Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Ankle problems... Any ideas?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • October 16, 2008
  • 01:54 AM


Several years ago I severely sprained my ankle (and, in an act of necessity, walked approx. 10km on it through rocky, uneven terrain during a hike, as we were in the middle of nowhere). It was diagnosed as a severe sprain, kept off it as best I could, and the pain went away. All good.

In mid-August I tripped over myself and cranked my ankle in a very odd way due to uneven sidewalk. No pain, no swelling, nothing that day, but I stayed off it. The very next day it was minor pain, so I stayed off it as best I could. Same for the day after that. Third day it was swollen and hurt so badly on the outside of the ankle, a few inches above the joint, that I could not put the ankle down on even a soft surface.

Stayed off it, iced it, the usual. Unfortunately I was not anywhere where I could obtain the services of a doctor; and a few days later I had to again walk ridiculous distances on said ankle out of necessity (I have poor timing when it comes to injuring myself in inconvenient locales). I wore an ankle support to try to minimize issues; the ankle was swollen and bruised on the outside the next day. The bruising I may be able to attribute to the ankle support; at no other points throughout all of this has any bruising been experienced.

Got to a doctor, finally, who looked at it, examined the history, poked it a bit (ignoring the area of pain, approximately a few inches above the joint, despite deliberate pointing this out), diagnosed it as a torn ligament and after offering to write me a prescription for painkillers, sent me on my merry way with no further advice, other than to suggest that arthritis may be in my future. I asked him if there was any treatment he recommended, such as wearing an ankle brace for a little while? And he said "no".

A few weeks later this injury is still bugging me, and some Google-fu has led me to believe that hey, ankle injuries take time, so I should just chill. However, one night it returned to the same level of pain it had been about... Six weeks earlier, where I could not touch the outside of the ankle without severe pain. Went to another doctor for a second, unbiased opinion, and he promptly sent me for xrays, which turned out clear.

Fast forward a few weeks. I have to walk fairly considerable distances (a km or two) to get to various places throughout the day, this is non-negotiable. This is also causing me aggravation and pain in that ankle. An ankle support helps, but didn't really offer enough support; investing in an ankle brace seems to have helped the issue. It doesn't appear to be swollen, isn't overly sensitive (but hurts when touched), and the range of motion doesn't seem to be too different than usual. It's just the joint, up to about a few inches further up that seem to bother me. It's just... sore and painful, as if I'd sprained it a few days ago, or used it to find furniture in the dark.

However, it is closing on two months or more and this hasn't cleared up. Any suggestions? My Googling of various things is not getting me anywhere, and I'd like to try to have a few ideas before I start harassing doctors again, because they tend to get dismissive. :(

So far they've at least ruled out any obvious, x-ray detectable breaks in the foot and to about halfway up my shin; as checked by at least one doctor and one radiologist.

Any suggestions? Is it normal for these sorts of things to last so long? Care suggestions?

Any and all ideas or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks. :)

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