Low Back Pain from old Ankle Injury?

by Andy
(Yorkshire, United Kingdom)

Hi, I have just come across this article and I have noticed that you describe pretty much all of my pain symptoms that I have had now for at least 7 years.

I suffer from extremely stiff and painful lower back, usually caused by my hips being out of align. I also suffer from constant buttock pain when sitting and pain on my coccyx.

I have for years seen many back specialists and had numerous scans, pain injections but nothing has helped or given me an idea of why I am in this pain.

Low Back Pain from old Ankle Injury? That's a valid question; but the probably damage to the spine from immobilisation arthritis demands daily exercise.

Years ago, way before my back pain, I broke my ankle in two places and was in plaster for a long period of time. After my plaster was off I was discharged without any further check-ups or physio. I used to play a lot of football and I would sprain my ankle damaging the ligaments nearly every year. Each time I did this my ankle swelled up and I was off my feet for a few weeks.

Sometimes I had to get a scan to check it was not broken again.

I have however never had any real check on soft tissues within my ankle until recently.

My ankle in more recent months is so week and gives way quite often, therefore I decided to see a specialist and i had some more scans and MUA of my ankle. The specialist has informed me that 2 out of the 3 main
ligaments are either snapped or so stretched they are not performing at all, therefore I need to have surgery to correct this.

I am now booked in for a Modified Brostrum procedure in a week's time.

After reading this article I am wondering if this is all connected to my back/button pain? It sounds like it may well be. I am hoping it is as I would finally have an answer to this pain.

If it is, do you believe the surgery I am having on my ankle should help with my back pain?

What physio/rehab would I need to do after my surgery as I do not want to just leave my ankle to rest but not build its strength etc.?

Any information or help would be much appreciated.


Hello Andy,
Certainly anything that changes your gait can and will have a knock on effect on knees, hips and the sacroiliac joint above.

The first question I always ask with a chronically stiff, sore back, or any joint for that matter, is are you doing some simple basic exercises every morning? In bed before arising is what I recommend.

An ankle that functions better can only help your lower back and hips, but the damage there is done now, so you need to exercise that pelvis and lumbar spine.

Likewise, your ankle will be stiff when it comes out of the cast; ask the surgeon what the appropriate exercises are. I like our alphabet exercises, simple, basic and safe.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

» Low Back Pain from old Ankle Injury?

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