Short, stabbing foot and ankle pain after several injuries

by Isabelle
(UK)

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


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Feb 21, 2017
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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


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