Chronic ankle and foot pain/swelling

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/25/2012 1:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I'm a 28 year old male that has had a history of foot and ankle pain both sides for about 2 or 3 years now. I have the pain in both ankles off and on... sometimes it is sooo bad that it swells up and I can't move it at all or put weight on it. it tends to favor my right ankle and it will come as quickly as it goes... it is a bit strange to me. Right now I am experiencing pain in both feet and ankles... particularly on both sides of the back of my heel and the inside and top of my ankle and foot. It has gotten much more frequent it seems. 3 flare ups in the last 3 months. One day I will feel a little pain for no reason at all and continue to walk on it and next day it will be so excruciatingly painful and swollen with limited motion. and a day of staying off of it seems to do the trick. it is the craziest thing to me. I finally went to the doc the last two times. once at an urgent care because I was in such horrible pain that I couldn't sleep... a throbbing pain even without bearing weight. doc told me that he thought it was just tendinitis after an xray. I have had tendinitis in my elbow before from tennis and it wasn't nearly this bad.

I have been a server/bartender since I was 18. currently I am not working and haven't been working for about a year because I started back in school full time. So I have had a history of being on my feet a lot... I have gained a bit of weight but not too heavy... 210 5'11" and I have been around this weight for a while now. The only other thing I can think is of significance is that I have been a heavy drinker for a good while and a cig smoker.

This problem has been reoccuring... probably a dozen times with the last 3 being in the last 3 months... staying off the affected leg and elevating it seems to help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 2/25/2012 7:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi LazerOrca
I am having problems with my ankles and especially my left foot. I had plantar fasciitis in my right foot and it was unbearable. I had a few cortisone shots and it did very little. I finally had surgery and the pain was gone. Have you tried orthotics or had any cortisone shots.? Cortisone can provide almost instant relief or over a few days. Might be worth looking into. Orthotics can help alot too. I wear special sandals around the house which has helped a great deal too.. Have you been to see any kind of foot specialist? I know what a pain it is. Your feet support all of you and can make your life miserable and can cause other problems as well as your body tries to compensate. Good luck and let us know how things go. All the best.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 2/25/2012 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Do you have blood pressure problems? No judgment here but both smoking and drinking can cause circulatory problems, and high BP can cause fluid buildup in your legs, but especially ankles and feet.

I worked on my feet too all my life (waitress and food service manager) I smoke, used to drink and was 30 lbs overweight. Those concrete floors are killers on our back legs and feet. I too had terrible foot pain, hard to sleep. Had to finally quit at age 52 because of the pain and other chronic health iussues.

Really good shoes are a MUST!!! the pain can be awful and I am so sorry you are suffering at such an early age. If you have insurance, I would certainly try an orthopedic or foot doc, and check your blood pressure. Diuretics might help the swelling.

I hope you find some help-when your feet aren't happy, neither are you

Take care
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/25/2012 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I was given a 6 day course of prednizone (sp?) last time I went. I have never had high BP during a check up though. I don't know what to do at this point because the doc told me last time that it would go away with time. I'm not sure how much longer I need to wait.

I'm just a bit annoyed because haha I need my ankles and feet to be able to walk. I have to walk a lot since I have no car.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/25/2012 11:58 PM (GMT -6)   
any other suggestions?

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/26/2012 2:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi LazerOrca!
I have dealt with pain in my right foot and ankle and it no fun at all. Hope you will be able to find answers to your pain soon! I would try an orthopedic doctor or foot specialist. You know you body better then anyone else, if you dont feel the doctor you have right now is helping you, find another doctor. I went you threw alot of doctors before I found the answers as to what was causing my pain. Don't give up, it may take alittle while and a few doctors, to find answers, but it will be worth it.
Take care and good luck!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/26/2012 3:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I've has constant ankle pain for the last 11 months now and have had every diagnosis under the sun and have tried so many treatments that we are genuinely struggling to find new ones!
You're not diabetic are you? fortunately for you, I doubt there is a relation between you're drinking and the cheeky fag and your foot pain unless you decide to go running every time you drink! If you were to take pain medications as well it is definitely worth watching you're alcohol consumption as both together will lead to serious liver problems.
As for your weight, although you're not exactly massive have you tried foot and leg exercises from a physio or even someone like a pilates teacher. I'd wait until you're having a good couple of weeks and aren't in as much pain and trying to build up the muscles surrounding the foot, it may well offer a bit more support and the compensation could make any pain less frequent. I can't hurt trying!
I'm very confused on how your doctor diagnosed soft tissue damage with an x-ray! I think he's hoping this will just sort itself out. You should hassle him for an MRI and if that is inconclusive you may want to consider seeing a specialist who can investigate arthroscopically.
Is this from a previous injury or trauma? If so there's a possibility of the build of of painful scar tissue, cartilage damage (cracked or rough) or more likely small pieces of debris floating around in the ankle, this would be the most likely cause for sudden onset of pain.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/26/2012 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Nothing too serious to my ankles or feet where I have had to go to a doctor or anything.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/26/2012 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
My roommate suggested that I may have "the gout"... he said that is linked to alcohol consumption. I haven't really been able to pinpoint it to that or not.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 2/26/2012 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
An MRI is definitely in order. I've had chronic pain in
my left ankle for 3 and 1/2 years now. Always been like a real
constant bad toothache. Look into Osteochonral Defect of the Talus.
Almost all OCDs of the ankle are misdiagnosed because they simply
don't show up well on plain xrays. That's why I highly suggest MRI.
They aren't very common tho but ya never know.
In the past 3 years I had 2 failed scopes on it. Spent a year on a waiting list for
a cadaver ankle. Finally got one just before Xmas. Been 2 months non weight bearing and only the past week at 15 percent weight bearing and months of PT ahead. Not to get off track from your pain just hoping for your sake you don't have one of these because I truly sympathize with chronic pain of any kind.
OCDs are common in the elbow and knee but only account for 4 percent in the ankle.
The bottom line is an MRI is essential in correctly diagnosing these and I just thought I'd mention it as a possibility.
Take care!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/27/2012 4:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Gout does sound likely relating to alcohol consumption, do you also eat a lot of meat, sweet drinks or seafood?
Seeing a doctor would definitely be advisable to confirm it as a diagnosis and try to prevent attacks, this would be things such as a change in diet. The only think I'm thinking is crystallised urea should have appeared on your xray if it was gout?
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or diclofenac should calm it down but if it's anything such as OCD or scar tissue different treatment may be required.
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