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swelling in ankles: a sign of PF relapse?

Posted by Suzanne D on 1/12/03 at 08:03 (105301)

In the past year and a half I have been gradually recovering from PF, using many of the conservative treatments mentioned on this site: stretching, inserts, supportive shoes, NSAIDS, taping, icing, etc. while being under the care of a dr. and podiatrist. I have been grateful to be almost totally free from pain although I still have a great deal of stiffness after sitting for even 20 minutes. I routinely stretch which helps with this and can tell that my calf muscles are not tight as they used to be.

I have been dreading our move to a new school (I'm a first grade teacher.) which has concrete and tile floors. My previous school had wood and carpet. I bought carpet for my room to try to do all I could to help myself. We began at the school last week, and my legs ached each evening. It is a large school with much walking to the gym, cafeteria, library, bathroom, etc. I noticed Thursday and Friday nights that there was some swelling in my ankles at the end of the day. It is not as pronounced as it was when my PF began, and I have no foot pain, but I am so worried that this is the onset of a relapse.

Do you think the swelling in itself is cause for alarm? I am wearing either soft footbed Birks or SAS shoes with Superfeet inserts to school, taking Naproxin twice a day, stretching, icing, and trying to sit down every chance I get.

I don't want to wait until the pain begins if this is a signal that the PF is returning.

Thank you for your opinion.

Suzanne

Re: I meant to add this...

Suzanne D on 1/12/03 at 08:49 (105304)

I fell in our basement a week and a half ago, landing on my knees. I ended up with some pretty rough abrasions which are now healing, and of course my knees have been stiff and sore. I also have some bruises down my legs. I have thought that some of the pain in my legs could be due to this as well. But there has been no swelling in the knee area - just near the ankles.

Thank you for your time.
Suzanne

Re: I meant to add this...

Jan H on 1/12/03 at 18:16 (105321)

I also have swelling in the ankle-mine is do to bursitis and tendonitis from a spur growing under the achilles tendon. I just had an MRI done about 2 weeks ago. Swelling of the ankles is also a sign of edema-a symptom not to be taken lightly. Go get it checked out.

Re: That's a good point, Jan...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 12:07 (105358)

Suzanne, Jan has a good point that edema can have many causes. Especially if you haven't had a general physical recently, it might be a good idea to get one. I remember that when I was a little girl my grandmother's ankles would swell a lot, and she had to take medicine and sleep with the foot of her bed raised up, due to some sort of heart condition I think, which is why I'm suggesting a physical. There are plenty of other possible causes for edema.

As far as whether or not it is due to your knee injury, maybe some doctor will respond and tell us. I don't really know.

Some minor relief from swelling can be had from choosing certain foods. Natural diuretics can help a little, and they include real lemon juice (with artificial sweetener if you don't want a lot of sugar), asparagus, and iced tea. Avoid salt or high sodium foods for a while.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 12:13 (105359)

P.S. Suzanne, just approaching this from a purely subjective point of view, it seems to me that usually I feel the pain first and then get the swelling in a PF setback, rather than swelling first and feeling pain later.

But I also think it's easier to hurt my feet if they are swollen for some other reason, because they aren't as flexible (there's 'not as much room' in there). I would suggest that you remain careful and vigilant.

Also, I forgot to mention drinking a lot of water might also help to reduce the swelling.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Suzanne D on 1/13/03 at 15:27 (105383)

Thanks, Carole and Jan. Actually today there is hardly any swelling in my ankles, but I am going to take your advice and schedule a physical anyway. It's been 11 months, so it is time.

I think you said it once, Carole. Sometimes when I write about something, it makes me take some action. Do you know what I mean?

And I remember it that way, too, Carole. First the heel and arch pain, then the swelling. And it was much more noticeable than this time, but it just scared me because I have been so worried that I would have a backset with PF when we moved to the new school. I guess I was just wanting someone to tell me that it didn't mean that. You know how even the thought of all that pain returning after one has improved can almost cause panic.

Thanks,
Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 16:58 (105392)

That's for sure! I know just what you mean about fear of PF pain returning. PF is such an awful experience and the thought of it returning is scary.

I hope your knees feel better soon! Maybe your doctor will have some suggestions about that too.

Carole C

Re: I meant to add this...

Suzanne D on 1/12/03 at 08:49 (105304)

I fell in our basement a week and a half ago, landing on my knees. I ended up with some pretty rough abrasions which are now healing, and of course my knees have been stiff and sore. I also have some bruises down my legs. I have thought that some of the pain in my legs could be due to this as well. But there has been no swelling in the knee area - just near the ankles.

Thank you for your time.
Suzanne

Re: I meant to add this...

Jan H on 1/12/03 at 18:16 (105321)

I also have swelling in the ankle-mine is do to bursitis and tendonitis from a spur growing under the achilles tendon. I just had an MRI done about 2 weeks ago. Swelling of the ankles is also a sign of edema-a symptom not to be taken lightly. Go get it checked out.

Re: That's a good point, Jan...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 12:07 (105358)

Suzanne, Jan has a good point that edema can have many causes. Especially if you haven't had a general physical recently, it might be a good idea to get one. I remember that when I was a little girl my grandmother's ankles would swell a lot, and she had to take medicine and sleep with the foot of her bed raised up, due to some sort of heart condition I think, which is why I'm suggesting a physical. There are plenty of other possible causes for edema.

As far as whether or not it is due to your knee injury, maybe some doctor will respond and tell us. I don't really know.

Some minor relief from swelling can be had from choosing certain foods. Natural diuretics can help a little, and they include real lemon juice (with artificial sweetener if you don't want a lot of sugar), asparagus, and iced tea. Avoid salt or high sodium foods for a while.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 12:13 (105359)

P.S. Suzanne, just approaching this from a purely subjective point of view, it seems to me that usually I feel the pain first and then get the swelling in a PF setback, rather than swelling first and feeling pain later.

But I also think it's easier to hurt my feet if they are swollen for some other reason, because they aren't as flexible (there's 'not as much room' in there). I would suggest that you remain careful and vigilant.

Also, I forgot to mention drinking a lot of water might also help to reduce the swelling.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Suzanne D on 1/13/03 at 15:27 (105383)

Thanks, Carole and Jan. Actually today there is hardly any swelling in my ankles, but I am going to take your advice and schedule a physical anyway. It's been 11 months, so it is time.

I think you said it once, Carole. Sometimes when I write about something, it makes me take some action. Do you know what I mean?

And I remember it that way, too, Carole. First the heel and arch pain, then the swelling. And it was much more noticeable than this time, but it just scared me because I have been so worried that I would have a backset with PF when we moved to the new school. I guess I was just wanting someone to tell me that it didn't mean that. You know how even the thought of all that pain returning after one has improved can almost cause panic.

Thanks,
Suzanne :-)

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/03 at 16:58 (105392)

That's for sure! I know just what you mean about fear of PF pain returning. PF is such an awful experience and the thought of it returning is scary.

I hope your knees feel better soon! Maybe your doctor will have some suggestions about that too.

Carole C