I sprained my ankle

I sprained my ankle when I was 20 years old I am now 43, and since then I occasionally step on it wrong and I can hear my ankle pop out of socket then back in again and my ankle is sprained again.

When it pops out and back in you can hear it and the pain is very intense. The last time I did it I broke out in a sweat and felt nauseous and almost passed out. Because of this I can't even sit Indian style with my legs crossed because if I lean forward a little my ankle will pop out and back into socket again leaving me with a sprained ankle. What advise can you give me on what I should do to prevent it and also how long should I ice it for?

It sounds like your ankle isn't actually spraining, but one of the bones is subluxating which can certainly be extremely painful, especially if you are standing.

I would suggest you start by doing the "alphabet exercises". Since on a normal chair with your foot off the floor. Raise the toes maximally, and dorsiflex the ankle; bring it towards your head. Now paint the letter capital A in the air, trying to move all parts of the foot and ankle, including the toes. Now a B... and so on.

Try to get through the whole alphabet each day. Do you get a painful click whilst doing this?

If this all happened twenty years ago it may be arthritic now; perhaps it's time for an x-ray.

It's probably the ankle mortice joint, or subtalar joints; look these terms up at our sprained ankle page.

What's really needed is a careful and thorough examination leading to a diagnosis; look for a chiropractor who works with feet.

Good luck! This really can be very painful and will probably get worse if you do nothing; try and avoid a fusion of the joint.

Dr B

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