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Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What's the deal with my ankle?

Asked by Pied_Pfeffer (28141points) July 29th, 2015

About three months ago, I descended a ladder and missed the last step or two, landing improperly on the left foot. The pain in the ankle was minimal.

A week later, I noticed that it was swollen to the size of half a tennis ball. Based upon internet research, it is nothing more than a minor sprain. Time, elevation, icing it down and an ankle wrap has reduced the swelling, but not back to normal. Nor has the dull ache gone away completely.

While walking on uneven ground a few days ago, there was a sharper pain and the swelling increased.

For those of you who have experienced a sprained ankle, is there something that I should or should not be doing? Maybe I should be walking more? Will the swelling ever go away?

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16 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Is it bruised at all? I did it bad one time playing basketball. I went to the doctor after a few days. They said go easy on it for a few weeks. It was swollen all over and purple. Since it had been a few days they didn’t put me on crutches. It took about two weeks to recover.

JLeslie's avatar

You might want to get an xray to confirm it isn’t broken.

As long as it isn’t broken I would think wrap it in an ace bandage, and rest it. Maybe even buy a set of crutches at Walgreens to keep from putting pressure on it? A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon in Cordova if you don’t have a doctor, I’d be happy to call him for you if you need an appointment, but I think most GP’s would have an xray machine also, and can evaluate it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe There was never any bruising and very little pain. Just a dull ache off and on. The fact that it still persists, along with the swelling, is my concern.

@JLeslie It is highly doubtful that there is anything broken. This may be wrong, but the minimal amount of ache and occasional pain isn’t worth bothering a medical staff. The persistent swelling that comes and goes is more of a concern.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The ones I’ve had and seen other have were always extremely painful. Our basketball coach thought he was going to hurl from the pain. The swelling and minimal pain are strange. You might want to get it checked out. Something isn’t right with that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

If it’s still swelling after three months something is wrong and, yes, it is very much worth bothering medical staff over. That’s why they are there.

Coloma's avatar

You probably tore a ligament and re-injured it again. I’d get an xray just to be safe. I have the same issue, minus the swelling, but I have severely sprained my left ankle several times over the years and it is weak. I have to be careful or I can strain it and it will flare up again.

Pandora's avatar

It may be time to get a cast on that. Go see a doctor.

johnpowell's avatar

I skateboarded for 20 years and have many freakishly sized ankles over the years. They just take forever to heal. And even when they look and feel good it takes very little for them to get bad again.

But still see a doctor. It won’t take long and at least you will get some peace of mind from having a smart person look at it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you all for the advice. The swelling is back down to almost normal…just a bit of squishy fluid build-up around the ankle. A couple of short hikes on uneven ground over the weekend aggravated it. Therapeutic exercises found online seem to be helping, along with keeping it elevated while sitting and the elastic wrap. I just waited too long to act on it.

If there was any sharp or severe pain, I would make a doctor’s appt. I’ve done it before for a broken toe and a sprained wrist. Those hurt more than this does and netted nothing more than a set of x-rays and a wrap. I just don’t want to end up with a fat ankle. :)

Coloma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer You can also get an ankle brace. Made of kinda a wetsuit type, spongy, thick material that you slip your foot through. Not suitable for wearing shoes but you can wear it with sandals or just walking around barefoot or in socks.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Coloma Thanks for the recommendation. An online search shows that they are sold at the nearby pharmacy. I’ll swing by and pick one up today. They look like they will provide more support than what is currently being used.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Coloma I bought one of the supports you recommended, only this one wraps around the ankle and is adhered by Velcro straps. This is the second day wearing it (with it removed overnight), and there hasn’t been a twinge of pain, even after walking down all of the aisles at the grocery store. Thank you so much for the tip.

Coloma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Oh great! I’ve been out of town the last couple days visiting my daughter, but yes, they make a world of difference! Soldier on, getting old old not for wussies. lol

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Update: The ankle is pretty much back to normal. Thanks again, @Coloma. There is still a bit of a swollen, squishy bump, but the pain rarely flares up. Even then, it’s just a dull ache in the evening if over exerted during the day. I still use the brace if I’m going out on a long walk.

Growing older has its benefits, but not when it comes to the healing process.

Coloma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Glad you’re on the mend, yep, the old parts are wearing out. I have two wonky fingers on my left hand, too many years of letting my fingers do the walking, er, grasping, lifting, carrying, dishes, raking, on and on. I need finger braces. haha

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