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Messed up Ankle??

by Volleyball player who is desperate to get this injury fixed.
(saint louis, MO)

i sprained my ankle about almost three weeks ago in volleyball. I swelled up and bruised. The bruising went away but the swelling never did. I went to the doctor and they just said a sprained ligament and to wear a brace for a week and no sports for a week. It still hurts and is still very swollen. When i go up stairs or just certain movements it feels like something is moving or this ripping sensation. It pops more loudly than usual. Also om the left side of my foot/ankle there is a knot or lump it is hard when i touch it it feels numb. Also i feel that its there when i walk.


RESPONSE
Hi,
It would seem to me that there is more going on that just a simple ankle sprain. If all these sensations you mention are new since the accident then the ankle and probably the surrounding ligaments and tendons are not functioning correctly.
You do not mention what type of doctor you went to, but unless it was a foot specialist, chances are your problem was under treated. You do not mention whether or not, at the very least, an x-ray was taken by your doctor.
I assume you are fairly young and in the case of a simple ligament sprain, if you had worn the ankle brace religiously and refrained by volleyball you would be feeling much improved by now with the possibility of some residual discomfort.
Fact is you are not better, so your problem is going to require further investigation. Go find yourself a doctor who specializes in feet and ankles. At this point another x-ray (if you even had a first x-ray) will be required because sometimes small fractures do not initially show up on x-ray, but after the passing of a few weeks they will show as the body begins to heal the area.
Based on your complaints there might be more going on than just a simple crack in the bone. It sounds like more severe damage to one of your ligaments or even a tendon issue. This might require an MRI to determine the extent of possible damage to soft tissue around the ankle.
Until you can get to a doctor, make sure you are wearing the brace (if you have stopped) as this will help stabilize the ankle.
If getting back to volleyball as soon as possible is your primary goal then your problem is going to require proper medical care.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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