Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Possible Fracture/Ligament Injury?

Posted In: Muscle conditions 6 Replies
  • Posted By: AnnShh
  • June 14, 2008
  • 11:31 PM

This could be a bit long but I want to explain the whole situation.

So a week ago I was at a horse show and I (embarassingly) came off my horse. Instead of coming off right away at the jump, I tried to save myself from being eliminated (if you fall you're done competiting) and ended up hanging off his side around his neck trying to get back in the saddle. Since he wasn't slowing down and I couldn't tell if he was going to go over another jump or not I finally let go but somewhere along the way I messed up my ankle/foot.

There was a tiny bit of swelling around the ankle area initially (within 15 minutes or so)- and since I couldn't put any weight on it the EMTs took me to have x-rays. X-rays showed that nothing was broken. By that night swelling had increased a good bit around my ankle. They wrapped it with an ace bandage and gave me a "stirrup splint". They thought that I probably either stretched or possibly tore the ligaments. Doctors there said that by Wednesday swelling should be decreased and I should be able to start putting weight on it. They gave us a reccomendation of an orthopedic doctor but the soonest she could see me was on Monday.
They gave me two shots of morphine at the ER which didn't do anything for the pain. They sent me home with vicadin and I stopped taking that after finding that it didn't do anything for the pain either.
On Tuesday my ankle was still pretty swollen and my foot/toes were also swollen. Bruising started on my foot/ankle. Mainly the top of my foot just before my toes, and then on each side of my foot closer to my ankle. My mom called the Doctor back that saw me in the ER because this was the opposite of what they had said. She wanted me to be seen by my regular doctor to see what he thought.
He got me into an orthopedic doctor sooner (on Wednesday) and that was a lost cause. The guy came in, moved my foot and said "well she's probably damaged the whole thing" and said to keep it wrapped and splinted, and that he wanted to see me in 8-10 days. We made an appointment but we will probably see a different doctor because this one was really rude, but that's beside the point.

Now it's a week after the initial accident, my foot/ankle is still pretty swollen (but I think it's finally going down a bit). The bruising is really bad along both sides of my foot (near the ankle)- it's a deep purple color. There is still bruising up by my toes too. The pain isn't bad if I'm just sitting here, but I've tried to walk on it several times and it's not happening. I get a pain going through the inside of my ankle/foot, across the upper part of my foot (by the ankle) and then down the other side of my ankle/foot. If I twist my foot at all it also has a sharpish pain in similar areas, depending on how I have moved it.

We'll be calling two other *reccomended* orthopedic doctors to try and get me seen by one of them instead of going back to the guy I've already seen. I'm hoping to be able to walk by then, but if not, I'd assume they would reccomend an MRI or something?

My main question is: Does it sound like a ligament injury? Maybe a small fracture that the x-ray didn't catch? Something else?

If you've read through that whole thing... then thanks- I appreciate it! If not, well I don't really blame you;)

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6 Replies:

  • Bump... anyone have any ideas?
    AnnShh 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Did you have xrays done? I'd get another opinion if you continue to have swelling and bruising. Also consider acupuncture to help with the pain and speed the healing. Acupuncture is fantastic for most sports injuries! Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had x-rays done the day it happened of both my foot and ankle. The doctors there claimed that nothing was fractured. A few days later I saw my regular doctor who thought I might want another set of x-rays but to wait and see what the orthopedic doctor said. The orthopedic doctor didn't feel more x-rays were necessary. We were supposed to have a follow up with him on Friday but canceled and scheduled an appointment with another orthopedic dr who came reccomended by my riding trainer (the first ortho. doctor we saw was rude and unhelpful we thought). So hopefully I'll know more on Friday. I'll be asking the new orthopedic doctor what he thinks about getting more x-rays or an MRI if he doesn't suggest it on his own.
    AnnShh 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • Bruising and massive swelling tends to indicate a tendon or ligament tear. Do a web image search for "tendon ruptures" and you will see what I mean. It looks purple all along the tendon, like you describe. A normal sprained ankle will heal by itself, and a minor tendon or ligament tear would also - but probably not a serious tear. Is it bloody too? That would indicate a tear serious enoguh to have severed some blood vessels. This might require surgery, but first you have to get past all the doctors over there who just sound like they are hoping it will take care of itself. Do you feel any bundles of ligament or tendon bunch up abnormally anywhere? If one of these snapped totally, it would bunch up.
    Non Servium 85 Replies
    • September 18, 2008
    • 09:11 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks for the info. This topic was started in June and we fortunatly (and unfortunatly) found out what was going on. It turns out that the ER Doc missed the break and that it was indeed broken with several large sized bone chips. Surgery was the only option, and it was originally thought that I'd need pins and screws but once the doc got in he wasn't liking how it was holding together so he removed the chips and I was on crutches for a total of 8 weeks. I have been seeing every 2-4 weeks after the surgery. He doesn't suspect that there is a tear because I have been getting range of motion back slowly. I still do have some pain, particularly if I have been off of my feet for a while, but it usually works out so that it is not so painful. Some days are better than others. Right now we're just watching it, my PT and doc are both keeping close track of my progress etc. The thing that peeved me off was not only that the ER doc missed the break, which was so blantenly obvious on the x-ray (the doc saw it right away,and it was not hard for my mom and I to see either)... but that the ER doc suspected a torn ligament or tendon, yet did not send me for other tests and instead told me to "start walking on it in a few days". Oh well, that's pretty much over with now. I am at least able to walk and am well on my way to healing!
    AnnShh 4 Replies
    • September 19, 2008
    • 03:44 AM
    • 0
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  • Yours is a tragic story, unfortunately often repeated. It reminds us to INSIST on repeat X-rays. (And remember, sometimes a hairline fracture will only show up on an MRI, but yours was obvious). I find it hard to believe that your first orthopedic doc didn't repeat the films, even tho you asked him to.Glad you are getting better. Hope you will be back on the horses soon. :DMarionstar
    marionstar 228 Replies
    • September 19, 2008
    • 10:52 PM
    • 0
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