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  1. #1

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    I have a stress fracture and a question

    Two weeks ago I tripped and fell in a parking lot. At the time, I thought I got away lucky with just two skinned knees and a bruised elbow. a few days later some mild bruises appeared on my leg. I had mild pain in my knee but nowhere else. On Memorial Day, I was getting undressed and when I took off my socks, I found my ankle and foot swollen and severely black and blue. There was no pain whatsoever. I also noticed slight swelling above the ankle area and more bruising now running the length of the leg.

    I went to my PCP the next day, she did not know the cause of the bruising but sent me for x-rays of my ankle and foot. The ankle x-Ray was negative but the x-Ray of the foot showed a possible nondisplacend fracture of the fibulae head. I have an appointment with an orthopedist on Tuesday and still no answer as to why my ankle is swollen and bruised.

    Is this common, to walk around for two weeks and not know there is a stress fracture in the leg and is the ankle swelling/bruising related to the stress fracture?

    I am 51 years old and had a normal bone density test a few months ago.

  2. #2

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    Gymnasts (and I am sure skaters) compete and train with stress fractures all the time. Sometimes they don't know they have them and other times they know but continue to train/compete anyway. So your situation sounds totally possible. I don't know about the bruising, though.
    -Brian
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  3. #3

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    Someone at my work had a fracture and didn't know until after they had been overseas, complained their ankle was still sore and decided to get it checked out.

    I think as adults we try to go on with our day to day, even if we are injured like that just because we can.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #4

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    Excessive bruising can be a sign of an internal bleed or tear, right? It doesn't necessarily have to hurt. I've known people who burst a blood vessel in their leg and got an ENORMOUS and colorful bruise, and it didn't really hurt at all. You may have gotten a small tear or bleed somewhere in your ankle and that's why it's so bruised and swollen. But I know very little about these things, so don't quote me on it; it's just the first thing that popped into my head.

  5. #5

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    Well, the ankle is swollen and bruised because there is a stress fracture. Until the orthopedist doesn't see your ankle, I think it's better to not put any weight on it, so if you have a pair of crutches please use them to walk. Put some ice on the ankle and foot to reduce the swelling.

  6. #6

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    I've had several stress fractures in the past (mostly on my left foot and tibia), most go unnoticed until something major yet unrelated happens and forces me to get checked out. Then again, maybe the chronic pain I have on my left knee might have masked the mild pain those stress fractures may have produced.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Well, the ankle is swollen and bruised because there is a stress fracture. Until the orthopedist doesn't see your ankle, I think it's better to not put any weight on it, so if you have a pair of crutches please use them to walk. Put some ice on the ankle and foot to reduce the swelling.
    so a stress fracture in the foot can cause swelling and bruising in the ankle?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    so a stress fracture in the foot can cause swelling and bruising in the ankle?
    Of course. If there's a trauma in that area then the surrounding blood and lymphatic vessels can be damaged and there can be blood and/or lymph stagnating close to the fracture.
    A grumpy Canadian will always be nicer than a polite Milanese

  9. #9

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    thanks for your response, just came from the PCP, she thinks the fracture might be where the fibulae head meets the ankle, I thought the fibulae head was by the knee.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    thanks for your response, just came from the PCP, she thinks the fracture might be where the fibulae head meets the ankle, I thought the fibulae head was by the knee.
    Did she give you any tip on how to walk or what to do in case of pain or increase of swelling?

  11. #11
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    I work for a foot & ankle orthopedist. Stay off of the affected foot & ankle; you should be using crutches and in a camwalker to protect the foot. If not in the boot already, stay off the ankle! The foot & ankle could displace if you keep walking on it. Yes, as other people have said, it will be swollen, bruised & tender. You should ice but not directly on the skin. I hope you are seeing either a sports med or foot & ankle specialist (not podiatrist)

  12. #12

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    I am seeing an orthopedic on Tuesday and resting my foot as much as possible.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    Did she give you any tip on how to walk or what to do in case of pain or increase of swelling?
    go to ER if swelling or bruising worsen, they are actually going away. she said the x-rays were not conclusive that it is a fracture and that only the orthopedist can make that determination.

  14. #14
    charming i'm sure
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    Hairline fractures are difficult to diagnose. Ortho docs are better equipped to see them. My son son had a hairline fracture of his wrist which even the radiologist missed. It was the continued pain that alerted the doctor to do referral and additional x-rays.

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