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Why is my ankle pain not subsiding?

Q: I am a 23 years old boy. In an accident four months back, I sprained my left ankle. Despite taking all sorts of medications for the same, I am experiencing pain in my ankle while walking and running. The X-ray report does not reveal any pressure point in my ankle that may have been causing the pain. Then, why is my ankle pain not subsiding? Would I have to live with it all through my life?

A:Sprains in the ankle can be troublesome. In fact, one of the classic textbooks of orthopaedics quotes one of the masters of orthopaedic surgery- Sir Watson Jones as having said "It is worse to sprain an ankle than to break it". Having said that, the picture is not as gloomy as this comment seems to make it. First of all we need to be clear about the exact nature and extent of the injury to the ligament. Is it associated with instability? This can be diagnosed only by special views of X-rays. Apparently your doctor has already done this and I presume there is no instability. You would then need to have exercises to build up the muscle power around your ankle. This is best done by using what is called a wobble board exercise. You could get in touch with your physiotherapist to help you with this. If after trying everything you still have no relief, you could get your shoe modification in consultation with an orthotist. I would recommend this only as a last resort.

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