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Sports Medicine

My shin hurts

10/09/2008

Question:

About four days ago, I was out playing flag football with my friends. Me and a guy from an opposing team went for the ball at the same time. He fell and my ankle was underneath him. Anyway, my ankle and inside of my shin hurt that I could not walk on it. I did not hear a pop however. Since then I have been haved P.R.I.C.E my ankle everyday, and I can walk on it without pain for the most part. But when I turn my foot outward I feel pain on the inside of my shin and it hurts really bad. I just moved to a new area and don`t have a family practitioner yet. I am a track athlete so I am also trying to figure out when I can start training again

Answer:

If pain remains bothersome enough that you're still unable to engage in desired activities despite the Protection/Relative rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation you've been performing, you should seriously consider consulting with a physician as soon as possible, who, in addition to examining you, may also wish to perform X-rays, at least, to help determine if you've sustained injury to bone (such as a bone contusion or even a fracture) vs. injury to such soft tissues as a ligament (which would be a sprain). If you've sustained what's referred to as a "high ankle sprain", this would typically require a much longer recovery period compared to a more typical ankle sprain. An accurate diagnosis is necessary to determine the best treatment, and also the prognosis/time course for resuming "higher-demand" activities such as running.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University