Badly sprained my left foot five weeks ago.

by Julie



I tripped over a Chinese rug and nearly passed out. I went to the hospital after a week of keeping my foot raised and not putting any weight on it. I plunged it into cold water every two hours and strapped it with crepe bandage. It swelled like a barrage balloon the next morning.

I had three x rays at hospital and was told that it wasn't broken but badly sprained and to keep off it a further two weeks. They strapped it up forcing my toes towards my leg and told me to keep that on for three days. I continued to do RICE and kept off it for a further four weeks as it was still swollen and bruised by the heel and along the side of foot by the ankle was extremely tender.

It was tender to touch along the top of the foot also where thee was yellow bruising and a smarting sensation by the heel. I also continued to spray it with arnica which helped with the swelling. In the last week I have put the water jets on in the bath as this was not possible before as the foot was too tender. I can move my toes and move it backwards and forwards but the heel is still swollen and bruised slightly, although this is less so.

I have also been using warm water treatment in the last week and this seems to help it considerably and also lightly massaging it with arnica oil.

My concern is should I put weight on it now and ease myself into walking properly as it has been five weeks? I have managed to do slight exercises with the foot and I can move my toes freely and move the foot up and down and to the side. My concern is that it is still swollen by the heel and I am still experiencing a smarting almost like someone is pricking my foot with a needle sensation on occasion by the heel. It is still slightly swollen by the ankle also.

The photograph is of my foot three days after spraining my foot and before the bruising came out by the heel and at the side of the foot.I would say it has reduced by 80%. When it is not in a raised position it goes red and starts swelling on top of the foot and towards the toes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

That's a beauty, Julie!

I think you can probably safely assume there's nothing broken. Xrays of ankles are notoriously difficult; if you are still concerned you'll have to ask for a CT. But probably three different radiologists, if one was concerned he would already have recommended a scan.

You're doing the right things but it was obviously a very bad injury. It's obviously improving, albeit slowly.

My main concern is that after five weeks you are still getting sharp stabs; that probably means you have subluxated one of the ankle joints, probably the subtalar is down by the heel.

It's very important you make the ankle move now, preferably non weight bearing. Do the alphabet exercises you'll find at Chiropractic Help regularly.

If you continue to have those sharp stabs then start looking for a chiropractor who works with feet. Take the xrays with you. Probably best to keep using a crutch.

Get rid of the Chinese carpet!

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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May 18, 2015
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Badly sprained left foot.
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comments. Yes, it was a simple action that has cost me five weeks of my life so far, made worse by living on your own. I have had the Chinese rung for 24 years and I have never tripped over it in all that time.

Thank you so much for your advice. It is much better but I am still concerned that it is swollen round the ankle. The bruising has gone on the top of the foot but the coloring round the ankle is still visible but faded considerably. I am exercising it everyday and trying to keep it raised as much as I can. I had two x rays initially and then the doctor asked for a third one to be done along the edge of the foot by the ankle. He seemed relieved that it wasn't broken.

I might just visit the doctor and see what he says but it still doesn't look like my foot and I would have thought that it would have improved a lot more by now, but as you said it was a bad sprain. Thank you for coming back to me it is much appreciated. Kind regards Julie.

Pleasure Julie, make sure it gets properly better; something like that can be the beginning of quite serious disability. Then you can't walk properly, limp, put on weight and there's a general knock on to your general health.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



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