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"I having ankle/foot pain 4 months after ankle sprain, what is wrong with me?"

ZocdocAnswersI having ankle/foot pain 4 months after ankle sprain, what is wrong with me?


I sprained my ankle (inversion) pretty badly playing basketball 4 months ago. I could not walk properly for several weeks after the injury, but I continued my normal daily activities (with a hop/limp). I never went to the doctor, but I iced the ankle and kept it elevated every night for a week or two after the injury. Now that it is months after the injury, there have been some days that I don't have any discomfort when walking, or even when jumping or running. However, more often there is pain that prevents walking without a slight limp. The pain is not located where the original sprain was (outside of the ankle). Now, the pain is located on the inside of the ankle and on the heel of the foot. What exactly is causing this pain, and does it sound like something that will go away on its on? Or are there some rehabilitation exercises I should perform? Thank you


Persistent ankle pain after a supposed sprain four months ago sounds very suspicious for more than a sprain. While it's difficult to be very specific without actually examining you or looking at x-rays, I suspect that you may have had either a very bad sprain (for example, a high ankle sprain) or a minor fracture (break) of the ankle, both of which should be evaluated by an orthopaedic surgeon. I'll go through each of these. In the case of the high ankle sprain, this represents an injury to the ligament that connects your two shin bones (the tibia and the fibula) directly above your ankle joint. While it is normal to have a little bit of motion between these two bones, a sprain of the interconnecting ligament would result in too much motion, and this persistent motion would cause pain. High ankle sprains are a serious injury, and usually require surgery in the form of a screw or tight rope that spans the two bones, essentially serving the function of the injured ligament. In the case of a minor fracture (break) of one of the bones making up your ankle joint, not all broken ankles need to be fixed surgically. Non-displaced fractures (i.e. a break that has not moved or displaced) can be treated by casting depending on the pattern or break, but the key here is that even these most minor of fractures should be protected by cast and non-weight bearing. If this happened to you, I suspect that you putting weight on it either prevented it from healing or from healing correctly. If the break did not heal correctly, this can lead to arthritis of the ankle joint, which can produce pain on the "inside of the ankle". Again, please seek evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon.

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