Unexplained ankle pain

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 12/9/2010 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone!  I'm new to this topic, I'm usually on the Crohn's forum.
For the past 2 months I have been having unexplained ankle pain, it's pretty severe and really starting to hinder my daily activites.  The pain is in both ankles, and they are both swollen about double almost triple their normal size.  I first went to my GI because I thought it may be Crohn's related but he didn't think it was.  So then I went to a foot/ankle specialist and he did x-rays and MRIs, neither of them showed anything.  The pain sometimes feels like pulled muscles but other times I feel almost as if my bones are litterally going to break if I continue to walk.  They get worse if I stay off of them for a little bit then start to stand again (if that makes sense?)  I took a 2 week leave from work and in that time the swelling went completely away, as did the pain.  I've been back to work for 2 days and the problems are starting again.  Sitting at my job isn't an option. =/
I'm at a loss of what to do.  My GI gave me some vicodin about a month ago because he didn't want me taking NSAIDs, well those are gone, I see him again on the 16th so I guess I'll have to break down and ask him for more.  I just don't understand what's happening.  The ankle dr offered to give me a cortisone injection, but the thought of getting one didn't sit well with me.  Even after 5 surgeries this year alone, needles scare the heck out of me.  Not only that but I'd actually like to have an explaination of what's wrong before I consider getting one.
A bit of background about me: I'm a 24yr old female. Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2002.  I've been on and off high doses of steriods (100mg) for a couple years, but I've been totally off of them for over a year.  Ankle dr thought steriods might be causing the problem (bone deterioration), but nothing showed on the MRI.  I have an appointment with a rheumatologist but it's not until March.  However, my dr said arthritis would most likely show on the MRI if I had it.
I've been elevating my ankles at night, along with icing them.  I wrap them with bandages before I go into work.
I don't know what else to do, any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 12/10/2010 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I am wondering if you should buy some compression garments that the nurses wear when they work. It helps with swelling and pain. You could probably find them at your local pharmacy or they might now where. I hope you get them and I hope they work.

Good luck!
back on lyrica and also on imovane. Im seeing my family doctor once a week for the next 4 weeks.

botox injections January 10th
4 series medial block injections starting December 22nd

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/10/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
were the mri's done using contrast? sometimes the contrast will show things that plain mri's didn't.
and yeah Rheumatoid arthritis does show on mri's it did for me, my hands cause my bloodwork showed nothing.
ask about getting the mri's redone maybe with contrast, (that is a needle though).
well wishes to you and I hope you can get a low pain day soon...
healing hugz and PrAYERS
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/10/2010 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you thought about Planter Faciitis? I'm not sure I'm spelling it right.
But I have a job where I have to stand and walk for long periods of time and I've developed it. It's very painful.
To check if you have it press into the arch of your foot with your finger. If you want to scream it's probably PF. You need to be checked by an orthropedic specialist to confirm it. Meanwhile you can soothe it by gently rolling a ice cold can of soda on the bottom of your foot or gently stretch your foot by grasping below your toes and pulling gently back.
Good luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 12/10/2010 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
The MRI was not with contrast.  I'll have to bring that up to the dr.
I stand all day on concrete floors too.  I pushed on my arches, no pain.  It's not my feet that hurt, it's just my ankles.  My dad has plantar fasciitis and every night he rolls frozen water bottles under his feet.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/10/2010 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe you need some type of orthrotic to ease some of the foot stress.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 12/11/2010 3:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Couldn't believe it when I read your post. Been having the same problem with my left ankle. I'm getting an MRI sometime soon. I've had 1 cortisone injection so far but it didn't provide any relief. Going to have another cortisone injection on Monday. I've had cortisone quite a few times in other joints and it can be a real life saver. Giving you instant relief. I would caution you that cortisone isn't good for you and would only agree to 2 shots although most docs will do up to 3. My legs have been swelling and my left ankle seems to swell more and the foot has also grown a full shoe size in the last year. I have also had plantar fascitis in my heel and ended up having surgery which fixed the problem. Someone did mention getting orthodics which is a go idea especially if your on your feet alot. Just had to reply when I read that you ankle hurts more after resting it and than walking on it again. I drive for 5 mins and when I get out of my truck I can barely walk and than it eases slightly and than starts over again as soon as I sit down again. I'll be watching for any further posts from you. Please post any results you come up with and I will do the same. Anyway I hope you find some relief. Take care

Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 12/11/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you stingray for your response. 
Yeah another reason why I didn't want the cortisone shots is because I've read quite a few stories that they didn't work, or even that they actually made the problem worse!
Don't get me wrong my ankles constantly hurt, but when I take my breaks at work and I sit for 15 mins, then stand up to work again it's horrible.  Once I start to walk around for a bit the pain gets slightly better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 12/11/2010 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Did your doctors do any blood work?

I have two friends at work who had trouble with their ankles swelling and causing pain. Turns out they both have thyroid problems and that is what is causing the swelling.

Just an idea............

Hope you find some answers and some relief soon!

Fibromyalgia, Inflammatory Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Asthma
Plaquenil, Lexapro, Cardizem, Lisinopril, Advair, Lipitor, Vit D, Joint Supplements, Soma, Tramadol
Be Kind To Others For Everyone Is Fighting Some Kind of Battle

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/14/2010 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
You may want to look into Vibram FiveFinger shoes (if you want to call them shoes)... they help you use your feet, toes, ligaments, etc in ways that you never did before.  Which in turn strengthens feet, legs, angles, knees, etc.. I had a lot of knee pain and these helped a decent amount, (this was after Therapy, MRI's, Dr's, cortizone shots, etc, all with no help)...   Lots of people are using them with success for other issues, like Plantar Fascitis, instead of getting orthotics (which are band-aids to your problem, not the solution).   What your dad is doing is a good thing with that bottle on his arches...

You can also achieve the same results if you walk around barefoot as much as possible, but its kind of hard to do that.  Not sure if this will help your ankle pain, but it is worth a shot. There's a lot of "stuff" in your feet that don't get used when they are in a regular shoe or sneaker.
- Dan

Post Edited (Boosted333) : 12/14/2010 11:38:28 AM (GMT-7)

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