Ankle pain

by Daniel
(Newcastle)

Hi, I have had multiple operations on my right leg as one leg is shorter than the other. The operation was kind of successful as my leg is now the same length but I have had problems after the operation as I can't place my foot flat on the floor, I have always stood on my tip toe. This is not habit, it is birth defect. I have always had this problem but never had bad pain. Now if I walk for more than a few hours, the next day I will have to walk on my crutches the pain is that bad. The consultant said there is nothing more they can do as the operations they were suggesting were too risky and could lead to worse problems. From what I can remember since the last time I saw the consultant was a year ago (2 years since last operation) was that the ankle joint would not allow my foot to bend upwards. My question is, will doing lots of walking eventually make my ankle get used to it or will it make it worse. Apologies for the poor explanation but it is a complicated problem.

Thank you for your time.

Hello Daniel,
Medicine loves to intervene in what I consider this extreme way to a leg length inequality, but what's done is done. Water under the bridge...

We consider the irritation of an insert in the shoe of the short leg, or under the shoe much less than the troubles you are having.

What is not quite clear: Have you walked on your toes since childhood, or since the operation?

You are clearly unable to dorsiflex your foot. This could be a joint problem in the ankle mortice joint, or a short achilles tendon. It can also be a problem that is central in nature- from the spinal cord or brain.

My recommendation is: first a good chiropractic examination so find where the limitation is. That ankle joint can be mobilised and adjusted, and the achilles stretched.

Secondly, I would start walking with a heel (both shoes). Beetle boots! That will take the stress off the lower leg. And provided you continue stretching the achilles and ankle mortice shouldn't cause further troubles down the road.

Which Newcastle, Daniel? UK or SA or other?

Could you send me a digital copy of the X-ray of your ankle?

Dr B.

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