ankle swelling, sprains, and rolls

KenM

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Does anyone else have chronic ankle swelling and discoloration? I have weak ankles and foot drop from the ALS and know I risk rolling my ankles when I walk, but I haven't had any instances of a clear ankle roll yet. Even so, my left ankle is often discolored, like I have a mild sprain (but with no pain). I don't yet wear Foot-Ankle-Orthoses but am looking into it.
 

Nikki J

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Yes get an afo asap. I have an ottobock walkon reaction which is perfect for the issue. Rolling ankle came first with me but the walkon reaction handles that foot drop and even helps a little with quad weakness
 

KarenNWendyn

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Yes, a rolling ankle was my first manifestation of muscle function failure due to ALS, and it was followed by foot drop. AFOs help all of the above and prevent falls due to ankle weakness. I never got swelling or discoloration, but that could result from repeated trauma caused by rolling.
 

blitzc

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Nikki, you mentioned this once before as I recall. Now with my recent falls, I am definitely noticing my problem is not only weak quads and knees but also ankles.
Could you send a picture of your device? I googled the name once before and again just now and feel a bit overwhelmed and confused by the choices.
Thanks!
 

Nikki J

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Here it is. There is a similar one I think called something like Allard rocker?? My orthotist told me this is much more durable. I have had this for 4 years though I originally needed it just for distance1AA57068-E722-4FCF-8C66-2B575C08A0EB.jpeg
 

ShiftKicker

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I also urge you to get orthotics or some other support despite not feeling any pain. Even it you are not actively rolling, a weak ankle has more "give" and is putting strain and wear on the joint. It sounds like that's what's possibly happening and you're likely walking on a joint that is very loose. This can set you up for risk of arthritis at a later date too.


Edited to add: This is based on personal experience. Constant ankle and foot bruising that went away with proper ankle support. Also a newly diagnosed case of arthritis in my ankles.
 
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KimT

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After years and years of playing sports, in late 2012 I stood up and my ankle rolled. It was a bad sprain and took about three months to heal. I didn't think anything of it only that it was unusual. A year after my diagnosis, my other ankle rolled (I have very high arches and wore inserts to support my feet. That sprain took about six months before I could even walk on it and another three before I stopped limping. My sneaker inserts were a big issue. I had to get neutral, padded inserts because the ones for high arches were making my ankles roll out. I though foot drop would soon follow but it hasn't. I can still walk on my heels and toes but it is very hard and I can't support my weight on only one foot.

I finally found sneakers that are more supportive and I'm using thick neutral bottom cushions. I experimented with a bunch of ankle supports but none of them helped.

Both ankles are weak and I have to be very careful walking and going down stairs.

I will definitely look into what Nikki has when I need AFOs.

Even in absence of ALS, when you sprain your ankle once, you are much more likely to sprain it again.

As for discoloration, for the first time in my life my feet swell if I keep my sneakers on all day. So far I've not noticed discoloration except when they were sprained and that eventually went away.

When my feet and ankles hurt, I soak them in magnesium salt, then rub them with magnesium oil and THC topical cream. It makes them feel a lot better. Sometimes I feel like I need the water hot and other times it feels better cold.
 

affected

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my Chris began getting blue discolourations in his ankles when his CO2 began to build up in his system.
 

Nikki J

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I should add that when I went for my afo which I wanted for energy conservation as much as safety the orthotist who specialized in MND and SCI said it was extremely rare to see people at my stage ( which was the correct time) as most people waited far too long and did not get the most benefit I had to ask for the order
 

Doglady

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The many helpful comments you’ve already received will be helpful I’m sure! I too started with a weak ankle leading to many falls and followed by foot drop. An AFO is an important to get soon. Should be covered by insurance if your doctor writes an order. I have a custom made one for my right foot and an ottobach WalkOn Trimable for my left. I like the Ottobach better than the custom one.

Regarding swelling and discoloration- you need to elevate your foot as much as possible.
 

Nikki J

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Do you have the walkon reaction Mary? It is lots more supportive than the plain walk on which really mostly helps foot drop
Both are trimmable which means you can have it the day you go if they have it in stock A major advantage over the custom kind where you have to wait and then make another visit.
 

Doglady

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Nikki- thanks for explaining that. I have just the plain walkon- which is ok for my left leg/foot because it is not the weak ankle. The custom afo usually does better at preventing my weak right ankle to twist although it didn’t once a few months ago when I was still walking with a rollator and I fell and sprained my ankle. I like wearing the braces now to help with transfers. 😊 Mary
 

KenM

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Thank you everyone for the helpful advice. I'll post an update after trying AFOs.
 

lgelb

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If your foot and/or ankle is swollen, massage with slow long strokes toward the knee to move the fluid.
 

KenM

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a follow-up on this query. I have since experimented with a shoelace/wrap drop support, an AFO, and support socks. Both the drop support and AFO have made a big difference in my ability to walk faster and with more confidence. Just played two rounds of golf and except for having trouble walking up out of a sand trap was pretty mobile. Thanks for the advice everyone.
 
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