Foot Doctor Story, Almost 4 Months After I Twisted My Ankle
Today I finally went to get my ankle checked at a doctor’s office here in Brooklyn. FINALLY! (my fault for taking so long!)
A little backstory: On April 8th this year I was skateboarding and hurt my left ankle pretty bad. This didn’t feel like anything too new for me since I’ve sprained my ankle in the past, so I started with the basics.
ICE, put ice on it for 10–20 minutes a couple times a day or so
ELEVATE, put the ankle on a pillow or something to elevate it
REST, relax a bit and don’t stress the ankle more
TIME, let time pass by and know there’s no rushing time
With those basics I think I did okay, but not the best. Main maybe issue was that I didn’t let it rest for too long. I wanted to do things, plus I thought I should move it to help it get back into shape. But there’s a balance with moving it too much too soon and not letting it heal enough versus physical therapy to help it recover properly. I’m not a doctor and I don’t know if what I did was the right thing. Tisk tisk me..
Fast-forward after my injury, a week passed by, two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks, and though my ankle was healing it still had some swelling, a bump of sort, and my full range of motion didn’t seem to be there, so I was getting a bit concerned.
I understand it usually takes 4–6 weeks for a sprained ankle to heal, but it could also take longer, depending on factors like severity of an injury, age, et cetera.
Well, in the weeks following my injury I did end up recovering a good amount to where I was able to skateboard again and do tricks, so I felt like I was on the right track, but after week nine, week ten, I still wasn’t recovered all the way, and started getting more concerned. Like, “What do I do? This is not cool.”
Throughout the healing time and time again I thought about seeing a doctor, but just wasn’t making it happen. What was my concern? I had insurance, copay was to be $25, I’m allowed to go, so why not?
I think it was a combination of having felt like I’ve injured my ankle in the past and that it should just heal this time as it has before, along with the idea of not wanting to go to a doctor just to get told to wait, rest, and let time heal you, and then pay $25 for that, along with paying in the form of time it would take to schedule an appointment, go to the office, see the doctor, and go back home.
My thinking might be right if I did heal without much issues, but to keep avoiding a doctor when I still had questions regarding why my healing process was taking as long as it was and why it was healing in the way it was, probably not the best bet.
So, finally I scheduled an appointment with a local podiatrist and my appointment was to be today at 12pm.
I skated to the office (of course, right?), arrived before 12pm, signed in, and then there was a wait. I asked for how long it would be more or less, but the lady at the front desk didn’t know. That wasn’t cool.
This is one thing I really don’t like, when I schedule an appointment and arrive on time or before on time, but then am expected to wait an unknown amount of time before I’m taken in. What’s the point of me coming in on time? What’s the point of scheduling a time in the first place? This isn’t me walking in, so why is there an unknown wait time if I arrive on time for the time I’m to have my appointment!? I don’t want to get off topic here, but that was simply not cool.
I ended up waiting over 30 minutes or so, which I guess is not too bad, but the principle stands, why wait if I arrive on time and the appointment is scheduled for the time I arrive? If there is to be any wait then maybe something like 10–20 minutes might be understandable, but over 30 minutes or an hour, that’s just wrong. Again, off topic here, so let’s get to this doctor visit.
The doctor himself was pleasant, cool, communicative, and took time to speak with me, answer my questions, explain things, and give his input. You know what, people like myself probably cause delays to others, right? Getting all this information I don’t know, trying to understand what my issue is, the steps I can take, what I should do.. But wait now, wait a second, if the appointment is to be only 30 minutes and that’s stated upon booking then the patient and doctor would be on the same page, right? So there should be no problems for anyone regarding timing. Actually, why aren’t appointments scheduled for a time in and time out?
Now for a quick backtrack, to make things worse, after I came to the front desk and signed in someone else came in saying they were to see the same doctor as me and said they had an appointment at 12pm, which to myself I was thinking, “You’re at 12pm, I’m at 12pm, there’s one doctor, why do we both have appointments at 12pm!?” Off topic again, enough.
So yeah, the doctor explained things that could happen with a sprained ankle and gave me some details regarding how a foot and ankle operates. Basically three ligaments connect the ankle to the foot bone and they are not exactly stretchy, so it’s possible to tear one if you roll an ankle hard enough, and bone could chip off if a ligament tears and takes some bone with it, not the funnest visual to imagine, but I understood something like that.
It didn’t seem like I tore a ligament, but due to my range of motion being not at 100% we got into the topic of joints. There’s a chance a piece of bone or something else might be stuck in a joint making it not move as smoothly or as far as it’s capable of. So there’s that. Or maybe scar tissue or something is healing internally, but thicker than usual, hence causing some restricted moment. I don’t know.
But neither of those seem to be the case for me because I didn’t really have pain. Well, maybe some thicker tissue could be something going on, but a piece of bone stuck, likely not. Here’s the thing, if I push my ankle forward hard enough I have some pain, but on my day-to-day I’m alright, and I could skate and do tricks, so my situation might be a bit weird or hard to really pin point from the looks of it.
The doctor recommended an x-ray to more properly determine what might be going on.
Now, since both of my feet have issues or deformities of sort I asked him about them. For one, my right foot has like a bump on top of it, feels like a bone popped up, though it’s been like that for years now. Two, my right foot has a bigger ball next to my toe than my left foot. And as the doctor was explaining to me about deformities he pointed out other deformities I pretty much had that I didn’t even know. Overall the time I spent with the doctor was interesting and helpful in more ways than one.
I asked about solutions and ideas on what to do, what can be done, whether regarding my situation or deformities and basically he was saying that if I don’t feel pain to not really worry about the deformities or much for that matter. Some deformities might even be naturally occurring over time. Could be based on previous injuries, activities one does, who knows.
But to fix them the route is typically surgery, which can have its risks. And can also be a temporary solution instead of permanent in some cases. Like I have bunions on both of my feet and while surgeries can put things back on track, maybe in 10 or 20 or so years they could get back to how they are now. But also the severity of my bunions don’t seem to be too crazy, so that’s something to note.
Now, depending on the how deformed a persons foot is and how much discomfort it may be causing on his or her day to day, that’s when surgery talk should likely be happening. But if one could walk and move his or her foot without pain then they should be okay, usually.
In the end I’m happy I went to podiatrist to be more informed about how my feet and ankles are, how things seem to be going, what to possibly look out for in the future, and the options I have now to improve an area or so if I wanted to.
Regarding my left ankle, I should be getting an x-ray (actually on my right ankle too) and then seeing the doctor again to get more information regarding where things are actually at, possible physical therapy routes to take, et cetera.
In short, it’s good to know more about your feet and ankles, lots of information can be found online, but going to a podiatrist to get a dense amount of information about your case might be more worth it than you imagined. Just maybe.