February 14, 2004

My Right Ankle

(Not to be confused with "My Left Foot" which is something entirely different!)

Since a bad fall on 29 December 2003 which required a visit to ER and checking out Microsoft's medical benefits, I have had my ankle in a support boot and needing to use crutches to get around.

The original diagnosis was a torn ligament at the base of the calf, and another one on the top of the foot causing lots of swelling and pain. While those injuries have largely healed after 7 weeks, the acute pain has not abated - I was experiencing pain in so many different places that even the Podiatrist was unsure what was going on! He suspected a deeper problem - possibly a hidden fracture - despite nothing showing up on any of the 12 X-rays I have had in that time. So last Tuesday I had an MRI scan of the whole lower leg, to see what was happening, and I got the results back yesterday evening.

The diagnosis is that I have a bruise (contusion) on the lower end of my tibia:

Bruising of the Bone (contusion)

When a direct knock (e.g. in a fall) causes bleeding or bruising to the surface of the bone then the bone has had a contusion. It can be extremely painful and there is sharp local tenderness and swelling/bruising. The problems require an X-ray to exclude a fracture.
Rest, icing and elevation are the main things to do early.
Later heat, gentle exercise, anti-inflammatory tablets and physiotherapy will assist full recovery.

This actually fits my symptoms perfectly, and explains why the x-rays could not find any problem.

I never knew you could bruise a bone, but reading up on the Internet it seems it is actually a pretty common sports injury - especially among snowboarders and martial arts practitioners. Here's some more background info if anyone is interested.

The good news is that the condition should ultimately heal itself completely with no long term residual effect.

The bad news is the condition could continue in some measure for a very long period of time - 6 to 12 months is quite normal apparently.

Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done medically to alleviate the condition except take anti-inflammatory tablets, light exercise, and lots of patience. I start physiotherapy on Tuesday, so we will see how that goes.

As I can't avoid using one leg for the next 12 months, I need to find ways of managing the pain while protecting the ankle from further damage. I'm not quite sure how best to do that yet, though.

Entry categories: General
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at February 14, 2004 10:41 AM - [PermaLink]
sorry to hear that mate! I find Gin,Vodka or double quantities of beer (Cafreys if you can get it) do wonders for numbing things.. Posted by: Ian on February 19, 2004 09:23 AM