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pain on the left side outside of my ankle, and cracking noise when i rotate it

by Luis O

I don't have insurance, this is why im writing, and i appreciate all of the help i can receive, about a year ago i started playing soccer on grass as i was running one day by mistake my foot went on a un-level part of the field making my left foot tilt towards the left and my leg meanwhile was straight causing all of my weight pushing on the outside, left part of my ankle, i right away felt this extreme sharp pain right under my fibula, on top of my calcaneous, i belive it could be my talus. After a few weeks of resting, i came back to play the pain wasn't there when i did certain moves though i will feel it again, moves like kicking the ball with the inside of my foot which causes my ankle to stretch backwards, twisting my foot left foot towards the left, sorry i want to be as descriptive as possible. But eventually it went away & i didnt feel it. Two weeks ago Thursday while playing indoor soccer which was a wood floor i twisted my ankle jumping and it hurt that place again cause i was using the wrong shoes and it was my mistake but the pain was not as bad & i was able to keep playing, that Saturday i went to play on grass again i wrapped my leg and it was all fine i felt little pain but nothing after i warmed up no this past week Saturday i went to play again on grass, during the game i jumped to hit the ball with my head and when i landed i landed on the right side of this guy's foot, my left foot landed on his right side of his foot making my ankle twist again the same way it happened a year ago, it tilted to the left, my big toe touch the floor while the left side of my foot was stepping on the guys foot, it was extremely painful i had to stop playing & it has been one week since, ive been applying icy hot, i dont feel the pain while walking but yesterday that i ran to my car cause of the rain i lightly felt it, when i role my ankle it cracks right around that area & when i tilt my on foot to that side it hurts. Question is, is it broken, what could it be, im scare it could be a major thing & i will have to get surgery to play again & i wont be able to ever afford it. Soccer is my life, it helped me get away from problems of the poverty i lived in when a kid & if i cant play anymore I'll be devastated. Thank you so much for the help in advance i really appreciate it!


RESPONSE

Hi Luis,

I would be remiss if I did not start out by saying that the only real way to know exactly what is wrong with your ankle is to have it x-rayed and examined by a doctor.

What I am fairly comfortable saying is that because you have had repeated trauma to the same ankle, at the very least, you have some ligament damage. This is the tissue that attaches from bone to bone to keep the bones in alignment.

Every time you injure you ankle you do more damage to these ligaments and over time they will start to scar which then makes them inherently less stable and more prone to easily being injured.

The other issue with your particular problem is that there is always the possibility that you have a broken bone. The fact that you seem to heal from your injuries leads me to believe that there is probably no fracture, but again, the only way to know for sure is with an x-ray.

Additionally, you may done some damage to the peroneal muscles which run just below the ankle joint and can be damaged in these types of sprains that you keep sustaining.

The only real medical advice I can give you (besides to see a doctor) is that you should be wearing an ankle brace when you are playing soccer.

At this point, with all the injuries you have sustained to your ankle, a brace would go a long way in protecting your ankle from the stresses and trauma of playing soccer and would certainly help in reducing the chance of further injury.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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