Not One, but Two Ankle Sprains?!

Well, this is awkward.  It might be time for Peyton Manning to get his Mezuzas checked or get a new lucky rabbit’s foot after sustaining not one, but two ankle sprains, one on each ankle.  The chances are slim, but apparently it is possible.  Most patients who present to my NYC podiatry office with heel pain, tendonitis, or ankle sprains are affected on one side, but when the condition affects both feet, there may be other factors involved.

Many of the painful conditions that I treat in my NYC podiatry office are acute in nature like the sprained ankle, inflamed tendon or ingrown nail.   Others can become more chronic like heel pain or a neuroma that just won’t go away despite, or perhaps because of, a lack of treatment.  Over time, chronic conditions may be seen in the other foot. This is due to the fact that we tend to favor a painful limb, thus leading to pain in the other foot.  I have to wonder in these cases what the initial underlying pathology was and if that can be addressed.  For instance, a strained plantar fascia can be supported with a custom orthotic.  The acute conditions, frankly may just be a result of bad luck.  Sorry, Peyton, but unless your ankles are inherently weak or you favored the bad ankle, the second ankle sprain was probably just due to an unfortunate injury, and as previously discussed, will likely heal.

Other chronic conditions that are seen on both feet on initial presentation may warrant further investigation.  For instance, two swollen legs may indicate a deficiency in the venous system.  Two chronically swollen and painful ankles or painful toe joints could indicate a systemic condition such as a type of arthritis.  It is rare that the joints of both feet are affected in an equal manner in the absence of a systemic condition, but it is not impossible.

So, if you managed to sprain both ankles or have a chronic condition affecting both feet, and you’re not a professional player in the NFL, don’t just ignore it.  Not only can it slow you down, but it may be the only thing standing between you and fame, riches and concussions on the field.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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