Podiatrist Questions Pain Management

Snapping noise and pain in heel or back of the ankle

Hi I’m an overweight, 49 yr lady who has a damaged ankle from previous motorbike v car injury.

2 years ago I hurt my achelies tendon walking on uneven ground where now it snaps every 5-10 steps with searing pain to only snap again can be heard very audibly.

The only treatment I have received is a cortisone shot which didn’t really do anything to help.

My life is ruined I need to use a walker to walk I find it hard to mobilize stairs I use the walls of the house to lean on to get around my home after being very active even though I was a larger person I now struggle to take more then 500-1000 steps per day.

I am not on pain killers. Just over the counter medication when it all gets to much.

Because of swelling of lower legs due to thyroid issues ct and ultrasound is inconclusive.

I am desperate to get my mobility back so I can return to work and return to having a somewhat normal life.

Female | 49 years old
Complaint duration: 2
Medications: Thyroxine
Conditions: Thyroid

7 Answers

You may have a partially ruptured Achilles. If your doc did a cortisone injection into the tendon, this can be causing further breakdown on your tendon. Cortisone injections are not recommended into the achilles tendon. Well documented in literature. You might need a second opinion if this is what happened. MRI would tell you extent of rupture and if surgery is necessary to fix this.
Have you tried dry needling?
Sounds like you are suffering from peroneal tendon dislocation. You can do a noncontras MRI of the ankle, and a supporting ankle brace can be a conservative option!
You may need an MRI to evaluate the tendon. There are other conservative treatments besides cortisone (which I don't recommend in the Achilles area because it can weaken the tendon even more). You can try compression over the area, non-cortisone injection, physical therapy, or a custom insert with a possible heel lift. There are lots of options and even non-invasive treatments such as PRP or TENEX.
The audible sound coming from soft tissue in joints often times is a benign process but if it is related to associated pain or dysfunction to the area may define underlying pathology that requires investigation and potential treatment. Given your history of trauma I would suggest that there is some ongoing process that needs further evaluation. I would caution the use of any type of cortisone injections around the Achilles tendon as this has demonstrated potential risk for rupture. I would encourage evaluation by a specialist well trained in and foot and ankle issues for a proper evaluation to include necessary imaging such as x-rays and it indicated advanced imaging such as MRI or CT scan. Based on this hopefully a definitive diagnosis can be made with prognosis and treatment options
A physical therapist is well qualified to start you on an appropriate exercise plan that can address your issues as well as ensure that you don't cause damage elsewhere. A physical therapist can also you pain relieving modalities in order to make you feel better that same day.
The best advice that I can provide you is to encourage you to seek out a physical therapist who has a history in ankle injuries.