Ankle supports a good idea?

I've had a sore ankle for over a month now and every day it's a little bit more sore. It is sore on the outer ankle bone which is a little bit swollen but nothing very visible. The other ankle aches a bit too but not nearly as much. I'm not sure if this is the RA but am guessing it is ,although it's not the usual blistering pain that I've had in the past - it feels a bit like it's been twisted and hurts most when I put the clutch pedal down or when I'm walking on uneven ground and it turns even slightly as it lands. I can't rotate my foot anymore with it.

So I'm finding it hard not to limp on it now and wondered if it would be better for it if I wore an ankle support? My hubby bought me one online last year when they were playing up on the other side but I've never worn it. Does anyone here wear one (or two) and if so do they work in same way as wrist splints. I ask because I'm just about to go away with my choir next week and there will be a lot of walking and standing to do.

17 Replies

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  • I think you could treat it like a wrist splint.

    In other words, use it when you are going to need a bit of strength and support. But don't keep it on for more than an hour or so.

    If you use it too much you can weaken the muscles or tendons.

    Sometimes Voltarol gel rubbed in might help. That's what I do.

  • Hi T

    I found the use of a stick when my knees or lower back ached. It just meant I could walk further without experiencing any pain. I don't use it all the time only when needed and I keep it by the front door "for just in case". You might find the use of one helpful also.

    I think a ankle splint is ok, you will know if it helps as the pain will be reduced. I also use arnica jel and arnica bath soak for my achey joints. That helps and you can put it onto your achey bits as many times as you like as its herbal and you are not injesting it, so it does not have any side affects or interfere with any of our medication.

    Good luck and I hope the above helps

    Sci :)

  • Thanks to both of you - I will try the ankle support tonight as i find it keeps me awake everytime I move my legs and the ankle twists or moves. I was concerned that it might weaken the tendon and muscles as you say Phoebe but if I just try it for short periods and see - it's quite a thick looking thing so might just drive me nuts! I don't need a stick yet Sci - mainly because my wrists are still sore too and the thought of holding a stick isn't great - but it may come to that soon! TTx

  • Hi Tilda,

    My ankle bothered me so much this time last year, in a similar way and I bought a couple of ankle supports to try out. The extra support definitely made them feel better. I can't remember if you use any anti-inflammatories? When my ankle was at it's worst if I happened to miss out on daily dose of anti-inflamm I couldn't walk at all! Had a couple of steroid injections into the ankle joint as they are supposed to help, but they didn't. Eventually after managing to get a podiatrist appointment I got some insoles that have really helped. Also had a general steroid injection (depo type), and found having those every 3 months really helped too, so you may need more than the ankle supports if it continues....with the right treatment it should improve. This time last year I thought I would never walk without a limp again, however a couple of weeks ago I even 'ran' the sport relief one mile!

  • Hi Tilda,

    I am sorry and worried that your ankles are so bad, that is where most of the damage was done to me with the RA & what is happening with you is the same as happened to me, I know from the way you are describng things. Eventually I had an MRI, which showed the main tendon was absent and other significant damage, I am not saying it will be the same for you, as we are all different, but it is another reason for you to be assertive in your treatment plan, as discussed before.

    I had an operation last Oct (3 years from diagnosis), a triple fusion of the ankle which has stabilised the joint. I went thru supports/ splints/ three sets of orthotics pain fear etc. Thank heavens i no longer need orthotis aft operation.

    What can I say, I firmly believe you have to do everything in your power to find the medication that controls the inflammation in your blood as the damage is happening NOW!!!

    I wish I had known all this, when my foot/ ankle started feeling sore 'from driving' I even changed to an automatic car. I don't mean to scare you, but supports etc are only ,masking whats going on with this dreadful disease for you Tilda.

    Tilda, please think on about getting 2nd opinion, its now you need Humira / Enbrel, whatever it takes to get ESR & CRP to within normal range.

    I sincerely hope things improve for you, & you are different to me, but honestly Til its not looking good sos.

    Kindest wishes, Gina.

  • Thanks Gina. I like the frank approach so don't worry that telling me is going to make me distressed because it's bothering me a lot anyway and I'm just a very up front kind of person who likes to deal with things head on (that's why I don't think my days of depression are anything other than the MTX!).

    I have told my GP that my ankles hurting and have been constantly for over a month now. But they really aren't too terrible yet and I am moving up to 20mgs of MTX over the coming month so I have got some cover hopefully. I wrote a letter to my GP yesterday explaining stuff that is probably somewhere very far back in my records but he probably hasn't read. I told him that I've always had health problems but am very strong mentally and like to be treated as such. I haven't yet learned when I will see the rheumy from him but will ask him a week today. I ended the letter saying that I want to go on Hydroxy, will not be going back on Sulpha and please could he check this out with the rheumy and let me know when I see him next week.

    I did ask everyone the question here about private 2nd opinion and concluded, from what I was told by you all, that there's no point in going away outside my health authority and seeing someone who may or may not say that I should be starting on biologics - because even if I could afford this option - which I totally cannot - I would have to be given them through the NHS anyway. I am hoping I will be seen by the other rheumy who comes here in May and perhaps he will get x-rays or ultrasound scans done and I will find out if there is any damage already. I'm still walking about and can always ask for a depo jag if it gets too painful. My ankles still look their dainty selves (I've always had dainty feet and hands - shame about the rest of me eh?!) so I don't think it can be that aggressive yet or surely I'd not be able to walk about at all? But I'm onto it - that's why I'm asking you all about the supports. And yes I will take some ibuprofen or Naproxen again although I dread it as it gives me fluid retention! TTx

  • PS to make you all laugh - the ankle support is now on but it took me lying on my back with hubby tugging for all he was worth to get the damned thing on me! What about the poor old wrists - how would I manage that solo ever?!

  • Hi Tilda,

    I understand why you have reached the decision re second opinion. However, as a once off and just to get the time and attention would you not just have one Consultation and say take results you have to date with you?

    Can you not revert to NHS, and how would they know you had sought a second private review of your treatment? Maybe, I just don't understand coming from a different healthcare system. I know that you wait &wait & wait in our public system and even steroid injections for RA sufferers are not that easily available. My Aunt with RA can never get joint injections on our public (NHS) system. I am very lucky to have Private Healthcare covered by my job.

    I probably said this before, but my Consultant transferred me back to public for biologics as not available privately, can this not be done in U.K. Maybe this is queue jumping Er....

    I have very small & dainty wrists & ankles also (a 5 ft 7 - 12/14 body tho), and never had any visible swellings, heat in v early days. Once I had a swollen knee, and the Consultant drained it and perfect ever since. The ankles and in partci the right, I will never forget... I was innocent then, thinking would all go away, and it was a mistake. Twas me who made the mistake!!!

    For three months I could'nt walk to the end of my drive, which is not that long. Eventually, with orthotics & life saving nubuck black skechers (i've had 3 pairs) I got a semblance of normality back, and got on with things. The damage was done, hence the operation, as i was walking incorrectly, when bloods got back to normal with the Humira (remission as such!).

    I'm not going to go on anymore, as am tired after taking my metho, and its been along day, taking my mum to the coast for a fresh fish pie!!! thats another story.

    I hope you have nice week end and glad you did'nt mind frank approach. I was worried about upsetting you.

    xx Gina.

  • As I told my GP in the letter Gina - I'm not easily upset really. Well actually I do get very upset if I think people are hiding things from me or playing games with my life/ health - but not from straight speaking so you don't ever have to worry on that score! If I went away and paid for a private rheumy consultation and he said "you have active RA and it's damaging your joints and you need biologics to be treated effectively" then I would have to go back to my GP and tell him and he would say that he couldn't use this consultation to prescribe because our local NHS would not be prepared to pay for me to have this treatment unless one of their NHS consultants had stipulated that I needed it. So I could well just end up upsetting everyone and getting nowhere fast.

    But don't worry I will be asking my GP a week today whether the rheumy gave any indication when I might be seen and if he has given the go ahead for a second DMARD to be introduced. I will ask him all this and if I'm not satisfied by what he says then I will tell him that I'm going to be forced to try the private system because I don't feel reassured that the NHS is doing it's best by me or my joints.

    I am really hoping that by having written him a very frank letter in this way he will be sufficiently nonplussed that he might at least start to be a bit more honest with me about what is at stake and what I should do about it. It's very frustrating for me and I can see you are frustrated on my behalf because of your own experience and I'm very touched by this. I actually think that the GPs in our practice are really frustrated for me too but have their hands tied by economics and a system that's just not very humane currently.

    But then well over half the people who post on HU are going through even more dire stuff, endless waiting games etc - and like them I feel I am pretty polaxed by my circs. I'm not rich enough to throw money at the situation - would only make a sacrifice of a family holiday etc if it's guaranteed to improve things for me.

    But I am going to be up on 20mgs of MTX within a month hopefully and if the pain in the ankle continues even on that dose then I'll hassle and hassle until I get the answers and treatment I need and that's a promise.

    I love fish pie - have a good sleep!

    TTx

  • Thanks for the reply, you are well on the ball from the sounds of it.

    There is not much more you can do for the moment than what u have said, I understand your situation. 20 mg of mtx is what I was on originally, now I'm on 17.5 plus Humira inj and one plaquinil a day, so far so good.

    Nite nite, Gina.

  • You will have to be my role model then Gina - or what I aspire to! have a nice weekend. TTx

  • just had a thought, not sure if it's any help....

    I spoke to a friend I hadn't seen for years, her mum-in-law has RA, was put to the same consultant as myself, as you know I am delighted with the treatment I have recieved and was very surprised to hear that this woman felt that she wasn't getting the treatment she needed from and decided to travel to Glasgow for second opinion, still through NHS and through her new consultant she feels things are going much better, so she didn't need to go private and was able to go through another health autority, have yu thought of this?

    xx

  • Yes thanks Williby when all this started a year ago I found out about a really good NHS rheumy in Glasgow and asked my GP if he would refer me. He said he would get into huge trouble with NHS Orkney if he did that because the contract here is with NHS Grampian? Thanks for the thought though. TT x

  • Just a thought Tilda, would they not let you use Skype for check up consultations, and the GP for blood tests. Or telephone consultations with the Rhemies in Aberdeen or the Rheumy nurses. At least they could include your GP in a three way conference about your treatment?

  • That's how the tele-med system works Allanah as a consultation and what I am hoping for as would like me GP with me ideally but suspect i'll be flown to Aberdeen. Thanks for the thought though! TTx

  • Hi Tilda,

    Just a quick thought about your black dogs and MTX. You know I have temporarily stopped MTX. Had my last jab 3 weeks ago. Well these last few days I seem to have got my brain back! Sort of clearer thinking, and less fog. And less grumpy too, I am told. There is definitely something about MTX and black dogs. Or at least, small dark grey pups?

    However, I'm getting my sore eyes and stiff jaw joint back too. Marvellous!!!

  • Oh dear Phoebe - we just can't win it seems?! I have now got a funny rash on my face that started as pimple like spots or insect bite type spots. I've had then since I started on the MTX but yesterday and today they've got a bit out of hand. I'm starting to hate this drug rather badly but am too scared to stop taking it in case of flare ups as things are taking so long to happen for me. Today I've started thinking that it might be better to come off it and have a massive flare that forces them to take action and see me and medicate me more specifically. But the reality of that is that I'd probably still be left high and dry so will just have to hope that the hot red facial rash goes away by itself

    And the black dog is a whole nother saga - it seems we get one thing sorted and another rears it's head? Interesting to learn from you that the black dog (how could I ever have compared my own darling Fred to this nasty side effect) has gone away and brain cells are sparking now you're off it. Not sure I'm going to take it myself this coming week if this rash is anything to go by! TTx

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