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

6 Answers

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.