6 months of undiagnosable ankle pain

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Posting this on a few different sites as I'm desperate at this point...

In November 2018, I sprained my ankle pretty badly after missing a curb and stepping half on and half off, with all of the weight on that leg. I do not remember if it turned inwards or outwards, but after an MRI, they diagnosed it as a partially torn ATFL (outside of the ankle). Rested and rehabilitated it, and it was relatively fine, but I was then dealing with a nagging pain on the inside of the ankle. I tried my best to indicate exactly where the pain is with the diagram above. The original injury was perfectly healed come January of this year, but the nagging pain persisted, even getting worse I would stay. I play collegiate soccer, and had to continue playing and lifting throughout all of spring. The entire time, I felt a constant pain in that area. It feels as if something is in there, and when I rotate it while slightly pressing on the area, I can feel popping and "stuff" just moving around in there.

The problem is that I have gotten another MRI since the initial one after the original injury, in April I believe, and it shows absolutely nothing wrong now. I constantly feel dull pain in there, with occasional sharp burning/stabbing/electrical pain at random or from overextending(?) it. Whenever I run, it just feels like something is in there and causing a dull, forceful pain. It is so hard to explain it. I have seen the best foot & ankle orthopedic surgeon in town, did a PRP treatment and 3 EPAT treatments, a cortisone shot and injections here and there, and nothing seems to remedy it for longer than a day (and even that day, I can still feel something). We start preseason in two months, so the doctor said there is no time for surgery, and even with surgery they do not know what to look for. He simply diagnosed it as "medial ankle deltoid pain/sprain" and said I'm going to have to play through the season with it.

I have a high pain tolerance and will play through it regardless, but I have no idea where to go from here. The sharp pains happen and make me jerk the ankle sometimes, it's so hard to change direction while sprinting or do any lateral movements, and squatting is a pain in the ass! The dull pains seem to be affecting my heel and foot now, and it's just weird. It has been swollen/inflamed during this entire process. I can get through it, but it hurts all the time and not even Ibuprofen helps.

If anyone has ANY idea of what this could be, please let me know. All the medical staff is exhausted trying to figure this out, and I am exhausted playing with this pain. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    i have had 4 surgeries on my ankle that was fractured twice. my last surgery was over a year ago and what youre experiencing I am also experiencing. The pain and numbness burning and sometimes a pain that takes my breath away ! The drs have no answers for me about why but its affecting my everyday life, which includes my job! I dont no where to turn for answers or relief ! i am so sorry for what youre going through! i def understand

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    • Posted

      I was injurned 2016 of Dec. and I haven't been right since. Finally had surgeries.. Arthoscopic , tendon and ligament repair and I still hurt every single day! No answers. Even my own surgeon said no more surgeries, just live with it... Ok.... so how about my life??? Sorry for your pain. I hope it gets better for you. But the way you describe it is just like mine..... Good luck! ******

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  • Posted

    When I fractured my right fibula, I also partially tore my ATFL, and fully tore at least one of the medial ligaments in left ankle.

    I'm 9 weeks post injury now. I wore an ankle stabliser brace up until last week on the left ankle. While the physio did most focus on the mobility on the ankle, he did a lot of work on my calf, and gave me a lot of exercises that encourage the arch of the foot to correct, because the torn medial ligaments have collapsed the arch. This might be what is happening, especially is squats are hurting!

    Have you seen an exercise physiologist?

    I wouldn't settle with the 'grin and bare it' diagnosis.

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    • Posted

      I'm glad you are seeing success.

      I currently work with the athletic trainers and they are strengthening everything as well, and nothing seems to be helping. I don't want to settle with it either, but at this point I'm at a dead end. Thank you for you response and help.

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  • Posted

    i am so sorry to hear what you are going through and i am in a similar situation. sprained ankle rolling it the same way end of October 2018 and MRI showed a lot of swelling but no tear that would need surgery. i did PT and got mostly better but nagging pain on outside ankle (peroneal tendon). new excellent ankle surgeon, new MRI showed no issues. did a PRP shot but back to same status. at this point the surgeon said basically exploratory surgery snd maybe shave down any inflamed parts of tendon but ither docs and PT say that could just make it worse and dont do surgery on a tendon that looks fine. but i cant be active like i used to and it is making me crazy! also not sure where to go from here.

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  • Posted

    i understand except i totally broke my ankle last june 23 2018. i had surgery a week later because i was out of town. im so frustrated. i have always been active but not like you. i have been to a second pt who really helped. im seeing a second surgeon.see another doctor. hey and also take care of yourself. you only have two feet. they need to heal.

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