain.
He watched it for about 4 weeks after he put me in an air boot and told to stay on my ER-appointed crutches.

I was on naproxen for about 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, the podiatrist did more x-rays and determined that surgery wasn't needed (yay!), but physical therapy would be the next step. No problem, I figured.

A little more than 6 weeks into the injury, I was getting frustrated. I would have figured I could at least put SOME weight on this thing. Shouldn't I be able to?!

I tried to at one point, and to my surprise, it wasn't really my ankle that stopped me from standing: It was a small part towards the inner heel. The pain was so bad it shot up my back and prevented me from going any further.

Now, I'm sure a lot of it is mental, but now I'm scared to keep trying.

I asked my podiatrist, who told me it was my plantar acting up. Apparently, while keeping my ankle at 90 degrees (like I was supposed to, to heal the ankle), I managed to irritate the tendon on the bottom of my foot. Argh.

I'm going to PT two times a week. I get the electrode-thingy treatment, infared, and massage. I do my exercizes religiously both in PT and outside PT.

The PT/podiatrist then suggested a cortisone shot. Doing research on my own and asking around, I determined that this was not a good idea. My heel already has a reputation for weekness due to the plantar fasciitis, and I don't want the cortisone to potentially make it worse. I also don't want to come back for a shot every 3-6 weeks. I want this fixed for good! :/

Option 2 was steroids (Prednisone), which I accepted. So, I'm on day 7 of 12 of those. Immediately, the side effects I felt included jitteriness and sleeplessness. However, within the first day or two, I felt less weak. My right knee was starting to ache prior to taking steroids because of the weight I was putting on it for 7 weeks. The steroids seemed to knock that problem right out.

I'm now entering week 8 and STILL can't put weight on this ankle.
Not real weight, anyways. I'm trying to get myself used to one crutch, but that's not helping much. For the past 3 nights, I try holding on to my fireplace mantle and I try to put a little more weight on it. Using furniture, I try to hobble. I don't really feel like I'm making any progress.

Every night I put ice on it. Throughout the day for the past 2 weeks, I've only worn a sock and an ankle brace. Should I even be wearing the brace? I know my ankle is very weak, but I don't know where to go from here.

Part of my timidness to attempting to put more weight on it is that I know my heel hurts so badly. I don't want to adjust for that, and then just end up rolling my ankle again and being back to square one.

My most recent physical therapy appt was on Thursday. He put an anti-inflammatory patch on it like he does about 1x week. The podiatrist happened to be in, too, and he came and saw me in the PT's office. Now he's starting to wonder if I didn't injure my heel in the fall, and it just wasn't caught until now.

Any ideas, folks? Am I just overly antsy?
Should I give it more time?
How should I fight the ankle's weakness if I can't put weight on it?

I appreciate any/all help in advance!

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Old 09-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 26
Flaubert HB User
Re: High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!

I was just wondering how did it all turn out... In my experience, fear of ankle weakness is rarely mental. You know your body. If you think you can't push it further, it's PROBABLY because you can't (see, not always).

A lot of times I've put more weight on my ankles than my mind thought they could handle, and the result has been more damage.

But I've usually been reckless and impatient, so...

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amkgiddens (09-19-2011)
Old 09-19-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
amkgiddens HB User
Smile Re: High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!


I'm doing SO much better, thank God.

In July 2010, I demanded an MRI from my podiatrist. When he wouldn't give me one, I left him. I found someone who did give me an MRI, and we discovered that 3 ligaments had been completely torn off the ankle, and there was bone damage to the top of my foot.

No wonder I couldn't walk.

I was scheduled for surgery in late August 2010. They repaired the ligaments and scratched the bone to promote the proper healing. By Thanksgiving, I was FINALLY off crutches since February 27, and in PT with a GREAT therapist.

In the Fall 2010, it was very tough to get walking again. That part definitely WAS mental. I had been off my foot for so long, I started wondering if I even remembered how to walk. My therapist was pushy - which I needed.

To this day, I still limp a little if I'm up on my feet all day, but I can feel my ankle getting a LOT stronger with each one of those "up all days" stress I put it through. On occasion, it is super-stiff, but if I get back on my PT exercises, it feels better.

You're absolutely right - we know our bodies best. If you think something MAY be wrong, you're probably right.

Have a great week!

Old 09-19-2011, 11:34 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 26
Flaubert HB User
Re: High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!

Thanks for the reply, and all the information! It's great to know you went on to walk again, and how you're getting better! I've been somewhat down because not walking for 3 weeks at 22, without many signs of improvement, is tough! But thank the Lord I've been comforted by many things going on around me.
Have a great week yourself, and God bless you!
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Old 09-19-2011, 11:39 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
amkgiddens HB User
Smile Re: High ankle sprain turns into a heel problem? Help!

I was 28 when I hurt myself, too, so it stinks being young and feeling like "Wait... I'm too young to not bounce back..."

Good luck! Hang in there! The best piece of advice I can give is to be your own advocate. And if you get sticker-shock from medical quotes, remember that you can't put a price on your well-being. Many doctor's offices and hospitals will work with you on negotiating your bills down, and working out a payment plan. And, if the costs get REALLY high, your expenses are tax deductible (I can't remember if they're deductible or can be used as a credit - either way, if the amount of money you spend on medical stuff exceeds what I think is either 3 or 5%, that's when you can deduct it from taxes. Check with your accountant).

Feel better soon!


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