Ankle/side of foot and top of foot pain

5 years ago, I stepped toe first in a hole playing softball and rolled my ankle. I didn’t have insurance set up through work since I had just moved, and waited. My ankle the day after was severely swollen. I iced it for the next 4 days until the swelling went down a bit. Two weeks later, it was still swollen and I went to a Quick Care place. Xrays were negative. Since last summer, I’ve been experiencing pain on the outside of my ankle below the “ball” and from that point over across the top of my foot. At times it feels like my entire leg is falling onto my ankle with no support. I tried using an ankle brace and it made it much worse. I tried the compression sleeve, same story. I tried KT Tape and that seemed to help, but now it’s not as of recently.

Now, I just started experiencing pain from the ball of my ankle down the outside of my foot to my little toe, as well as shooting pains going up my shins occasionally. I’m not sure if this has something to do with a really old PCL injury on that same leg, or is due to an actual injury never diagnosed 5 years ago? I’ve been hesitant going to doctors because physical therapy is always suggested, and/or I don’t have the money out of pocket to cover expenses prior to hitting the deductibles. I’m waiting on a knee doctor bill from 4 years ago still. 🙁 I try icing the ankle before playing softball and/or hockey, and again when I get back home from playing, but it’s still present. Help.

2 Responses

  1. Foot-com

    Thank you for the recommendation. Went to the doctor two weeks ago and when I described the pain, problems I’ve been experiencing, he did a couple tests while grabbing my foot and pulling, pushing, etc, and said I have a torn ligament due to “how far it goes without stopping.” I’m scheduled for an MRI this Friday and followup on Monday with the doctor to determine the extent of surgery to repair it, rehab, etc. The X-ray showed a couple things he didn’t like either so hopefully we can solve all the issues at once.

  2. Foot-com

    Hello and thank you for your question. Without examining you it is of course difficult for me to answer this question fully however I will do my best to advise you on ankle sprains and possible injury.

    Because you never went to a doctor after your ankle sprain, it is possible that the injury was more severe than you expected resulting in less than optimal recovery. Outside of ligament injury during ankle sprains, a common injury is a tear of the peroneal tendons. These tendons wrap from the outside ankle bone and down along the outside of the foot. A tear of the tendon can result in persistent pain, swelling and instability of the lateral ankle. The only way to know for sure if you have a tear in your peroneals is through ultrasound or ideally MRI.

    If you did have a tear in the peroneal tendons it does not mean you immediately need to have surgery. The first line of treatment is always physical therapy as the surgery for ankle injuries is quite extensive and has a long recovery. If you have not been to a doctor and want to try physical therapy, many states now have open access which means you can go to a physical therapist for 1 month without having a prescription / referral from a medical doctor.

    I would recommend starting this way. If the pain persists, it would be advisable to see a podiatrist to better evaluate your ankle. I hope this helps.

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    Dr. Emily Splichal
    Please be advised: we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
    By law, we cannot give specific medical advice over the Internet.

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