Sprained ankle still sore after 9 months

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I sprained my ankle on April 6th 2017. I stepped on a vacuum hose and rolled my ankle outwards. I ended up on the floor and heard a pop as it rolled. It didn’t swell or bruise too badly and I could put a little bit of weight on it after. That night I couldn’t even sleep with a thin sheet over top of my foot or I’d start crying because of the pain. The next day I just wrapped it up and went to school, I had a lot of pain while walking but I just ignored it. The next few nights were the same as the first and a week and a half after the original sprain I played a field hockey game without a brace or anything and didn’t have too much pain. After three weeks it wasn’t improving as it should be so I went to my gp who referred me to a pt and sent me for an x-ray (which came back normal). The physio diagnosed me with a grade 2+ sprain and assumed I had injured my atfl. I worked with her for a couple months and my ankle was improving greatly and then she told me it would be okay for me to go play in a field hockey tournament. By the third game (I had only played 5-10 minutes of each game) I had a lot of pain walking so I stopped playing. After that my ankle was almost Like it was after I first hurt it. I went back to my gp and was referred to a sports medicine doctor. That doctor sent me for an ultrasound. The results of that weren’t super clear as my ankle was still swollen  but they could tell I had a lot of scar tissue and had definitely at least partially torn my Atfl. He told me to just keep doing exercises and it would get better. That was at the end of August and since then I’ve gone back once because I was still in pain and he said the same thing just keep going to physio. Since then I’ve been running with a brace on and I do experience pain afterwards. I am also still very unstable on the ankle, I can’t even really hold myself up in a yoga pose, it’s been aching a lot in the cold (aching pain as well as some sharp shooting pain) and I get a lot of pain after running now. My gp has now referred me to an orthopedic surgeon but the wait is a few months. I originally only got one set of x-rays but I got another one a couple weeks ago but haven’t got the results yet. I’m hoping the surgeon will either send me for an mri or a bone scan. Has anyone had any sprains similar to this and could maybe give me some insight on what could be wrong?

Thanks!

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi

    I've had something pretty similiar going on since March of 2017. After my MRI I had my first surgery repairing my peroneal tendons in in June. I've just had my second surgery four weeks ago repairing my lateral ligaments in my ankle. Hopefully yours isn't going down the same road. Is there any other ortho that can possibly see you sooner? Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi there!! 

    My experience with the injury sounds almost the same! I hurt my ankle playing soccer and also heard a pop. I haven't been to a doctor because of sports (I don't want to stop playing my senior year!), but i most likely will after my seasons are over. I've heard of people who have to have surgery to fix loose tendons, and i hope that you don't end up going down that path! 

    Best of luck, keep us updated!! 

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  • Posted

    Yes, I had a very similar sprain that required surgery but wasn’t diagnosed properly until I had an MRI. Meanwhile I did months of PT and lots of scar tissue built up. You need the MRI to be able to see the soft tissue, X-rays only see bones.
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  • Posted

    Hi Anon,

    How unfortunate to hear about your injury and ongoing unresolved ankle problems.

    It appears from your account that your initial injury was not properly treated, and you stayed very active on that ankle adding insult to injury, unfortunately. Not your fault--- you didn't get top notch medical advice.

    It seems your original soft tissue injuries didn't get a chance to heal properly and now your tendons/ligaments etc. are in a chronic inflamed state and slow to mend, if at all.

    Instead of playing hockey etc. you should have been in a CAM boot to let torn tissues knit. But of course hindsight is always 20/20, and again it is not your fault because you didn't know the ramifications of your injury.

    It is way, way to early to start talking about surgery. Surgery is always a last resort after all conservative treatment options have been exhausted. Surgery is a gamble sometimes taken in hopes of a quicker permanent recovery. But it is not always the best course, and it has risks.

    If your orthopedist is a surgeon it is likely he will recommend you undergo surgery. Please get a second, even third opinion if that is the case. Your youth gives you an advantage here vs. old people-- you have a better chance of healing up fine without surgery with correct treatment. Just make sure you get completely informed before taking the plunge into surgery-- it is an irrevocable decision.

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