Metatarsal is almost healed but my ankle hurts now
(New York )
I broke my fifth metatarsal 11 weeks ago and 2 weeks ago my doctor said I'am 90 percent healed finally and to start walking on the boot and after that to switch to sneakers. I walked on the sneakers for 2 days and I was perfectly walking and comfortable and then on the second day i went to a shopping center and everything was fine until at the end of the day I couldn't walk anymore and my ankle was in a lot of pain so I laid home for a few days and haven't used my foot and after 1 week I tried again and put on my boot and my ankle still hurts when I walk. Did I over do it did I walk too much? Why is my ankle hurting ? There is no swelling or bruising it just hurts once I put pressure. I'm so upset because I was walking fine and now I can't walk without a sharp pain on my ankle
Based on your narrative it appears to me that you had been non-weightbearing for almost eleven weeks secondary to the fracture in your fifth metatarsal bone.
Your doctor then gave you permission to start walking in the boot and from there you switched to sneakers. You then went out and did a fair amount of walking and your ankle began to hurt with no history of any trauma to the ankle itself.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the simple fact that if you have been non-weightbearing for so long, there is a good chance your ankle had stiffened up from lack of use for such a long period of time. You then did a lot of walking while shopping and because of the stiffness due to lack of use, the ankle began to hurt.
Things that would further complicate this problem would include your age. Obviously the older you are, the greater the
chance that there may have already been some arthritis in the ankle to begin with and all this walking in a short period of time, after having been non-weightbearing for so long, may have flared up any arthritis already existing in the ankle.
Additionally, if you happen to be over-weight, this too could have exacerbated your problem as you would be putting increased demands on your ankle secondary to extra weight and that might cause the ankle to begin to hurt.
The proper advice for me to give to you would be to call your doctor's office and see what the doctor thinks as he or she is more familiar with your case then I could ever be.
Having said that if there was no actual trauma to your ankle and you are reasonably young and in good health and not overweight, there are simple things you can try.
I would not recommend going back into the boot, but perhaps some stabilization around the ankle such as an ace bandage or ankle brace might be helpful temporarily. If you can tolerate non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Aleve, Advil or Motrin, then taking one of them on a regular basis as recommended on the package may also help reduce the inflammation in the ankle and make it less painful and more tolerable to walk.
Moist heat applied to the ankle through the use of one of those hot-cold packs should also be helpful in easing up your pain.
Essentially the way I see it, is you did too much too soon and your foot and ankle was not prepared for it. Since your fracture was basically healed I am not surprised that you had no pain coming from that bone, but unfortunately the same can not be said for your ankle.
So, you can try my recommendations, but before doing that at least place a phone call to your doctor and see what they have to say.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER