Short, stabbing foot and ankle pain after several injuries

by Isabelle

Nearly 4yrs ago I fell 6wks post partum and badly sprained both ankles. Only 6wks after that I learned that the hospital had missed a maisonneuve fracture of my right fibula. Nonetheless I had already had to walk home after my fall carrying the baby and was stuck in bed for about 3wks because of the severe pain. The right side healed slowly (I never got a cast) but the left needed physio for at least a year.

Now the left ankle is giving me occasional sharp severe pain, but only when I am in bed in the evenings. I keep forgetting and crossing the right ankle over the top and when I remove it the pain is terrible. I am wondering if they also missed an injury there. All I was told was 'sprain'.

Also I forgot to mention that about a year after the initial injuries I dropped a 10 kilo weight on that foot and shortly after hurt it again under the rocker of a rocking chair. Xray didn't show anything but the top of my foot is a different shape now with a permanent lump on top. This is just at the top, right below my ankle.

I have a history of ankle sprains, dislocated knee, and a lot of extreme hip and buttock pain. Apparently I have fibromyalgia though I have been very reluctant to give up the idea that this is all due to hip/gait problems which no doctor seems to want to consider. I have really rather wide hips and excessively loose ligaments.
By the way, I realise how ridiculously accident-prone I am! Any thoughts and opinions would be gratefully received. Thank you so much.

Hello Isabelle,
Let's start with being accident prone. In light of your ankle problems this may be difficult and not for you; you be the judge. Stand at the kitchen counter on one foot with the other slightly raised, and one finger on the counter. Now start to tap on the counter with that finger, balancing on one leg, repeating with the other leg for perhaps a minute. The aim ultimately is to do it with your hand just above the counter, doing a balancing act.

Folk who do this exercise every day fall half as often. If your ankles complain bitterly, then better not do it.

It would seem that one of the joints associated with the medial cuneiform or the navicular in the foot were injured; just how is obviously impossible for me to assess. Oddly my wife, also Isabelle, has the same lump on the top of her foot and it responds well to a chiropractic adjustment using a speeder board; look for a chiropractor with a FICS sports post graduate qualification.

Do you have a family history of hip arthritis? If you lie on your back and pull the knee to your chest, towards the opposite shoulder and then drop it into lotus position, is it stiff and painful? Do you get groin pain, or is it on the side of the hip.

Chiropractors work daily with buttock pain but it can be complex; it may be radiating down the superior cluneal nerves from the lumbo thoracic junction (called Maigne's syndrome), from the SI joint, the hip, the piriformis or a sciatica; and other.

If you do have fibromyalgia, then it's in large measure caused by a high omega-6/ omega-3 ratio in the diet. Change to extra virgin olive oil and try to eat some fatty fish or freshly ground flaxseed daily. Look to eating anti inflammatory foods on a daily basis. Use the site search function in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help to explore these terms.

This is complex, Isabelle. This is all complete speculation.

In short, start balancing exercises, see a chiropractor about your foot and ankle and think hard about your diet. I hope it contributes in some small way.

Dr B

» Short, stabbing foot and ankle pain after several injuries

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Feb 21, 2017
Loss of peripheral vision and bumping into doorframes and people
by: Isabelle

Hello Dr B,
Thank you for your reply to my conundrum!
In response, I am trying your exercise of balancing on one foot and it's fine as long as I keep my eyes open - as soon as I shut them I think I am going to fall over! In fact I realise now that all this seemed to coincide with a feeling I had of my peripheral vision and judgement becoming much worse, and more often turning around and bumping into people, as well as doorframes, mantlepieces, and other such fast-moving fixtures and fittings ;o) I just put it down to wearing glasses and having long hair but perhaps not.
I do actually eat olive oil until it's coming out of my ears, and have ground flaxseed with breakfast every day, and sometimes take fish oil in addition, as well as eating fish regularly so at least I'm getting that right.
Also I have had blood tests and a couple of examinations and been told it is not arthritis, or piriformis or sacroiliac joint disorder. I did have an x-ray and the radiographer's report noted bilateral sacroiliac joint wear/growth in keeping with a long standing injury, but that was later dismissed because I have been pregant (though actually my hips and pain in general were SO much better in pregnancy and for about a year afterwards that I don't buy that).
Anyway, I am aware that this is such a constellation of stuff that it's hard to make sense of, especially remotely, but I thank you for your attention and I will keep up the exercises and think of you as I dollop the olive oil onto my salad.

Hello Isabelle
I strongly recommend a consultation with a neurologist; that stuff with bumping into doorframes together with changes in peripheral vision and balance is significant. Let me know what comes of it.

Dr B

» Loss of peripheral vision and bumping into doorframes and people

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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