Ankle-injury that won’t heal in 4 years + additional hand joint pain. Cause?

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Hi everyone!

My pain started on the outer side of the right ankle four years ago, while playing soccer. The ankle never really healed and gradually the pain got worse, and I had to give up sports and rest my ankle a lot.

Even though I have had occasional ankle sprains growing up, I have been in the military and also parachuted in my mid 20’s, so my ankle and the muscle around it were normal then.

I have been to a neurologist, three rheumatologists and two orthopaedists, and they have all concluded that the answer to my problem does not lie within their expertise. (However, the orthopaedists have performed two operations on my right ankle, but this only resulted in more pain and did not solve anything, so they eventually concluded that it was nothing they could do.) My blood levels are fine and I have no sign of inflammation in my body.

After two years, I started experiencing pain in the left ankle as well, and also in my hands and wrists. The pain gets worse with activity, and decreases with rest, and I have to lie down many hours every day. The rest is partly involuntary, to reduce and hold the pain on a tolerable level, but also voluntary to prevent that the foot pain gets even worse, to the level that I can’t use it at all. If I take pain killers and walk around normally, the pain the next couple of days is almost intolerable.

Spect-CT of my ankles showed increased metabolism in the bones, and this metabolism corresponds to the location of the pain in the ankles, but this was not seen as significant by the orthopaedists. They are probably right, but I mention it since this is the only measurable result until now.

As you might understand, this sucks. So I turn to you. Any suggestions or ideas what this could be and where I could turn for correct diagnoses or treatment? Thankful for all ideas!

About me: I am a 31 year old caucasian male, 6’ 5” tall and weighing 210 lbs. Have well-treated celiac.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    It seems like you may need to get checked out for blood work. You have taken the necessary orthopedic and rheumatologist and neurologist checks. Did they do blood work checks?
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    • Posted

      Hi Yvonne! Thank you so much for replying. The doctors have done a lot of different blood work, both the neurologist, rheumatologists, orthopedists and my general practitioner. All the tests look normal, and have all throughout the four years, so we haven't been able to find anything there.

      Thanks again smile

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    • Posted

      Hi ankle pain and more,

      I feel your frustration when you get no real anwers to continued pain. Im sorry to see you suffer.

      I had many similar pains, besides ankles as well. Have any doctors suggested fibromyalgia or joint disorders?

      I had many past ankle falls leading to sprains when younger. Early ligament injuries down the road can become weak & cause more out of alignment with body.

      After ankles got worse & post traumatic arthritis set in, an ankle surgeon said it was time for a replacement. But before tar, I needed, ligament & tendon recontruction, correction of fallen arches & bunion removal. All these misalignment & issue are on both feet & just built up because of this. Going through surgeries now.

      I hope you get answers & support here. Don't give up. I was told orthodics would take away my pains, till I came across a good foot Dr who recommended a surgeon.

      Good luck in finding answers & get some healing going.


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    • Posted

      Hi Weezer,

      Sorry to hear about your issues! I hope all goes well with the surgeries and the recovery afterwards! Glad to hear you found a good doctor in the end smile

      The rheumatologists have consider fibromyalgia and the other usual suspects within their fields, taking x-rays, blood work and ultrasound of the joints without finding any signs of anything wrong. I have also read through all the diseases I can find within rheumatology and bone pain without finding one that fits my symptoms.

      Stay strong through the coming surgeries, here's some well-wishes from Denmark! smile

      And thanks again for the reply and suggestions, they are greatly appreciated!

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    • Posted

      Hi anklepainandmore,

      Im doing pretty good after my surgeries. The waiting, being bored & cabin fever till pt starts can get to you.

      Sounds like you've done much research on your pain, & are not giving up. Much strength & perserverance for you to continue your search for answers.

      Good luck

      Weezer from MD

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