Discussions By Condition: Leg conditions

Acute Compartment Syndrome following Ankle Sprain?

Posted In: Leg conditions 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 17, 2008
  • 07:43 AM

Hey all,

I sprained my ankle a while ago doing taekwon-do. I was kicking someone and they lifted their knee so that the foot I was kicking with hit them while it was still relaxed and bent back. I've sprained this ankle before, and for the first 4 hrs there was the normal amount of pain and swelling. I went home and did the RICE thing for the first 4 hrs until the phone rang and I had to get up and answer it. Immediately I literally felt fluid trickling down the inside of the back of my leg to my ankle. I sat down as soon as I could, but within a couple of minutes it was so swollen that I had pins and needles up to my knee, complete paralysis of my foot and ankle and partial paralysis (as in i could just twitch the muscles) of the other muscles up to my knee. The pain was excruciating and I couldn't even stand up because the weight of the fluid in the rest of my body pressing down on the fluid in the ankle even when it was off the ground was unbearable. I managed to keep it elevated, but could not put ice on it because any pressure at all was very painful.

I did call my doctor but he only let me get so far as to say that it was swollen before he told me that it was completely normal and hung up. It was after hours.

I took some pain killers which didnt really help, and managed to get to bed where i finally managed to get to sleep at around 2am (not really sure). When i woke up, it was still significantly swollen but not the the same extent, it was really bruised, and the pain (except that due to the sprain) was gone.

I got x-rays, which showed that i needed physiotherapy because the ligament or tendon or whatever was significantly stretched (though i attribute most of this to a prior sprain where the initial injury was much worse). Doctors still didn't really pay any attention to my symptoms of the previous night, although the physio did say that it was the most swollen ankle he had ever seen :)

A few months on and my ankle is much better, although it still gets a little sore sometimes when i play sport. I play a lot of sport and am terrified of this happening again because it was so painful. From previous experience of sports injuries i KNOW this was not a normal reaction to a sprain. Does anyone know what could have happened? Could this have been compartment syndrome or something else? I would really like to know what it was and i what i could do if it happened again?

Thanks all,

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