Wellness Wednesday #29: Ankle Update

buttonRemember when I sprained my ankle? Like, back in late August? Been a long time since then. About nine months, in fact. Things were getting better at one point. I had some Airrosti therapy appointments in November that helped, and my doc gave me some strengthening exercises to improve function even more. I changed shoes, which also helped. I still had occasional pain, and my foot grew stiff after I exercised, but I was healing. Until April.

Over the last couple months, I’ve developed pain in a different area of the foot, a spreading burning sensation radiating out from the underside of the outer ankle. The top of my foot was painful to the touch. When I exercised, I’d get so stiff and sore that I’d have to hobble around for days afterwards. If I instead rested it for several days, I’d start getting random shooting pains through it every time I put pressure on it (even just sitting it flat on the ground with no weight on it). I tried different physical therapy exercises, massages, ice, stretches, chiropractic, and more, but nothing worked. Six months after my last Airrosti visits, I went back in.

05 airrostiThe news grew worse. My doc examined my foot/ankle. It was stable, and there was no extra scar tissue or kinking of the fascia to iron out. He worked on the entire leg all the way up to the hip and lower back, just in case the pain was referred (I do have extremely tight IT bands). There was a possibility, he said, that the pain in my foot was because the muscles there were overcompensating for something the leg was supposed to do. More likely, though, I had a tear in the ligament and needed an MRI. If there was a tear, I would likely need surgery or to at least be booted and immobile for 12 weeks. Sob.

He told me to ice my lower back on that side. My lower back didn’t hurt any, but I followed the instruction, and two days later, I woke up with my foot feeling fine and my lower back hurting. I had a massage scheduled that day, and my therapist said the muscles in my lower back were super tight. She did a release technique on them (extremely painful) but when she was done, neither foot nor back hurt. Suddenly, I had hope. Maybe it wasn’t a tear. Maybe my stupidly tight legs/hips/back were just causing my foot to overwork itself.

In the two weeks since then, I’ve been testing different exercises, and I’ve gone back to my Airrosti appointments. Some exercises do cause me to get sore/stiff, but with some new therapy exercises, that goes away after a day (yay!). During my second Airrosti appointment, my doc continued to work all the way up my leg/hip/back, then discharged me. If it flares up again in the future (hopefully not!!), I’ll go in for an MRI, but I’m hoping with the right strengthening, PT exercises, and massage, I can be fully healed soon!!

PS – An update also on the kidney stone issue: it passed, all is well, and the imagine doesn’t show other stones, so I’m in the clear for now at least!

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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4 Responses to Wellness Wednesday #29: Ankle Update

  1. Kristen M. says:

    Argh. This is something I’ve totally been dealing with lately too. I had hip pain last year that was so bad I couldn’t walk and had to quit my gym. I went to PT and found out it was due to extremely tight IT bands and glutes. Now, I’m having referring pain from tight calves and shins into my knee and heels. My heels are full of burning, shooting pains. I spend a lot of time in the evening either icing or heating and massaging my legs. And this is all from 1.5-2 miles of walking (granted, in a very hilly neighborhood). I have started wondering if there is something I can do dietarily to make this better. A weekly massage would probably help too but I don’t have the time or money to make that happen. All of this to say that I hope you figure your pain out and make it go away!


    • Amanda says:

      It’s really weird how all those things are connected. I’m doing new exercises and fascia release techniques all the time to try to get those muscles to loosen. The days when I had the kidney stone, I was resting constantly, and couldn’t do any exercises, so when I got up and started walking around again, my ankle started twinging. Stupid stupid stupid. But at least it’s fixable now…


  2. Michelle says:

    I am keeping my fingers crossed that you are able to avoid that MRI as well as surgery and a boot. I know it really sucks that your back is causing ankle pain, but I perversely find it fascinating how the two are connected. I also wonder how many doctors would have made the connection.


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