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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

It does sound a lot like what I have! I'm surprised she didn't do an X-ray because almost everything I complain about is on that list of symptoms, the only thing I don't have is pain that radiates into the leg. But it a dull ache in my lower back when standing, walking, exercising, and gets better when I sit reclined. If I sit straight up after a lot of standing it's a really sharp pain. Today I was job shadowing an athletic trainer so I had to stand on the side lines for a football game. My pain was so incredibly bad!! I have a very high pain tolerance and don't like to cry/show pain or emotion in front of other people but the minute I was in my car I just lost it completely. It was so much pain and when I sat it turned into an intense sharp pain. it made it 10x worse when I would twist my body slightly to turn the corner which I didn't understand but it was awful and I had tears in my eyes. To add to the pain my arches were burning as well from the standing and felt like a million nails were being stabbed into my feet. I was even wearing supportive shoes with my custom inserts.
Hi I think the best way for me to answer your question would be basically to start from the beginning. Sorry in advance if this is really long.
So it all started when I was 11. I had a pretty decently bad sprain on my right ankle while tumbling across the floor in gymnastics(at the time I was a competitive gymnast). I've never had a sprain where it was bad enough that I needed to be on crutches. Being in gymnastics you are taught to just fight through pain. My coach started taping my ankle every practice and I just put up with the pain. Probably about 6-8 months later I had sprained my ankle a few more times and my pain became unbearable. Nothing I would do for it would help. I decided it was time to go in to the doctor. The general doctor I saw first took an X-ray and said everything looked good and then just told me to take a month off and see what happened. A month later pain was still there so he referred me to a sports med doc who again said X-rays looked good and then told me to go to PT. This was my first time ever in PT I was 12. I went through PT and it seemed to help a little but at that point I was kind of just ready to be done with doctors so I said it felt a lot better. Within the next year I ended up quitting gymnastics, my ankle pain got worse I even started spraining my left ankle and it was too much of a time and money commitment. Within 2 months of quitting gymnastics I had such an empty feeling without it and decided to join dance. I started out just doing a rec class but then was asked that day to join their competition team. Completely putting my ankle aside I agreed. The first year my ankle was okay, painful but being the new girl on a team with really good way older than me girls who had dancing since they were 3 was a little intimidating and I didn't feel comfortable complaining about my ankle to the dancers or the coach. The second year of dance rolled around I believe I was 13 or 14 at this time and the first day of practice I sprained my ankle the worst I ever had. I was doing a back tuck and landed with my leg and ankle completely turned in and immediately fell to the floor. I still remember how confused I was when it happened and my whole body was just tingling and felt numb. I tried to stand up but fell to the ground. Eventually I got up and hobbled up the steps to the upstairs studio to ice. After this injury I probably waited a couple months before going in and when I did I saw my first orthopedic surgeon. He told me after seeing a clean X-ray, to take 2 months off of dance and wear an air cast stirrup brace. I did that and nothing helped so he referred me to a foot and ankle ortho (the one who ended up doing both of my surgeries) she ordered an MRI notice a few stretched ligaments but nothing major. Told me to continue take time off of dance and to go to PT. Again nothing helped so she suggested a cortisone injection, didn't help. Then after trying everything I had my first surgery as kind of an exploratory to see what she could find, I was 15 at the time. It started out with a scope to clean out the joint the she noticed how lax my ligaments were and decided to open up my ankle and do the brostrom procedure. I was in a surgical cast nwb for 2 weeks, boot nwb for 4 weeks, boot pwb for 2 weeks and then fwb around 8 weeks by 10 weeks she cleared me for all activities including dance without any PT and told me I never needed to come back in again for addition appts. I struggled through dance that year in a lot of pain and my instability came back, nothing was helping so I decided to take the entire season after that off and just teach instead. Things still weren't getting better they were actually getting worse and I would sprain my ankle every day, so I went back in to my surgeon in October of 2015 and she had me trying wearing my boot again to let it rest, then had me get custom orthotics made, nothing helped. She then decided to send me to PT thinking maybe because I didn't do it after my first surgery it was needed now. Went to PT for 2 months and my PT ended up calling my surgeon to tell her that there was something structurely wrong that PT couldn't fix. So I went back to my surgeon who said another surgery was needed. I had another MRI which she said she didn't find anything on but said that she could physically feel my instability and decided to do a complete lateral ligament reconstruction with cadaver tendon and peroneal tendon tublarization and debridement in Feb 2016. I was nwb in surgical cast 2wks, boot nwb4wks, boot pwb for 2wks and then was walking with boot at 8 weeks and without boot at 12 weeks. I started PT at 10 wks and did it for about 2-3 months and it got a lot stronger but then I had problems with my arches burning and my ankle started rolling again. I was cleared from PT as she said I was super strong and there was nothing else she could do for me. I went back to my surgeon for what was supposed to be my last appt where she was going to clear me for dance but instead it turned out bad and she diagnosed me with tarsal tunnel and told me to go and see a new surgeon as she was running out of ideas. Then I went to the new surgeon just 2 weeks ago and he told me I could dance as long as I could told me my back pain and tarsal tunnel was secondary to my ankle problems, had me get a dynamic ultrasound and cortisone injection and that's where I am with my ankle as of now
It has definitely been quite the long, stressful, painful journey for me and now it seems like it's all happening over again with my back. And the orthotics were made a certain way to try to avoid rolling my ankles out. But it didn't work what so ever and only made my feet hurt more.

I had some pain with PT after I had my reconstruction and tublarization. I noticed that my peroneal tendons were a lot more sore and also my arches burned uncontrollably. My arches were the main reason I was in PT for so long because she thought that my arches burning was just because they were weak but no matter how much I strengthened them they still burned and then eventually would go numb if I was doing a lot on them or one leg balances. So pretty all my pain became noticeable in PT after the second surgery and to this day my arches and peroneal tendons is where majority of my pain is and I also have pain on the front outside of my ankle where my bones are rubbing together. Thinking back to after my first surgery I had burning arches as well but it only lasted a month and didn't get nearly as bad as it is now.

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