I was hoping to get some advice regarding a recent ankle injury, hopefully by people who have had a similar experience or who know someone with a similar issue. The backstory:
I ran my first 10 mile race about 2 weeks ago. I had been training for 2.5 months and hadn't sustained any serious injuries. While running the race, my right inner ankle started to hurt, but I didn't think much of it. I was used to little aches and pains in places throughout my body as I run, and I was full of adrenaline so I ran through it. I finished the race no problem. I took 3 days off running, then ran again early Thursday morning (only 3 miles). The pain flared up again in the inner ankle while I was running. I took another week and a half off of running, cross-training with cycling and other activities the whole time. When I went on a long walk on Saturday (5 miles... perhaps a little too long), the pain flared up again in my ankle around the last mile. IUnfortunately, I couldn't stop because I had to make it back to my car. The ankle isn't swollen, and it doesn't hurt when you manually probe around it. The pain is sharp, and concentrated mostly right beneath the ankle bone. I've also noticed some pain in the bottom of my foot by my arches.
I went to my primary care doctor today, and she diagnosed me with a sprain, but I'm not sure that's the issues. I've had a minor sprain or two in the past, which mostly resulted from rolling hte ankle, and this feels different. I thought I'd ask other runners for their opinions. Any thoughts on what the issue could be? I'm getting worried...
Diagnoses are often made based on symptoms, in a cascade of probability known as the "differential diagnosis," but there can be a disconnect between the apparent preponderance on which this probability is based, and reality, when multiple causations of symptoms are taken into account. You know, we think it's x when b and c are true but, all bets are off if b is because of z not y. These 2-dimensional charts are too simple for cases when an infinitely complicated 3-dimensional chart would be more appropriate. Alas, there is only so much time for this in medicine. Wise but time-challenged physicians may hedge their bets by prescribing protocols that will be effective for x through z, so the veracity of an original diagnosis may not matter so much where the rubber meets the road. Stay off the ankle, is the effective message here.
However, it might be a good idea to follow up on the sharp pain at the medial malleolus. You could have suffered an avulsion fracture where the (sprained) deltoid ligament attaches, pulling a small chunk away from the bone. This is a totally different problem that can occur with the sprain. Then again, you say there is sharp pain, but not on palpation? I'm confused. If you have pain in an area but not when pressed, it could be "referred pain" from a nearby muscle. As I recall, there is the potential for arch pain coming from the upper rear calf muscle Gastrocnemius (medial), and some ankle pain coming from Flexor D. Longus at about the same spot high on the medial rear calf, but not as severe as you describe. Might be worth checking out, especially if you tend to cross that leg over the opposite knee when sitting.