An MRI showed that I incurred a stress fracture in my ankle as a result of severe osteopenia, almost 4 months ago. Treatment consisted of a period of rest for 2 weeks, then wearing a boot for a month. I was then put on complete rest of the injured foot-no weight-bearing at all for over 2 months, as x-rays showed it was healing quite slowly. During that time I used crutches and then a knee scooter (having had too many mishaps, necessitating stepping down on my injured foot to catch myself from falling). The next x-ray, 2 weeks ago showed a "healing stress fracture", but my doctor told me that by his examination the ankle was healed and I could start putting weight on it and get off the crutches as I felt able, and no longer needed any type of ankle support. 10 days later I was still using one crutch, as my ankle was still quite painful. Upon another examination of my ankle the doctor re-confirmed his findings that the ankle was healed and that there was no reason I couldn't put full weight-bearing use on it, but I could use a cane if I really needed it. I have been doing the rehab exercises I was given at physical therapy, regularly and have been following the doctor's instructions for 6 days now, and my ankle is again quite painful, has now swelled up so much that I can barely wear my shoe, and find it difficult to walk on it without assistance from my cane. The ankle bone is not even visible now and it is swollen on both sides. (It has been painful on both sides from the beginning, and my doctor is aware of that). Is this a normal part of the healing process and if so, how long can I expect this pain and swelling to last? Is there anything else I can do to rehabilitate it faster? Thank you.
After a period of immobilization, I seen significant soft tissue swelling once weight bearing and motion are restarted. I suggest elevation when you are not on your feet, compression stockings during the day, and continue PT.
The other possibility is complex regional pain syndrome. If the problem persists see your treating doctor again and inquire about this possibility.
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