So I run alot... usually treadmill.. 5-6 days a week.. ~30-40 mi. I have been developing a shin splint issue, but I just plowed through it. So... then my treadmill broke and I started running outside again.. which I hadn't really done since early 2013.
After a couple of back to back days with 5 mi runs I developed swelling in my lower leg - just above my right ankle in the front and some tightness around my soleus. I rested for a week and ran 3 mi... same thing but worse... rested a few days tried again with some pre-stretching and warm compresses.. had to pull up after 2.5 mi... The calf tightness went away.. But the swelling got pretty serious in my lower right leg.. After RICE for two weeks (minus a short 3 mile jog on the treadmill at work), I have a knot right above my ankle, not really visible other than slightly visible swelling - about tip of thumb size in width. It doesnt hurt - even to press on it. When I had the swelling traversing stairs could be painful, and I could feel it a bit when walking. But all of that is gone.
Does anyone have a guess what type of injury this is? I have been reading ad infinitum and I'm not really sure. I'm a little hesitant to go to the doctor right now, because I have some work related responsibilities that could be put in danger if this is something that requires surgery with a long recovery period. When I wear boots for long periods (10 hrs), I get some swelling but it goes away with 30 mins of icing... except that knot.
Stress reaction or (hopefully not) stress fracture?
I would not ignore this or try to run through it. If the bone is involved then you have to rest it...no medical background here but after going through a stress fracture this is what I found.
We usually use the word "knot" to refer to contracted lumps of muscle tissue, but I doubt this particular lump is formed by muscle. How long has this lump been forming? One guess I have is that you developed a ganglion cyst while accumulating other loosely related injuries with a different prognosis. These cysts, on the other hand, are usually not painful to press (as a fracture might be), and are comprised of excess fluid extruded by a joint into an expanded sac. Here's a pic below...
Could you get one from too much running? Sure... I did. If this is what you have, one or two sessions with a needle to remove the excess fluid is all it takes. They used to call them "Bible cysts" because old-time doctors would whack them with a large book, such as a Bible, to rupture the sac so the fluid gets reabsorbed. Too much risk of infection, though, so refer this one to your modern-day doc. The needle cure is fast and cheap, with no "long recovery period" required.
Meanwhile, my personal opinion is that your training regimen has overwhelmed your ability to recover. These injuries are a good indicator of that. I'd cut back if I were you, until the healing catches up with the damage.