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pain in the ankle:(

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Back in September I broke my ankle (spiral to the fibula about 6″ above the ankle joint and a fracture to the medial malleolus) To summarize: Was put in cast for 5 weeks (since the breaks were in pretty good alignment), then air boot for 5 weeks, and then an air splint and PT.
I work in the travel industry and am on my feet a lot, so my initial treatment was in AK and at 7 weeks I moved and followed up with a new Ortho in TX.
The new Dr said he would have definitely suggested surgery to fix the breaks, but the conservative method seems to be working but taking longer to heal.
I am still having major pain especially all around the medial malleolus when I turn my ankle, mainly when I turn it outward there is sharp pain. There is still light bruising, and no noticeable swelling, I’m about 16 weeks now.
I do remember that when the original cast/splint from the ER was taken off in the office, the inside of my ankle had a huge knot and was very bruised.
PT has helped with my range of motion, but not with the pain.
Now I am starting to have pain on the outside of my ankle and around the back.
I can walk on it for short distances with usually no pain (unless I turn it “wrong”).
My Ortho decided to put me on anti-inflammatory and forgo the PT to see if that would help for a couple of weeks.
It isn’t helping.
He mentioned getting a CT.
I think he thinks my medial malleolus isn’t healing, but I feel like it has do to with ligaments or something like that.
He did do stress x-rays last visit, but they didn’t seem to show anything.
Anyways, I called to see if we could go ahead and get the CT set up before my next appointment and he said I could, but he suggests to wait until next appt. (in a week) so we can discuss . . . who knows what.
Do you have any possible answers of what the problem could be, or questions that I can ask him.
I also made an appointment with a DPM next week for a . . . 3rd opinion.
I am really getting annoyed by all this.
I’ve put work on hold so I can get this taken care of.
I realize ankle injuries can take a very long time to heal, but I can only “not work” for so long.
Any help or answers would be greatly appreciated!!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Sorry, thought of one other thing, I know this is kind of a weird question with you being a DPM and all, but is it better to let a DPM do surgery on the ankle over having an Orthopedic Surgeon do the work? Or does it really matter?My Physical Therapist said a few weeks ago “If you have to have surgery you should go to a DPM for it because they pay more attention to the details on the ankle and foot” I believe that to be true for the most part, after all that is your specialty, but shouldnt Orthos do just as good? Thanks again for any help you can provide!!I think I have been doing too much research on the subject and dont know what to think anymore after the 4 months it’s been going on!

  2. Thanks for your help! At my ortho appointment on Wed, we did more x-rays and they still showed that the medial malleolus looks like it isnt in the right place. My Dr. took the x-rays to a DPM in the building to see what he thought, and they came to the conclusion that I probably have a non union of the medial mal, and also mentioned that the fibula healed slightly out of alignment and made it around a centimeter shorter than it was originally. Still wanted the CT to get a better look, so we went ahead with that today. From looking at the scans myself (of course I am the farthest thing away from an expert on reading these things Thank you so much for your time and help!! I really appreciate what you do!!

  3. When you go get another opinion, I recommend you bring copies of the x-rays that have been done previously. I would probably get a MRI over a CT because soft tissue will show up better. If you have a delayed or non-union fracture, a bone stimulator might be a thought. As far as pain control goes, a galvanic stimulator would help pump out the swelling as well as help with the pain. You might ask your doctor about this. I use a SPORTX from Rehabilicare. They are wonderful.

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