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Medical Reasons why my ankle might be acting up

  1. Sep 8, 2009 #1
    I'm not looking for a medical evaluation as to why this might be happening, and if it keeps up I intend on seeing a doctor.. I just want a few educated opinions on the matter.

    Lets start with the back story first...

    As a kid from the time I started walking I was always an active child. I was always outside running around, or climbing trees, or running/hiking through the wooks/corn fields around neighborhood. On top of that, when I got to the right age, and after trying t-ball for a year or two. This was boring to me, because they made us play the positions like a real baseball team, and at that age I could throw from the outfield to home plate in the air the whole way with accuracy. This was a problem because the coach always, ALWAYS put me in the outfield, and no one at that age could hit that far. Well, I got bored and decided to try soccer. I became a HUGE avid soccer player, but not a hardcore one because those leagues and the people in them were too hardcore for me, and there was no sportsmanship. I'm the type of player that will help someone on the other team up if I knock them down.

    But anyway, I played soccer from then on for about 9 years, indoor and outdoor. In the process of my childhood, because of how active I was and the sport I played, I've sprained both of my ankles more times than I can even begin to count.

    Well, for the past week or two, my ankle has been acting up and it feels like I've sprained it. It isn't swollen very much, or bruised at all, but I don't know what is causing it to hurt all of the sudden. I'm no more active than I have been for the past couple years, but this is the first time it's been acting up like this.

    The only reasons I can think of are maybe because the ligaments and cushioning for my ankle in the joint is damaged/deteriorated from the activeness and how many times I have sprained it. The only problem is... Why now when I'm not doing anything differently? And why only in the past couple weeks? You would think that if that was the case, it would have been acting up for a long time, not just now, and it just doesn't seem like that's the case because of that...

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2009 #2


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    (moved thread from GD to Medical Sciences)

    Possibly tendonitis, gout, arthritis, infection, or something else. How old are you? Are you taking anything for it?

    It's worth a non-emergent visit with your GP doctor to have it looked at. I've had a couple of times in the past where I had changed something in my workout / other routines, and didn't realize it, and it resulted in tendonitis flaring up. My doc is a great doc, and also an athlete, so he is able to figure stuff like this out pretty quickly. Your doc should be able to set your mind at ease, and help you figure out what to change (or what meds to use) to get you back to running comfortably soon.
  4. Sep 8, 2009 #3

    Chi Meson

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    So many little parts of the foot can get sprained. Any one of the dozens of tendons and ligaments in the foot can be damaged by a single activity if it is unusual. They can be overstretched, sheaths can be worn through, they can cause the bone to fracture. THe one thing they have in common, they take a while to fully heal. Running around in surf did in my achilles a few years back. My wife ran ONE, Single, 100-mile race, and now one of her anterior talofibular ligaments is a little achy.

    She's not typical.

    Anyway, ice is the usual treatment. If you have insurance, you should see an MD to refer you to a physical therapist. A little ultrasound does wonders for tendons. It increases blood flow to the area and speeds up healing 2 to 10 times.
  5. Sep 8, 2009 #4
    I'm 22, and it's been about 3 or 4 years since I've really run around or done anything overly active, basically since the league that I played soccer for wouldn't let me play anymore cause of my age (cut-off age is 18). But nothing has really changed. The only things I'm really doing for it is we have a pain relief cream that I've used a couple times, but that doesn't help. It doesn't do anything for it. Aside from that, taking advil when it gets really bad. I've intended on wrapping it for a while, but I only just got an ace bandage a couple days ago, so I'm going to start doing that tonight and see if it helps.

    Yeah if it keeps acting up like this I'm going to go see a doctor about it and get it evaluated.

    Would a heating pad help at all? There's no real swelling to speak of, and I thought that's what ice helped with. Aside from that, I do have insurance, and I'd love to see a physical therapist, but at the moment I don't know that we can afford that because my wife and I just had a baby a little over a month ago.

    Aside from that, I'm thinking it's more along the lines of the tendons/ligaments, or the padding in the joint of my ankle deteriorating, solely because, as I stated above, I've used pain relief cream on it and it had 0 effect. It didn't even help a little bit.

    Also, to add a little more information to it, I've generally when I've sprained my ankles, almost every time I'd get that nasty "pop!" sound from my ankle twisting and spraining. I'm just confused as to why, after so many years, and doing nothing different in my routine, it's only been acting up in the past 2-3 weeks. If anything else was the case I would think that it would have done this more often and more consistantly for the past 3 or 4 years.

    Thank you for the replies!
  6. Sep 8, 2009 #5

    Chi Meson

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    There's a time for ice and a time for heat. I'm only certain that you do NOT use a heating pad if there IS swelling already. Since there is not swelling, I'm thinking heating should be OK, but really, check it with a doctor in more detail.

    And you can also try naproxin ("Alleve"). It is similar to ibuprofin, but It works better for me when the achilles acts up.

    And how's your wife's teeth?
  7. Sep 8, 2009 #6
    if you've stretched the ligaments, that problem isn't just going to fix itself overnight. maybe never. tendons and ligaments aren't vascularized and take forever to heal. i'd do everything i could to keep the joint from going outside its normal range of motion.
  8. Sep 9, 2009 #7


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    Is it true that tendons aren't vascularized?


    How do meds like IB reduce their inflammation then? (just asking)
  9. Sep 9, 2009 #8
    maybe poorly-vascularized is better said.

    i think those papers about using vascularized tendons in reconstruction are referring to using using not only a replacement tendon (say from a cadaver), but also the sheath, which is vascular. see photos here: http://www.dr-bakhach.net/chirurplast6.php [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Sep 9, 2009 #9


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    Ah, thanks. I learned something.
  11. Sep 11, 2009 #10
    Up until last night perfectly fine... Then it flared up again. She called the doctor and made an appointment to get them checked out and figure out what can be done for Monday, so hopefully by then they'll be out! Thanks for asking :)

    For an update on my ankle:

    After wearing the ace bandage off and on for a few days, it seems to have helped. It only hurts a minute amount now. So I'm assuming that it was just a weird way that I bent or turned it at some point, or it was getting poor blood flow to the area, or a bit of both. But it seems like the ace bandage did the trick either way.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions!

    PS - I learned something too, I didn't know that tendons were only poorly vascularized either.
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