About that ankle

Some time ago I asked for home remedies regarding a ligament problem in my right ankle. I tried a couple, including DMSO, to no avail. Physical therapy made only a temporary difference. While in Alaska, I quit wearing the brace, as it seemed to make no difference. The discomfort, mild anyway, with or without it was the same. I took to heart the words of the Mayo Clinic website, that eventually, it will heal.

This morning at the gym I did my usual, an elliptical machine that simulates hiking (it says) to warm up the muscles, and then stretching exercises for my lower back, hamstring, together with shoulder stretches, consecutive sets of pushups, situps, and then lastly, three sets of pull ups on the machine pictured below. That’s my Monday routine. I like to be out of  there in less than 45 minutes as I am easily bored. (The hamstring stretches involve leaning up against the wall with feet flat, and that does indeed place stress on the ankle, but I felt no strain.)

Can you sense my consternation? This machine places no stress on the ankle, in fact I am on my knees when using it. I do three sets of 15, and after the second set I landed my right foot on the floor, and an incredible sharp pain shot up to my knee from my ankle. I can now place no weight on it. It was not a fall, I did not twist it. I just placed it on the floor, and all hell broke loose.

I drew the orange arrow right at the center of the pain. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, and probably X-rays, maybe an MRI in store. For now, I am immobilized, and when walking about the house for various needs I am using a hiking pole for support. The ankle is wrapped and iced, and I am elevating it when I am not sitting here pecking away. (I am obviously bored too.)

This is frustrating because in eleven days we leave for an extended journey to France, a place near the Swiss border near Geneva called Ferney Voltaire. There we have waiting for us a small condo and a car. I want to do more than sit around. We planned to hike the nearby Juras. We were going also going to do some serious climbs to mountain high refugios, but not hut-to-hut, just up one day and down the next. While we can (or I could) withstand a 3,000+ elevation gain hike up a mountain, doing that same rigorous hike day in and out, as we did in 2019, right now seems unmanageable, even with good ankles.  That’s been three years ago, and we are, doing some quick math here, three years older.

The pain I am experiencing right now from this ankle is sharp enough that I do not see myself doing anything strenuous until I get some healing, possibly more therapy. I am grounded. Our trip to France is written in stone, we will go there. I hope to be somewhat mobile by then. Even a trip to the Louvre sounds too strenuous.

I am extremely frustrated. In Alaska, we did not do anything strenuous, four miles our longest distance. You might say it is just part of the aging process, and I would agree, but this injury initially happened on January 30 of this year. I should be long recovered.


PS: X-rays today reveal that it is not an ankle sprain, but rather arthritis, plain as day, in the instep. This explains everything! And, in early stages, and at least for our European trip, treatable by use of a steroid injection. I know that might raise qualms with some, but these last six months have been, not miserable, but worrisome. Apparently this was missed in my first appointment in March. It was tied to my ski accident, so no one was looking sideways.Humans make mistakes, I know that this 72-year old (who does not look a day over 71) does.

16 thoughts on “About that ankle

  1. I had posterior tibial dysfunction, which is the tendon in the inner ankle that holds up your arch. What helped me most was taping my feet with Kinesiology tape, and the best tape I found (and I tried tons of them) is the Equate brand at Walmart for $5. There are great videos on YouTube for taping for ankle pain. I cannot recommend this enough!!! Also, I do foot exercises every day to strengthen my feet and ankles. Get a hackey sack and use it. Modern shoes leave our feet very weak. Look up videos by Correct Toes. I never purchased Correct Toes, but his information is really spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Friend,

    I currently have the EXACT same condition. Has happened off and on for a few years. I treated it as “gout” at first which incidentally turned out to be helpful. But the only true pain relief and remedy that has healed my condition has been…

    DMSO both topically AND orally (1 teaspoon in a glass of water, morning and evening).

    Another simple helper has been 4 ounces of tart cherry juice 2-3 times daily. The juice always brings fast relief as it breaks down any uric acid crystals that has gradually accumulated in my foot and ankle.

    I will also drink 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in water 2 times daily when the pain calls for it.

    But DMSO both rubbed on the ankle with castor oil AND drinking the DMSO has done wonders.

    But I keep a hacksaw within arm’s length just in case things get hairy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ” …this injury initially happened on January 30 of this year. I should be long recovered.”

    Perhaps not, if it is a ligament injury.
    I had a bad ligament or tendon issue in my shoulder that lasted a year.
    I could still do most things, as long as I didn’t extend my arm above shoulder level.
    Your problem being in your foot could make it more difficult to heal (pun intended), as you can’t really avoid using it.


    1. OK, it took me a while to get the “pun intended” part. Good to hear from you. And you might be happy to know that Tyrone will be posting here later this week. I know I am.

      This little annoyance left me in a chair with leg up today. A major annoyance. I think I want an MRI to understand it better. That is my biggest problem, lack of knowledge about what is afflicting me. Today it went from pain in the ass annoyance to major kick in the balls.


  4. Right foot forward…

    Do you remember what you were thinking about
    or dealing with prior to the injury / or re-injury to the right ankle?
    Could it have anything to do with an ongoing situation with a female?

    from a process known as Mind Hacking,
    developed by Gosta Bergstrom


  5. Mark, I have something that might help but is a bit out of the box. If you post your email I will contact you about it and send to you if you want to give it a try. I think Stephers would appreciate it.


  6. So… you treat your foot like it’s just a piece of machinery that’s not doing its job. If I was that foot, I’d be pissed off too. Mightily…


  7. Hi Mark
    I have a long time ago had a problem with my ankle – It was painful as hell when flexing forward or backward – many doctors, x-ray, arthroscopy (camera) – with NO results.
    After 2 year with pain, I met a physiotherapist (that had worked with the national handball team) – He did some quick test and told me what it was! – Then corrected it in a matter of minutes.
    But because I had this bones sitting in the wrong place for so long, the muscles had grown to the new location – So after time and new visits, I learned to fix it myself.
    I was told it’s called Subtalar Luxation or Subtalar Dislocation, try do some searches for Subtalar Dislocation.
    Hope you will get your ankle fixed, what ever the problem may be.
    Kiond regards


  8. Mark,

    Any progress on that bum hoof, friend? I wanna get you up and running well before your departure date. At least I want to pinpoint the issue so we can get a head start on some kind of healing protocal. Can you stand without pain yet? Do they have glue factories in France?

    Dr. Tom Few


    1. I can put weight on it today. I found out that between March and July, I have developed arthritis due to ligaments not supporting the joint, having been stretched.

      From here, ???.


      1. Simply standing is a small but significant success, friend. Remember this is progress, so celebrate each deceptively small success, and you will heal quicker

        The word “arthritis” is often used to describe sundry symptoms of pain and swelling in the joints, of which . So I’ll focus on the main characters: inflammation, swelling, and psin management.

        Often overlooked is the roll acidity and Ph plays in inflammation amd pain.

        Sodium bicarbonate aka Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of water will relieve both. If you want to supersize your relief, add 2 Tablespoons of quality raw apple cider vinegar to the 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, let it fizz and add the water.

        Try ACV by itself in water, try BS by itself in water, try them together, and keep drinking plenty of water by itself. Pay attention to how your body responds.She’ll talk to you. Every body responds differently. Swelling will go down in your entire body, mood will improve, and the acid (possibly uric acid) will start to flush out in your urine.

        You’re a researcher, so do your due dilligence and research these simple, portable, and inexpensive home remedies. Earth Clinic and Curezone online have countless testimonials for these and other effective treatments for “arthritis.”

        Again, drink tart cherry juice. Try soaking in epsom salt in warm water. Try rubbing castor oil into the area. See what works immediately, and repeat. All off these will improve your condition whether you feel it or not. And will all assist your entire body in healing, not just the mechanical healing of the joint.

        Finally, I can’t stress enough how helpful ingesting high quality DMSO, 1 teaspoon in water twice daily, morning and evening, has been for me in going from bedridden in psin to standing to walking to the bathroom all by myself back to walking and hiking. 3-4 days of drinking DMSO and the above remedies worked quicker than anything.

        No two “arthritic” conditions will be the same, so you may benefit from some or none of these suggestions. But pain is a fantastic teacher, so pay attention to her, and don’t be afraid of it. Study it. Remove your self from the pain, if that makes sense, and see what deceptively simple things start to work for you. Baby steps.

        Oh, and lastly, and maybe most important… REST. That may be the hardest remedy for folks to accept. REST, REST, REST. We often just need to get out of our own way so that our body can do what it is designed to do best.

        Keep us in the loop as you make progress, friend. I find the struggles, maladies, and ailments of good men fascinating.

        Keep being you, friend.


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