Ankle pain from delayed treatment for ankle fracture
About ten years ago I fractured my ankle and chipped the bone. At the time I was told it was a bad sprain. After a few weeks the pain was so bad that they sent me for x rays and told me it had be fractured and chipped. It was never re set nor put in a cast.
For years my ankle would go through periods of being so painful that I could hardly walk on it, it was as though there was no support to the ankle whatsoever. It would be painful like this for a few weeks at a time with various degrees of pain, and then it could be fine for months which made it very difficult to get to a doctor while it was actually giving me trouble.
It is still the same now only to a lesser degree, but much worse if I go running on it.
I hate being held back by this and I want to know if anything can be done to fix it?
Even if I have to pay for it?
The short story is that your ankle was improperly treated when you first injured it, thus there a few things that may be causing your chronic pain. The obvious is the fact that you mention a bone chip in the original accident. Chances are an xray taken today would reveal that the bone chip is still present and probably has not re-united with the ankle bone, thus every now and then it becomes aggravated and gives you those episodes of pain.
The other potential cause of your periodic painful episodes may be that you did damage to the ankle ligaments that connect your leg bones to the foot. These ligaments are almost always injured in the type of accident you describe. Since you were never immobilized there is the chance that these ligaments never properly healed and they too may be the source of your periodic pain.
Lastly, the actual fracture line may not have completely healed and you are left with what is known as a pseudoarthrosis, meaning you have a false joint created by the crack in the bone and again periodically you will inflame the old fracture line and have a period of pain.
My suggestion would be to have xrays and an MRI to get a full evaluation of the bones and the soft issue around the ankle.
Most of the potential sources of pain that I have mentioned could probably be addressed in a surgical fashion. This becomes a quality of life issue and I do not think it is a real stretch to suggest to you, that left untreated, the problem will get worse as you age.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER