Occasional acute pain in ankle following sprain

by Lewis Brown
(Andover, Hampshire, England)

Occasional acute pain in ankle following sprain requires a professional evaluation.

Good evening, 3 months ago I rolled my right ankle badly playing football. 3 weeks after this it was almost back to normal and during a game of volleyball I experienced a totally different type of pain in the same area.

It is a sharp immobilising pain from above the right hand side of the ankle across the top right of my right foot towards my small toe, more acute just above the ankle bone.

It is almost as if something comes out of place because applying pressure to the painful area and rotating my ankle in all directions makes the pain disappear and my ankle is back to normal until I catch it wrong again and the pain comes back.

It seems to be becoming more frequent and has started to occur during carrying out such simple tasks as walking down the stairs. The swelling has never really disappeared from the joint since the initial injury.

Please help; I was a very active 25 year old until this occurred; there's no way I can return to football or cricket with this injury!
Kind regards,

Hello Lewis, this is Dr Lewis!
What has come into play is what I call the 50% less pain rule. The pain goes away much faster than joints and ligaments heal. So, if you go back to sport too soon before rehab, a recurrence of the injury often happens; sometimes worse than the original injury.

What is of concern is that the swelling has never has never gone away; that's a strong indication that something still lurks, but I have no idea what.

If you haven't had an X-ray that's where I'd start. Obviously I'm biased, so I'd recommend a consultation with a chiropractor with a FICS qualification; a specialisation in sports injuries. But you see whoever you are comfortable with; an orthopaedic surgeon would give you good advice.

What's needed in the first place is a diagnosis; is there a fracture lurking, or is it a ligamentous tear? Often the talus subluxates, or the cuboid causing that sharp pain; that's fairly easy to fix, but you still have to stop and go through rehab, or it simply happens again.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

Dr Lewis!

» Occasional acute pain in ankle following sprain

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