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Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:27 AM   #1
let me walk
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Question Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

I'm 1.5 months out from my second L ankle scope (scar clean-up). That ankle is doing GREAT! However, 3-weeks ago I rolled my R ankle walking in a parking lot. I was wearing a 1 inch heel. It didn't touch the ground but it did strech out. I did not have any pain that night at all.

The pain came on 24 hours later. I had mild swelling, no bruising, and I could still walk on it. The pain got worse for a week. I could still walk on it (with a normal gaite) but I'd get a sharp pain on the anterior lateral mid foot area after 10 minutes of walking. Driving aggrivated it too. I laid really low for the rest of that week (we were on a fishing/camping trip, so I literally sat most of the trip). I did NOT wear my lace up brace during the trip, but I've been wearing it since then.

Since then the pain has been all over the board. The pain is different from the "24 later" pain. I can walk on it (only 30 minutes and I know that it isn't right), I can do yard work and be on it all day (but it isn't right). It feels odd, I can't describe it. (It feels strong when I do my PT exercises but when I'm doing daily things, it feels weak and almost like it's slightly twisted).

I also want to say the the spain that endured with my L ankle was intense...I sprained it during a plyometric workout in 2007. That ankle bruised, swelled up, etc. I didn't get proper treatement either. I ended up with an OCD lesion and other issues.

The mechanism of this R ankle injury is different (this one was much milder) but the instability I feel with my R ankle is worse than it was with my L ankle. I guess I'm trying to define my odd pain. It's a nerve type of pain and grinding along with instability. I'm fearful that I have another OCD lesion or that I tore my ATFL or Peroneal tendon. It seems like my odd pains and mild inury "should" be subsiding after 3-weeks....maybe not?

I've seen two Sports Med docs about it. (One B4 my trip and one immediately after my trip). I pass ALL the tests. They think that I stretched out my peroneal tendon and nerve fibers. Neither of them took an x-ray. I wear a lace up brace, ice at night, and do my PT exercises for that foot. Neither of them told me to restrict my activities ( I'm recovering from L ankle surgery, I'm not doing very much anyway....mild biking, aqua jogging, and yard work/etc.). The 2nd SM doc thought that my R ankle/foot could be slower to heal b/c it has been bearing all the weight for my L ankle.

I see my ankle OS for L ankle follow-up on July 7th. I'll talk to him about this and ask for an MRI, etc. I've read most of the "sprained ankle" stories on this board and most of them are more involved than mine. So, my question is: has anyone just rolled their ankle, had pain with it..but ended up being ok after a couple of months? I'm so bummed about this b/c my R ankle has NEVER had an issue (and I went through Hell and back with my L ankle for 2.5 years).

Any insight would be really appreciated!

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Old 10-12-2011, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

I have had little rolls but was able to go within a week or two. I have never had anything long lasting other than sever sprains. Right now I am dealing with what was diagnosed as a sever sprain in the ER 9 weeks ago to a fracture that is showing up on the xray as the sprain is just not healing. I fell from a 10 foot ladder. I see the Ortho tomorrow and am hoping to avoid surgery. Good Luck

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let me walk (10-28-2011)
Old 10-12-2011, 09:31 AM   #3
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Re: Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

I'm sorry you are going through this. Not the easiest thing in the world. I have a long history of sprains, torn cartilage, etc with my left ankle and had open reconstruction surgery. I have been told I need another operation for debridement of scar tissue, and clearing of the torn cartilage. In Sept I rolled all the way over on this ankle and it scared me to death, but I thought I was fine. Then later the pain and some swelling set in. I continue to have pain over the ATF area, but mostly between the ankle bone and my Achilles. Probably a peroneal tendon issue. Then last Friday, without an injury (that I can remember anyway), the medial side of my right ankle (which I've never hurt before) started hurting after a click and it was swollen and bruised. The swelling and bruising are better, but I'm still having pain especially after being on it all day. I'm jus waitin for it to calm down or I will have it checked out when I get my left ankle sprain/peroneal tendon problem checked out. I'm hoping it just heals on its own. So sort of in your shoes, slightly different circumstances, but you aren't alone. HTH!

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let me walk (10-28-2011)
Old 10-12-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

If your description of pain at the anterior lateral midfoot is correct, it wouldn't be an injury to the peroneal tendon or ATFL. The extensor digitorum brevis muscle is located around the anterior lateral midfoot and is commonly injured in ankle sprains. There are also nerves the run along that area that are stretched with an ankle sprain.

You can request an MRI, but it may not change anything. Even if an OCD is found on MRI, there are many OCD lesions that improve without surgery. A tear of the ATFL doesn't change treatment at this point. If your ankle is unstable still in 6-8 weeks, then repair of the ATFL is warranted but not this early after a sprain. Unless there is a significant amount of abnormal pain, an MRI is typically reserved for an ankle injury that hasn't improved over 6 weeks. You can ask for an MRI, but if the physician says it isn't needed don't think they are ignoring your pain. If a physician treats everything found on an MRI, every patient would have surgery.

The vast majority of ankle sprains will remain painful or sore for several weeks. All ankles will feel unstable after a sprain, but some are physically unstable. A brace and physical therapy is what you need at this point.

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let me walk (10-28-2011)
Old 10-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

It's going to take a while and it's frustrating.

I sprained my right ankle early this year and resprained & broke it this summer. Since I have spent the bulk of the year limping, my left ankle is essentially sprained/strained (peroneal tendon) as well. Neither one of them was ugly, some swelling, nothing major and no bruising. I walked on the broken on for a couple months because it didn't appear to have been sprained THAT badly.

My PT & doc know both ankles are messed up, but focus on the right one. Some days I feel like "Hey guys, the other foot hurts too!" Besides the PT and sitting on my butt, there isn't much they can do. When my right ankle is good, my left one is as well. I pushed to far last week & the right was set back, within a day, the left one did to. My left hurt, but was tolerable, when I tried crutches a couple times when the right one blew up, it was awful. As needed I use a ace bandage, vet wrap or an elastic brace. The other one has a lace up/velcro brace on it.

I just saw the ortho yesterday for another PT script. 10 weeks of PT so far, and another 6 ahead of me. As they keep telling me, it takes a LONG time.

Last edited by wilkinak; 10-13-2011 at 10:48 AM. Reason: unplanned shut down

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let me walk (10-28-2011)
Old 10-28-2011, 04:50 AM   #6
let me walk
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Re: Sprained R ankle while recovering from L ankle surgery

WOW!! Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread. I didn't even get a notice that anyone posted. I just happened to browse through today! The R sprained ankle is finally getting better (4.5 months later). MRI did show tears of the ligaments that are typical with a sprain and NO talus OCD (THANK GOODNESS). L surgical ankle is doing well, although while I was hiking on Sunday I planted that foot on a big rock (that I could NOT see because it was covered with leaves), my foot was dorsiflexed and when I stepped on the rock, it wasn't able to go through dorsiflextion to plantarflexion b/c that ROCK was there. (So, as I was hiking, I didn't realize I stepped on a rock until I tried to take a noremal my foot was basically in forced dorisflexion w/o the ability to through a normal ROM b/c of the rock. It also had the added pressure of my body weight and the hill) I immediately got shooting pains where the OCD lesion is and where the "anterior recess" was cleaned. I also immediately, put all of my weight on my other foot and continued to hike. (Hope all of that made sense). It was fine the rest of the day but it was painful the next day with a bit of swelling. It's getting better but it isn't the same. I'm still getting little sharp twinges there and the lateral-underside portion of that foot gets funky. I hope I didn't mess up my surgery. I'm fearful that the pressure and the extreme dorsiflexion of my foot messed up my OCD lesion.

Thanks again for responding to this. It's very much appreciated and helpful!

Julie (Let Me Walk)!

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