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    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #1

    Apr 21, 2016, 09:11 AM
    Bad Ankle Sprain, pain suddenly stopped
    Long story short, I sprained my ankle Saturday. Xrays show that it's been fractured twice before (without my awareness - it had been diagnosed as "sprained" both prior times). There is a healed hairline fracture from one incident, and some bone fragments out of place from the other. I twist it few times a year - a hassle but nothing dramatic.

    I have had some issues with this ankle for years but nothing more than an occasional nuisance. Sometimes it will lock up a bit, feel "crunchy" and hurt to walk on. I'll take a break, wiggle it around until it feel like it's back in place and carry on with my day. Other times, it will swell up for no apparent reason without any pain, I will put some ice on it and by morning, it's fine.

    Anyway, this current sprain hurt like hell for a day - could not bear weight at all. Once it was splinted and iced and I took the pain pills, it was tolerable. By the next day, minor pain (with no meds). By the time (two and a half days post accident) I followed up my ER visit with a trip to the Orthopedic surgeon, it felt fine. He assured me that it is not fine, ordered me to stay in the boot, keep most weight off of it (crutches and knee scooter - I work in the city and normally walk several miles a day) and he scheduled surgery to clean it out and tighten the ligaments. It is now five days out, I'm using all of this crazy gear (boot, smaller boot to sleep in, ice three times a day, crutches for short distances, knee scooter to get to and from my daily train through the city streets) but it feels fine, and I'm set for surgery in a week. I feel like a fraud!

    Can it be that I need surgery but feel fine? The surgeon said that this is not unusual to feel less pain when a joint has been battered as much as this ankle - he said the ligaments are so over-stretched they are used to it - but that if I don't get it repaired and keep rolling it and what not, next time I will probably break it badly, so I'd best not put off the repairs. It makes sense intellectually but I feel like such a big baby faker, and wanted some other people's insight - have you been through this, or are you a medical person who would know something about this situation?
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Apr 21, 2016, 12:05 PM
    Trust me.. the human body for some people has a rather bizarre way being able to block certain types of pain that should be magnitudes of order worse than pain you do feel acutely but it doesn't.

    Personal experience... though I didn't exactly feel fine... I shouldn't have felt anywhere near as well as I did.

    Trust your doctor, or get a second opinion....but blowing it off can have serious consequences.

    Some things take significant surgery just to get a portion back that immediate surgery could have come much closer to curing before scar tissue forms.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #3

    Apr 21, 2016, 03:27 PM
    Similar story here. Hairline fractures can be so fine that many radiologists don't even detect them on Xray. And tiny bone chips too. I think I had one or more back in the 70s, and my foot hurt for 10+ years.

    Put a big mirror on the floor and watch your feet as you jump rope, or set up a video. That's when I saw that one ankle always bends sideways.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #4

    Apr 22, 2016, 03:10 AM
    Yes. Everything can feel fine and look fine to an untrained eye, with no pain but still need surgery. Carry on with doctor's orders or you are going to regret it the rest of your life. Get it fixed properly.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,009, Reputation: 10852
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    #5

    Apr 22, 2016, 04:15 AM
    When in doubt get a second opinion, and take care to choose a specialist who isn't a surgeon.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #6

    May 13, 2016, 04:49 PM
    Thanks, all. Had surgery. It was broken in three places, bone fragmrnts from old fractures, tendon was 75 percent torn from the bone, ligaments were torn and over stretched and post surgery, I was told that had I not had the surgery, he could not have gotten me out of the orthopedic boot - at all. So advice to listen to the doctor proved wise.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #7

    May 13, 2016, 05:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    Long story short, I sprained my ankle Saturday. Xrays show that it's been fractured twice before (without my awareness - it had been diagnosed as "sprained" both prior times). There is a healed hairline fracture from one incident, and some bone fragments out of place from the other. I twist it few times a year - a hassle but nothing dramatic.

    I have had some issues with this ankle for years but nothing more than an occasional nuisance. Sometimes it will lock up a bit, feel "crunchy" and hurt to walk on. I'll take a break, wiggle it around until it feel like it's back in place and carry on with my day. Other times, it will swell up for no apparent reason without any pain, I will put some ice on it and by morning, it's fine.

    Anyway, this current sprain hurt like hell for a day - could not bear weight at all. Once it was splinted and iced and I took the pain pills, it was tolerable. By the next day, minor pain (with no meds). By the time (two and a half days post accident) I followed up my ER visit with a trip to the Orthopedic surgeon, it felt fine. He assured me that it is not fine, ordered me to stay in the boot, keep most weight off of it (crutches and knee scooter - I work in the city and normally walk several miles a day) and he scheduled surgery to clean it out and tighten the ligaments. It is now five days out, I'm using all of this crazy gear (boot, smaller boot to sleep in, ice three times a day, crutches for short distances, knee scooter to get to and from my daily train through the city streets) but it feels fine, and I'm set for surgery in a week. I feel like a fraud!

    Can it be that I need surgery but feel fine? The surgeon said that this is not unusual to feel less pain when a joint has been battered as much as this ankle - he said the ligaments are so over-stretched they are used to it - but that if I don't get it repaired and keep rolling it and what not, next time I will probably break it badly, so I'd best not put off the repairs. It makes sense intellectually but I feel like such a big baby faker, and wanted some other people's insight - have you been through this, or are you a medical person who would know something about this situation?
    Dear don't, just get it over and done with !
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #8

    May 14, 2016, 12:16 PM
    I did - recovering from surgery now. Thanks.

    I learned thatbabsence of pain and swelling after a serious sprain can be an indication that it's just so damaged, it doesn't respond normally any longer.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #9

    May 16, 2016, 08:46 AM
    I severely broke my ankle 6 years ago this month and asked the doctor right before surgery how much pain would I be in after surgery. I mistakenly read horror stories from people who had their ankle put back together. She asked me how much pain I had been in. It had been a week since the break. I told her next to none and she told me it would be the same during recovery. There was some discomfort right after surgery but that didnít last at all.

    Also I sprained my ankle severely when I was a senior in high school, a week before our district tournament to see who would go to the state championships. The doctor told me not to walk on it for 10 days. Two days later the pain left and I was able to move. I played in that tournament and won it.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #10

    May 16, 2016, 05:58 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver2011 View Post
    I severely broke my ankle 6 years ago this month and asked the doctor right before surgery how much pain would I be in after surgery. I mistakenly read horror stories from people who had their ankle put back together. She asked me how much pain I had been in. It had been a week since the break. I told her next to none and she told me it would be the same during recovery. There was some discomfort right after surgery but that didnít last at all.

    Also I sprained my ankle severely when I was a senior in high school, a week before our district tournament to see who would go to the state championships. The doctor told me not to walk on it for 10 days. Two days later the pain left and I was able to move. I played in that tournament and won it.

    I can believe it. My surgeon had a pre-printed full color brochure for patients who were considering ankle reconstruction and there was a whole paragraph about "I feel like a faker even getting surgery - it hurt when I did this, but stopped hurting so fast. It seems perfectly fine now!" But then he also showed me how far he could easily turn my foot under compared to the other one and that it didn't hurt at all. He said, "see, this is a problem - you have no stability and you're going to keep spraining it, keep breaking it. I can fix it now. It can be done clean and neat. But if you have a big, major messy break, which is likely sooner or later if you keep twisting it like this, then we're trying to figure out something new depending on how it breaks."

    I've had very little pain after surgery as well. I also read the stories, expected complete agony. I took some pills after surgery for a few days because I was advised to take them on a regimented schedule. Doing that prevented me from ever experiencing more than minor pain.

    We will see how it feels in physical therapy. I did have pain when they put the full cast on a week post-surgery because they had to put it in a right angle. Didn't last long though.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #11

    May 17, 2016, 04:03 AM
    Reading the stories before surgery I consider one of the most stupid events in my life.

    And what about crutches? They were the worst and something I wish not to repeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    I can believe it. My surgeon had a pre-printed full color brochure for patients who were considering ankle reconstruction and there was a whole paragraph about "I feel like a faker even getting surgery - it hurt when I did this, but stopped hurting so fast. It seems perfectly fine now!" But then he also showed me how far he could easily turn my foot under compared to the other one and that it didn't hurt at all. He said, "see, this is a problem - you have no stability and you're going to keep spraining it, keep breaking it. I can fix it now. It can be done clean and neat. But if you have a big, major messy break, which is likely sooner or later if you keep twisting it like this, then we're trying to figure out something new depending on how it breaks."

    I've had very little pain after surgery as well. I also read the stories, expected complete agony. I took some pills after surgery for a few days because I was advised to take them on a regimented schedule. Doing that prevented me from ever experiencing more than minor pain.

    We will see how it feels in physical therapy. I did have pain when they put the full cast on a week post-surgery because they had to put it in a right angle. Didn't last long though.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #12

    May 19, 2016, 12:55 AM
    Oliver - I agree with you about crutches! I was so dangerous on them, especially immediately post-op. Being kind of groggy and on meds those first days, I was clumsy and had a couple of near falls. Fortunately my cousin is a physical therapist and encouraged me to try a walker. I hopped on one foot with the walker and it was way more stable for me. Outside the house I used a knee scooter, and am still using it for my commute and at the office. I only went back to crutches when I could be partial weight bearing, for very short distances. Still, all these methods are precarious to a degree. I actually kicked a door frame accidentally with my good foot the other day at home while using my scooter - I should have had a shoe on. So now, I ALSO have a broken toe on my "good" foot. My surgeon taped it up and said secondary injuries are common because mobility is so awkward.

    I would advise anyone going through this to gear up! Cast cover and chair, grip bar and hand-held shower head for the shower; knee scooter if you have any longer distances to travel, well-equipped (buy the gel padding for the pit pads and hand grips - I got a little pocket for mine that will hold small things like a phone or keys). And line up help - have someone stay with you, help with meals and shopping, dog walker, get a maid a few times. It's expensive but you just cannot do much. I am three weeks post op and everything is still difficult.
    Oliver2011's Avatar
    Oliver2011 Posts: 2,606, Reputation: 746
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    #13

    May 19, 2016, 03:53 AM
    Oh wow. Mine was 6 years ago this month. I am an athlete and usually play a sport daily. When this happened I got really depressed because I am not a sit all the time type of person. Then I was passing someone who was missing half a leg and was destined to be on crutches forever maybe. I suddenly felt less sorry for myself. I also vowed if I ever saw someone shopping on crutches to stop and help that person. Itís only happened once so far. But in the end crutches sent me to another building at work and led to me meeting my future spouse. So there was a silver lining after all.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #14

    May 31, 2016, 02:38 PM
    I guess this happens more than you would think, Oliver. My friend had a hip replacement surgery and a close friend moved into her guest room to help her with meals and things like that for a few weeks, and to take her to work because they worked for the same company. They had been friends for years - after this experience though, when he moved out, she moved with him back to his larger and nicer house and they got married.

    So far, I've not fallen in ankle-surgery love yet, lol. Some people have been very kind and helpful and some people have been amazingly obnoxious. My local cell phone store - ugh - they wouldn't even grab the door for me and I was carrying a heavy bag of equipment to return and they wouldn't help with the bag, hassled me over the return, made me stand (on one foot) for ages while they jerked around wasting time. Arghh! And Metra in Chicago - conductors weren't attentive to whether they needed to use the lift or not for handicapped passengers. Left me behind once, nearly took me to the rail yard another day because they disappeared on arrival instead of coming to help me off the train. Each of this instances, they blamed me - as if I could chase after them at the far end of a two-block long train to come and help me. Some people are jerks in every situation, I guess.

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