Broke tibula, sprained ankle, and numbness

by Kenneth
(avville ky usa)

Fell and broke the left fibula, and severely sprained my left ankle. Went to the hospital they put a boot on my foot.

Almost 2 weeks have passed; the broken fibula does not hurt, but my left foot is still pretty swollen, bruised on the sides, and my smaller toes go numb sometimes. Is this normal?

Hello Kenneth, yes, it's pretty normal. When you take the boot off, ice the whole area thoroughly.

It's a bit early, but with the boot off try to make some tiny movements of the ankle and foot, and toes.

You probably shouldn't be weight bearing yet.

You just have to be patient and weight for that fibula to heal; about six weeks.

After that I recommend you consult a local chiropractor who treats sports injuries. You most likely will also have a subluxated ankle mortise or subtalar joint and that must be reduced. But it can be doen until the fracture has healed.

Give it time; really you should be addressing this to the doctor who treated you.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Grade 3 sprained ankle with ruptured ATFL

by Belka
(Melbourne, Australia)

2 weeks ago I fell and severely sprained my left ankle. After a few visits to the hospital and GP found out I have a grade 3 sprain and completely ruptured the ATFL.

I am icing my ankle, wearing a camm boot and doing exactly what I'm told by the GP.
I have tried walking without the camm boot, but I get extremely dizzy and feel sick. Is this normal?

Hello Belka,
You shouldn't be walking without the support for the ankle. You're not doing EXACTLY what you were told by the doctor! It's probably the pain that's making you nauseous.

If it really is completely ruptured, it's probably a job for an orthopaedic surgeon. How was the diagnosis made?

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Feb 10, 2016
ruptured ATFL
by: Belka

Hi Dr Lewis,
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that the GP told me to try walking around the house without the boot. The diagnosis was made with ultrasound.
I am going back to see GP tomorrow and will be asking for referral to a specialist.
Thanks again.

Pleasure, Belka, let me know how you get on.

One small thought. Invariably when there's a sprain this serious, there will also be a subluxated talus or calcaneus, and sometimes other proximal foot joints. They are the cause of the incredibly sharp pain when weight bearing.

Once that ligament has healed see a FICS trained chiropractor to check for any subluxated ankle joints, or it will become arthritic and never heal properly.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Heel pain after a sprained ankle

by Maureen
(Cambridge england)

» Heel pain after a sprained ankle

I had an ankle sprain six months ago.
A grade 2 plus.

I had x rays at the time which showed nothing broken.
I can walk about 5 km reasonably comfortably but if I try to jog or do squat jumps I feel pain right through my heel into my foot
Will I ever run again or be able to do any weight bearing exercise again?

Hello Maureen,
It's a common complaint you have; at the heart of it is that not only ligaments are sprained when you turn your ankle.

I'm speculating obviously, not able to examine you, but most likely you at the same moment you also subluxated the subtalar, or some other joint in the ankle or foot. Usually it's not difficult to reduce it, but if it's been six months then the pain won't stop in five minutes. You will have to go through some rehab.

Sometimes fractures are missed in the ankle; the overlapping bones make small fractures difficult to visualise. A CT scan may be called for.

But first look for a chiropractor with a FICS qualification; a sports injury diploma.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Sprained ankle years ago

by Colleen

Ankle joint pain

Ankle joint pain

About 5 years ago I sprained my left ankle when I stepped on a garden hose that had been left out and I didn't see it. I didn't go to ER right away but elevated it and iced it. It has hurt ever since and most of the pain and tenderness is right under my ankle bone and along the outside heel. I had an x-ray taken but they x-rayed the wrong area so naturally nothing showed up.

For the last 6 months or so, I've been getting swelling and puffiness in that ankle and on the top of my foot. It will last a few days and then go away and my ankle is normal again. I'm thinking it's arthritis that has set in because both my ankle are very stiff when I get up from a chair or in the morning. When I walk (actually shuffle) for a bit, they loosen up. I only take an occasional Aleve because I take HBP meds. Tylenol doesn't seem to help.

I'm 69 and some days I feel like 169. Should I talk to my doctor about this?

Thank you.

Hello Colleen,
Well, you certainly should do something. If for no other reason that people who can't walk fast actually die sooner.

As an aside, I don't believe in rushing off to the doctor or chiropractor for every little snivel or pain. But when you know you've done something significant, then it's best to get advice.

And secondly, when you know it's not getting better of it's own accord, then the longer you wait the more difficult it will be. That's where you fell down, right? You should have been writing this letter 4 years and ten months ago!

Even if they x-rayed the right area it probably wouldn't have shown much. Small subluxations, or fixations aren't visible in plain film and probably not on scans either.

So, the possibilities are

1. A missed fracture which is easy on plain film.

2. Sprained ligaments, never seen on x-ray unless ruptured; and then there's massive swelling.

3. Pulled muscles, not seen on x-ray.

4. Subluxated joints, perhaps seen by a very skilled radiologist, but probably not.

Or some combination of the above.

The cartilage in joints that are not in motion are starved of their normal oxygen and nutrients; this is probably what happened, but I'm speculating obviously.

I'd start with a careful examination of the ankle and foot to determine where the problem exactly is, and then re x-ray the appropriate part. A scan would certainly be helpful, but expensive.

Not all chiropractors work with feet; ask first.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Sprained ankle

by Alyssa Mook
(Erie,PA )

Jones fracture

Jones fracture

Sprained ankle commonly subluxates and even fractures bones.

I sprained my ankle approximately 6 months ago; I returned to practice and games the week after.

I seemed fine until I started AAU. Then while running and and jumping and pivoting it all came back to me. My foot now has a lump on the side of my foot that's hard and hurts along my 5th metatarsal base.

I also get cramps under the ankle a lot. I tweak my ankle every once in awhile with it without a brace. It doesn't really bother me during activity but it limits what I can do after sport. I just need help on what to do because RICE doesn't work.

Hello Alyssa,
You returned to sport too quickly before rehabbing the injury.

A common injury when an ankle is sprained is the so called Jones fracture of the base of the fifth metatarsal. However, then it would be unlikely you went back to sport after a week.

Also, it's common to subuxate the talus, or subtalar joint and unless that is reduced you will start getting foot pain. Start looking for someone who specialises in treating feet.

Chiropractors with a FICS qualification have specialised in sports injuries.

Dr Barrie Lewis

» Sprained ankle

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Sprained ankle but my ankle joint is locked

by Shelly
(United Kingdom )

Diagram of ankle anatomy

Diagram of ankle anatomy

I sprained my ankle 6 weeks ago; been to the doctors 3 times, had a X-ray done. The result was clear; it is not fractured or broken but I was told to rest my feet and do light exercise but throughout the 6 weeks my feet stopped moving downwards and it seemed like its locked/jammed on the ankle joint area

Basically I had no ability to do plantar flexion, my toe won't touch the ground but I am able to bring my feet towards me. I'm struggling so much and now they are referring me for a MRI scan and physiotherapy next week but I'm just worried that having my ankle stuck for 6 weeks, did I do any further damage.

Also will my feet ever go back to normal and what treatment would I need.

Hello Shelly,
Your concerns are quite legitimate, but at six weeks there is probably no permanent damage from having your ankle locked.

Many things can happen in an ankle because it's a very complex organ, but to summarise:

1. Sprained ligaments. Did it go blue?

2. Strained tendons or muscles sometimes cause an "avulsion fracture" of the fifth metatarsal. Is it very tender on the outer side of the midfoot. The radiologist is not likely to have missed it, but it can happen.

3. Swelling which may be massive or mild.

4. Subluxation of either the talus bone in the ankle mortise in which case you lose the up down movement; your problem. Or the subtalar joint, when you lose the rolling movement of the ankle. Both can happen.

From what you describe it's pretty clear that you have sprained the ankle mortise joint, and the bone is sitting "out of place" to use a crude term. But I've done it myself, and treated thousands, so I know of your misery.

Reducing that subluxated talus is very simple; in the hands of a competent adjuster of the feet.

Look for a chiropractor with a FICS qualification; sports chiropractic. It's not rocket science.

Let me know how you get on. Do the "alphabet exercises".

Dr Barrie Lewis

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