Assessing Musculoskeletal Pain
A 46-year-old female reports pain in both of her ankles while but she is more concerned about her right ankle. She was playing soccer over the weekend and heard a “pop.” She can bear weight, but it is uncomfortable. In determining the cause of the ankle pain, based on your knowledge of anatomy, what foot structures are likely involved? What other symptoms need to be explored? What are your differential diagnoses for ankle pain? What physical examination will you perform while assessing musculoskeletal pain? What special maneuvers will you perform? Should you apply the Ottowa ankle rules to determine if you need additional testing?
Initials, N/A Age, 46 Sex, Female Race, not indicated
CC: Bilateral Ankle pain / assessing musculoskeletal pain
HPI: Pt c/o bilateral ankle pain, worse on R s/p hearing a “pop” while playing soccer this past weekend. Pt is able to bear weight, with some discomfort and was more concern about her R ankle.
Location: Bilateral ankle
Onset: Over the weekend
Character: Bilateral ankle pain, worse on the right. She was playing soccer over the weekend and heard a “pop.”
Associated signs and symptoms: She can bear weight, but it is uncomfortable
Timing: over the weekend and heard a “pop. “while playing soccer
Exacerbating/ relieving factors: She can bear weight, but it is uncomfortable
Severity: She can bear weight, but it is uncomfortable
NEUROLOGICAL: No headache, dizziness, syncope, paralysis, ataxia, numbness or tingling in the extremities. No change in bowel or bladder control indicated
MUSCULOSKELETAL: bilateral ankle pain, worse on R. Positive pulses on both dorsalis and pedis bilaterally. Right ankle with 1+edema, erythema; and tenderness on palpation noted. No edema or erythema noted on the left ankle.
Peripheral Vascular: Right ankle with 1+edema, erythema; and tenderness on palpation noted. No edema or erythema noted on the left ankle Positive pulses on both dorsalis and pedis bilaterally.
Diagnostic results: This will include X-Ray, Ct scan and MRI According to Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, and Stewart (2015) an x-ray of the ankle should be done when pain is present in the malleolar area with one of the following locations: Bony tenderness to the distal 6cm of the posterior edge or tip of the lateral malleolus, bony tenderness on the distal 6cm of the posterior edge or tip of the medial malleolus, or the inability for the patient to be weight bearing. According to Ball, Dains, Baumann, & Scheibel 2016, Ottawa Ankle Rules are used to identify the need for diagnostic testing in the patient with ankle pain. This tool determines that if a patient has ankle pain the malleolar area of the ankle in addition to bone tenderness near the posterior fibula, bone tenderness near the posterior tibia, or the inability to bear weight for four steps, he or she should be sent for an ankle radiography series. Also, Ottawa have 98.5%sensitivity level in identifying fracture.
1. Ankle Sprain is an injury that occurs to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle that produces symptoms like pain, swelling, bruising, soreness, joint stiffness, and difficulty walking Sports injuries are very common when running, landing a jump, or any direct contact that can create pain, swelling, and even an audible tearing or popping, yet ecchymosis can be delayed by a few days (American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society, 2015).
- Achilles tendon injury: Occurs from a sudden snap in the lower calf with the inability to stand on the toes of the affected side (Saglimbeni, 2016).
- Post-exercise muscle soreness: Appears as a discomfort or pain to the distal portion of skeletal muscles after physical activity that one is not used to, as well as decreased strength and flexibility (Kedlaya, 2016).
- Achilles tendon injury presents through a sudden snap in the lower calf with the inability to stand on the toes of the affected side (Saglimbeni, 2016).
5. Ankle Fracture: Stress fractures in the foot are most often seen in the calcaneus, navicular, and metatarsal bones, and less often in the cuboid bone. An ankle fracture usually manifest with swelling, bruising, and an inability to bear weight.