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Ankle Swelling

PierreBear

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Hi PS Friends,

I just came back from the DR, feeling a bit devastated. My right ankle has been swelling up for some unknown reason as I can't recall rolling on it or feeling any pain. No major pain when I am walking and it seems to all go down after laying in bed with a night of sleep. However, I have a fear that even with some inflammatory medication and some physical therapy, the ankle issue will continue and I'll need to get surgery done. Apparently, I have flexible ankles as I was a swimmer growing up and and these floppy ankles are not good for running. My cartilage might be wearing out as I constantly "roll in" on my ankle?! I'm nervous. I'm scared. I have a trip overseas in November that we are traveling for and I have an active lifestyle training for races.

Anyone else has dealt through an issue like this? I know I should be thankful that all other health aspects are great. There are still many blessings but I can't seem to get past this immediate trial. Sorry for the downer post.
 

Queenie60

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My left ankle swells - due to a minor arthritis on the top of my foot. It doesn't hinder my activities. I am able to train, walk and do everything else. Try a tight ankle wrap to get the swelling down. May go away over time. Mine comes and goes and I have learned to live with it. I'm going on an airplane Sunday for a 5 hour flight and I take my ankle wrap so my swelling doesn't act up. good luck. :wavey:
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

Curious, was your Dr. a sports medicine specialist or a Orthopedic Specialist? Did you have an ultrasound of your ankles? What were the recommendations?

cheers--Sharon
 

PierreBear

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Queenie60|1476376476|4086691 said:
My left ankle swells - due to a minor arthritis on the top of my foot. It doesn't hinder my activities. I am able to train, walk and do everything else. Try a tight ankle wrap to get the swelling down. May go away over time. Mine comes and goes and I have learned to live with it. I'm going on an airplane Sunday for a 5 hour flight and I take my ankle wrap so my swelling doesn't act up. good luck. :wavey:
Thanks for sharing your experience Quennie! I'm glad you got a system that works for you and doesn't prevent you from doing the things you love. Good luck on your flight and may it be a smooth one!
 

PierreBear

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canuk-gal|1476377114|4086697 said:
HI:

Curious, was your Dr. a sports medicine specialist or a Orthopedic Specialist? Did you have an ultrasound of your ankles? What were the recommendations?

cheers--Sharon
Hi Sharon! Thanks for the thoughtful question. The DR was a sports medicine specialist. The option of doing an ultrasound of an ankle didn't even come up. We just did the Xray since she could do it onsite. With the xray not showing any major issues the options are:
1) Wear an ankle brace. Whew, things is sturdy but cumbersome. I don't know how I'm going to wear shoes...
2) Take anti-inflammatory medication.
3) Do physical therapy to strengthen ankle to avoid wearing the ankle brace.
4) Get an MRI for more information.
5) Surgery.

Right now, the plan of action is to do number 1, 2, and 3. Then I go back to the DR for a visit before our trip in November. If it doesn't get better, then I'm afraid it will be option 4 & 5.
 

Queenie60

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May I suggest a Podiatrist? Ankle swelling can be a sign that there's an issue with the foot. I was diagnosed by a foot/ankle specialist. Just a thought. Wishing you luck.
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

The option for surgery is odd since you presently have a diagnosis of an inflammation...for surgery for what?

Incidentally both my DH and son wear orthotics--both have very weak ankle ligaments (genetics). A podiatrist may help.

cheers--Sharon
 

PierreBear

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canuk-gal|1476383453|4086754 said:
HI:

The option for surgery is odd since you presently have a diagnosis of an inflammation...for surgery for what?

Incidentally both my DH and son wear orthotics--both have very weak ankle ligaments (genetics). A podiatrist may help.

cheers--Sharon
Hmm maybe it is genetic related. I do in fact have orthotics as well that I occasionally wear while I run. However, I interchange my shoes as well to allow my arch to strengthen etc...

The surgery would be to "shorten" the ligaments to prevent my ankles from being so "flexible." If I'm not mending, I'll def take the suggestion for a second opinion with a podiatrist! I appreciate everyone's thoughts and thoroughness.
 

PintoBean

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I had a friend who would do epsom salt soaks for her ankles swelling.
 

BeekeeperBetty

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Have they checked you for a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)? My father had one which actually ended up traveling up his leg and got lodged in his lung while he was sleeping. His only symptom was a swollen ankle and foot. Well, until it went to his lung, thankfully he happened to wake up because his chest hurt.

I have had superficial blood clots in my legs and they cause swelling as well. Or it would be an autoimmune issue. I have all kinds of nutso swelling from mine.

You say you have floppy ankles, have they tested you for hypermobility syndrome? I have this as well, and it causes joint injury and pain, but not swelling, IME.
 

ksinger

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Hypermobiliy seriously sucks. I have those ankles too and a swelling on my left ankle. I will be following this thread later, after I'm off the road.
 

PierreBear

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PintoBean – I will try the salt soaking but in the past, it seemed easier to grab a pack of ice then get the water going. Thanks for the suggestion!
Monach64 – Pretty hard to do with an IUD and as it is only on one ankle, I think I can rule this one out! Lucky for my cat that he still gets all the attention!
BeekeeperBetty – I asked the physical therapist today and thrombosis would be more likely if more areas of my ankle/calf muscles were swollen. Sorry to hear about your father but glad that it only went to his lungs.
Ksinger – I hope you share your experiences and treatments when you are back.

Quick update: I just went to a physical therapist that treats a lot of runners and triathletes, which is similar to my own lifestyle. I’m feeling better about the situation but I suppose only time will tell. Sharing their input in case it helps other people… the PT watched me walk, pushed on my ankles and legs to test strength, and watch my running vides of me on the treadmill. I have weak glutes and floppy ankles so my right foot oh so slightly externally rotates while my right knee collapses. All this to say that when I have these subtly things happen over and over again, weight bearing while I am active, things can happen to my body that irritates it. Since I can’t recall the actual point in time that I “sprained” my ankle, she thinks that the tension/irritation built up in my right foot and something just pushed my ankle over the edge and “jammed it.” She used the analogy that when you catch a ball sometimes you can just accidentally jam your finger. So I’m going to do some exercises in addition to the ones I do daily to work on my glutes and hopefully the swelling will go away in conjunction with the inflammatory medicine. I know physical therapist will tend to think that exercises are the way to go but the physician will go down the path of thinking towards cartilage damage and possible surgery. Anyhow, I’m willing to try anything before going to the route of surgery.

Just curious for those who talked about hypermobility. What is the treatment for that issue? Is it also performing exercises? Though my pain isn’t at the joint and is more at the tendon area. Good luck to all and their health issues!
 

BeekeeperBetty

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Actually, blood clots going to the lungs are often fatal. My dad threw a huge clot, and if he hadn't woken up right when he did he would have died then. The ER docs said most people don't wake up. He ended up passing a couple of years later due to cancer, but his leg was never the same after that.

This is the hypermobility that I have: http://www.ehlersdanlosnetwork.org/hypermobility.html It's a collagen disorder. There's no real treatment for it, but keeping your muscles strong will help your body compensate for for the loose joints. I try to keep up with weight bearing exercises and yoga.
 

ksinger

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Hi! Finally back from my trip. Where we go is actually mostly out of cell range, and a computer is too much of a hassle, so we just enjoy the quiet. :)

OK. First I have hyperflexible ankles - I can straighten my legs, lock my knees and turn my feet in and clap them like a seal. This might sound amusing, but as anyone with floppy ankles knows, it really isn’t. Doctors typically cringe when I demonstrate. I’ve turned both ankles, but mostly the left, more times than I can remember, and I’ve had “flat feet” from birth (not really flat, just bad/loose ligaments) and consequently, foot problems all my life.

Fast forward to now, and in the last few years I’ve developed a lump on the inner side of my ankle, behind the ankle bone and the heel. For a while it didn’t hurt, just looked a bit lumpy - up and down. But lately, I’ve started having aching pain up to the knee, so apparently there is a nerve impinged somewhere, sometimes. But not all the time.

But enough about me. Here is my advice. (I hope it is worth a bit more than you’re going to pay for it)


If you’re suffering from true “loose ligaments” or benign joint hypermobility, and there is a test for it (non-invasive), then you have a defect of collagen, like BKB.
This wikipedia link says it has some “problems”, but it’s not too bad and a jumping off point for more reading it you’re interested.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypermobility_(joints)#Beighton_score

I, and probably you, are at the mild end of those types of genetic defects, Ehlers-Danlos, that BKB has, can be more severe. Then there is Marfan’s Syndrome, also not good.

Since you probably do have congenitally weak ankles, do not delude yourself that you can strengthen those ligaments into something other than what they are. I would wear those orthotics as much as possible, because your ligaments are not going to heal as well as a normal person’s would, no matter what you do. Nor do ligaments heal as quickly as you get older. So save the wear and tear. I can only imagine how different some aspects of my life would have been, had I had custom orthotics much sooner. I also would avoid surgery on my feet as strenuously as possible. Only do this as a last resort. IMO, most foot surgery - like repairs for “flat” feet, are a lot like back surgery - dicey at best. Like others here, I would strongly suggest a good podiatrist.

It sounds like you’re doing the right thing, staying as fit as possible, but you really may have to adjust your fitness regimen to get away from anything high impact. Back to the pool, I’m thinking!! ;-)

Good luck, and I hope you can find a good doc. Just don’t let them cut you unless you’ve gotten several opinions and rock-solid reasons, OK?
 
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