This is for a friend of mine.
Several times a year his ankle swells up, it is very painful and lasts 2-3 weeks. This has been going on for at least 5-6 years and the swelling although it is becoming less frequent it is becoming more intense. He has been to several different dr.'s. What they found was that he has a cyst in his calf, and that when he was younger they thought he sprained his foot but he actually broke it. So there is still a break in his foot. They have tested him for gout and there is absolutly no fluid in the swelling.
He has limited rotation from his ankles when there is no swelling, and when there is swelling cannot bend it at all. He has been to physiotherapy, which seems to make it worse.
Basically, what he has been told from the dr's is that they don't know why it is doing this and that the only next step is to perform exploratory surgery. They said that has its risks because they could mess something up when they go in there.