Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber
nlbarber

Ankle update

I haven't been posting updates on the ankle pain, I guess since the second round in the boot (air cast) after an MRI showed a very small tear in the achilles tendon. That was May or so. Unfortunately the lack of updates was not from lack of pain, but from lack of progress--I continue to have this low-level pain in the right ankle off and on. About 6 weeks ago, it started up in the left ankle as well.

The last round with the podiatrist had me trying to start walking some--that is, walk for exercise in addition to normal activity--and try a brief period without the custom orthotics in case that was the problem. Neither of these were an immediate success, so (again on the podiatrist's advice) I'm keeping the orthotics in but continuing the walking as long as it doesn't make the pain worse. Straight walking usually isn't painful, you see--things hurt when I turn the ankles in different positions when sitting, and if I stand for long periods as when baking, and stuff like that.

The latest diagnostic attempt was to get a vein study--by where the pain is located, it's either the tendon (but the tear is not in the right place to be the source of the current pain), a nerve, or the vein. Thursday I hied myself over to the Emory Clinic Cardiology Department for a look at my leg veins. It's an ultrasound test, it turns out--I found it interesting to turn my head and watch the tech find the vein, measure it, squeeze my leg above or below the measurement point, and measure again. The legs ended up rather messy with the ultrasound goop, but beyond that it was a low-annoyance test as such things go.

And the result? My veins are fine, and are not the source of this problem. One vein was showing a little sign of aging in that the diameter increased slightly "downstream", so the Nurse Practitioner recommended wearing support socks to try keep that from getting worse. Never saw the cardiologist whose name was on my referral, and indeed didn't need to--as it turned out, he wasn't even in that day.

I'll go back to the podiatrist next week, and meanwhile will keep walking. If the pain stayed at the level it is most of the time, I'd be willing to just wait, keep up the exercise, and see if it eventually heals. (Other times, I'd say this is uncomfortable enough I'd like to fix it soon.) The podiatrist, though still without a firm idea of the source of the problem, feels that it will likely get worse and not better. I'll see what her next suggestion is on Friday.
Tags: ankle, medical
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