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sports medicine issue

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Hopkins2010, May 29, 2001.

  1. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland

    I am curious about a medical issue involving my ankle. First off, I am not intending to use the info given out here as official medical advice, I am just curious on your opinions.

    OK, well I have been playing soccer since I was about 6 years old (I am 23 now). Since that time, I have sprained both ankles multiple times while playing (sprained each ankle twice as far as I can remember).

    Since the last sprain, which occurred about 1 year ago, the bones in my ankle pop continuously, fairly loudly. It doesnt really hurt, but it can feel uncomfortable at times. Even when I'm sleeping at night and there is no pressure on them, it seems like they feel uncomfortable. If I'm conscious enough, I flex and rotate my ankles about once every 20 minutes it seems.

    Its particularly obnoxious when climbing stairs. It sounds like I'm walking on those plastic styrofoam bubbles used in packing material. As stated before, there is no real pain, just feels a little out of whack.

    Since this is more of a nuisance than a real medical problem, I wasnt going to bother going through the hassle of trying to get an orthopedic consult through my HMO.

    Do you think it would get worse over time or just remain as it is now for the rest of my life?

    Is there any simple way to help the situation without using prescription drugs or surgery?

    Assuming that I were to sprain my ankle again at some point, is there any way it could cause long term irreparable damage (i.e. more serious than just a sprain or even ankle break)?
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  3. docuw

    docuw Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2001
    I experience the same problems in my left ankle. Multiple sprains from basketball has left my left ankle quite weak. In fact, I have even sprained it a few times pretty bad lately while just walking down the street (I think I have caused some damage to the ligaments on the lateral side, distal to the mallelous). I, however, dont notice the popping when walking - only when I actively rotate/flex/extend it.

    From the few months of Ortho preceptorships I have done, I would say that most Orthopedists would just tell you to do some rehab therapy. Some exercises would be the wobbly board (not sure if thats a technical term ;) ), flexsion/extension against pressure, and anything that would build the lateral stability. There is no medication that would adress the popping (if it hurts, maybe some ibuprofen). Surgery would likely do more damage than good (leave more scar tissue, etc.). I would say that it is simply a matter of dealing with it and doing some stregth training/rehab therapy with it.

    FSUMED Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Tallahassee, FL, USA
    I have had the same problem for as long as I can remember. I have just always been able to pop my ankles on command. And I guess I did it so much that now when I walk I hear them poping. It sucks, but it doesnt really hurt. And it doesnt stop me from doing anything, I am still about to run and exercise and stuff. SO I guess dont sweat it. I suppose you could check into some some ankle stregthening exercises if you want, but I dont know that would change anything.
  5. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned Banned

    Nov 5, 1999
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Yes, for me it doesnt really hurt either. I guess my main concern is that I will injure it again and cause more serious damage than just a simple sprain or ankle break, since my ankles are weaker to some degree than they were before.

    I still play soccer and active in other sports, so it really hasnt stopped me from doing anything.
  6. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    According to the team ortho surgeon I work with, the exercise route is about all you can do to strengthen the muscles that attach to the tendons that support your ankles. If you were to opt for surgery, it would be a last resort-you'd lose a lot of function. The wobble board (it may not be a "correct" term, but it is what we use :) is great for proprioception and balance. A great trick I use with athletes is to brush your teeth while standing on one foot. It forces the muscles to work in dynamic stabilization and therefore get stronger in functional situations. There are a ton of exercises you can do. Good luck - mine have made the obnoxious popping noises for over 10 years, with no history of severe sprains...
  7. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    From my days of training, I believe the PNF "wobble board" is called a BAPS board. Amazing that I can remember that after so many beers. :)

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