Q. Last year I sprained my ankle badly. I needed a brace for two weeks and it eventually healed. I returned to my regular sports and was doing well till about two months ago. The front outside part of my ankle started hurting when I ran and then started catching. I rested it for a month but when I went back to play the same thing happened. I took Ibuprofen and it did not help. Do you think this is due to my old ankle sprain and what do I do to make it better?
A. I recommend you make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon or foot and ankle specialist. The most likely cause of the pain and catching is an area of “impingement” of your ankle. Sometimes a prior injury can result in scar tissue that forms and catches, usually in the front outside part of your ankle. This can usually be treated with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. However, other possible causes of your symptoms could be damage to the ankle cartilage, a loose body, or a ligament tear. Depending upon your physical exam, your doctor may order X-rays or an MRI scan. The vast majority of these ankle injuries can be managed non surgically, but the sooner you get treated the better the chance for a rapid resolution of symptoms.
Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net.