Sprained ankle years ago

by Colleen

Ankle joint pain

Ankle joint pain

About 5 years ago I sprained my left ankle when I stepped on a garden hose that had been left out and I didn't see it. I didn't go to ER right away but elevated it and iced it. It has hurt ever since and most of the pain and tenderness is right under my ankle bone and along the outside heel. I had an x-ray taken but they x-rayed the wrong area so naturally nothing showed up.

For the last 6 months or so, I've been getting swelling and puffiness in that ankle and on the top of my foot. It will last a few days and then go away and my ankle is normal again. I'm thinking it's arthritis that has set in because both my ankle are very stiff when I get up from a chair or in the morning. When I walk (actually shuffle) for a bit, they loosen up. I only take an occasional Aleve because I take HBP meds. Tylenol doesn't seem to help.

I'm 69 and some days I feel like 169. Should I talk to my doctor about this?

Thank you.

Hello Colleen,
Well, you certainly should do something. If for no other reason that people who can't walk fast actually die sooner.

As an aside, I don't believe in rushing off to the doctor or chiropractor for every little snivel or pain. But when you know you've done something significant, then it's best to get advice.

And secondly, when you know it's not getting better of it's own accord, then the longer you wait the more difficult it will be. That's where you fell down, right? You should have been writing this letter 4 years and ten months ago!

Even if they x-rayed the right area it probably wouldn't have shown much. Small subluxations, or fixations aren't visible in plain film and probably not on scans either.

So, the possibilities are

1. A missed fracture which is easy on plain film.

2. Sprained ligaments, never seen on x-ray unless ruptured; and then there's massive swelling.

3. Pulled muscles, not seen on x-ray.

4. Subluxated joints, perhaps seen by a very skilled radiologist, but probably not.

Or some combination of the above.

The cartilage in joints that are not in motion are starved of their normal oxygen and nutrients; this is probably what happened, but I'm speculating obviously.

I'd start with a careful examination of the ankle and foot to determine where the problem exactly is, and then re x-ray the appropriate part. A scan would certainly be helpful, but expensive.

Not all chiropractors work with feet; ask first.

Dr B

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