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Athletic Training

Unknown ankle pain a year & 1/2 post-surgery

11/21/2008

Question:

I had surgery in May of `07 to repair chronic subluxation of the peroneal tendon-the retinaculum repair. I played a season of club soccer (about 2 practices and one game per week), after being cleared, during the fall of `07, then high school varsity soccer in the spring of ’08 with very little pain most of the time. If my ankle was sore, the pain disappeared within an hour or two after I iced my ankle down and relaxed. This fall (`08) I played D3 college soccer and spent 3 months limping around campus. I didn`t do anything to it out of the ordinary that I remember. The pain was mostly along the outer side of my ankle, dipping around and in front of my outer ankle and up my leg when it was worse than the "norm" for me during the season. The doctorrs haven`t found anything in the MRI or X-Ray and can`t really give me an answer to why I was in so much pain during our season. The strength is good when its not very sore. Also, my balance is decent when I`m not too sore, but when it hurts I can make the most basic extensions that the college`s athletic trainers would have me do (like the three point extensions). The only thing they have found is pins and needles around my scar and on the top of my foot if it is lightly tapped. Outside of the season, my pain is considerable less. Its two weeks post season and I have pain biking (escalating as I move to more strenuous activities), climbing stairs, and walking in unsupportive shoes, but it is negligible after a little rest as compared to the constant high level of pain during the season. The doctors think maybe there is some nerve involvement, scar tissue, or just that it will improve as I get farther from the surgery). They want to see what happens next season (9 months from now) before they try to figure out anything more. I, on the other hand, want answers or at least something to try because this is impacting my life and decisions I make and is, quite frankly, annoying considering I was told that I should be good as new after the surgery and the PT. Thoughts/suggestions? I`m willing to try anything safe if it means I might not have to give up playing!

Answer:

I can appreciate your frustration with this situation and your desire to know sooner rather than later if this condition will get better.  It sounds like you have had the appropriate care and testing done to assess this condition based on the information given.  It would be my recommendation to seek a second opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon if you are not satisfied with your current condition.  Good Luck!

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Response by:

Mike  Sypniak, MS, ATC Mike Sypniak, MS, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University