Posted by: Candice Gibson | 2011-07-12

Ankle Injury not healing after 4 months

Brief History of my injury:
In or about mid February 2011, I was in a step class at the gym and i came off my step and " twisted"  my ankle as per say. It was fine for the first three days and then proceeded to swell and bruise.

I thought that physio would do the trick and i went for 3 sessions (with ultra sound and electric therapy), but i saw no improvement, and if anything it felt worse than before. I think it was round about the end of March, I made an appointment to go and see a Podiatrist (Jessica Spence from Rehab Matters in Rivonia). I was told by her that it was most properly a torn tendon or pulled muscle, and it was strapped up with strapping and after a week received an ankle boot.

In the meantime, I was taking anti-inflammatory’ s, applying transact patches on each side of my ankle both morning and evening and icing my ankle whenever possible (as per Jessica''s instructions to me).

After wearing the ankle boot etc, my ankle was still very painful and still swollen. Jessica referred me to a lady at the Centre for Sports Medicine (Bev Roos) where I had an ultrasound. The ultrasound came back clear. I was then referred to Dr Andrew Barrow at the Sunninghill hospital (orthopaedic surgeon). He had a look and sent me for an x-ray of my ankle and my calf (and still nothing showed up).

I was then sent for a MRI scan where once again nothing serious could be seen. The only thing that came up was that I had some liquid on the joint (i think " effusion"  is the word that was used).

2 weeks after the MRI I was advised that the liquid should be drained and that a cortisone injection be administered as the the swelling remained, as did the pain. This was done on 21 June 2011. I was told that this procedure would fix it completely and be the answer to my recovery.

I went to the coast and was merely walking on the beach (weekend of 2 July 2011) and my ankle swelled up and is now extremely painful again.

Yesturday (11 July 2011) i went to another orthopaedic surgeon for a seconf opinion and he had a look at my MRI scan and Xray. He said that he could alos see no serious damage or anything besides for the small infusion as mentioned above. He gave me 2 cortozone shots and said i must call him on friday and let hm know how it is goin.

I am beginning to feel quite desperate as to whether my ankle will ever be fixed. I have not gone to gym in 4 months as a result of it, I have been extremely careful with it, spent thousands of rands trying to fix it and still no positive results.

Please can you give me some advice that i coulf follow that may help this heal.

Thank you.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageOrthopaedic Specialist Forum

It appears that you have done all the necessary investigations but still no definite diagnosis. Unfortunately this can be rather elusive in certain condition and often needs a fresh perspective or specialised opinion. Fortunately in Gauteng we have 3 very good specialised foot and ankle surgeons. DRs Saragas and O'brien in JHB and DR Ferreira in PTA. I would recommend seeing one of them as it has been going on long enough.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Dr Jason Crane (foot and ankle surgeon) | 2011-08-07

Dear Candice

I worry about either an injury to your cartilage or ankle instability. A MRI is only 80% sensitive. A ankle arthroscopy (key hole) surgery can be considered to diagnose the cause and treat it.

Kind Regards
Jason Crane

Reply to Dr Jason Crane (foot and ankle surgeon)

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