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Could it be broken despite xray saying otherwise?

(19 Posts)
upjacobscreekwithoutapaddle Sun 14-Apr-13 12:54:05

Dh hurt his ankle 2 weeks ago playing sport. Heard a crack and could barely walk for about 48 hours. Lots of swelling which he has continually iced and he has been taking anti inflammatories. An x ray at local minor injuries unit didn't show a break. We are now 13 days down the line. Still swollen and bruised and as soon as he has been on it for a few minutes he is getting dull aching and it's very uncomfortable. I thought a sprain or ligament damage would have eased considerably by now?

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 14-Apr-13 12:55:35

Sounds entirely normal for a sprain or a strain. Expect pain and swelling for several weeks if not months depending on the severity.

upjacobscreekwithoutapaddle Sun 14-Apr-13 13:11:55

Goes to show what I know! :-). Thanks for the reply, good to know it's normal.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 14-Apr-13 13:22:40

Get him Xrayed again. Break might have been missed first time round. My friend's broken wrist was missed until she returned to Dr with continued pain and swelling. Sent to hospital, re-Xrayed and li and behold fractured. Dug out original Xray and break was clearly visible but had been missed for some reason.

bigbluebus Sun 14-Apr-13 13:30:59

It is possible for Drs to miss fractures. DD had a fractured femur which was missed and only diagnosed 4 weeks later when the x-rays were re-visited by a Consultant.
Not saying that your DS has broken anything as I am no expert on soft tissue damage, but it is always possible for Drs to be wrong - they are only human.

TotallyEggFlipped Sun 14-Apr-13 13:35:38

It's completely normal for a sprain, but it's also not that unusual for an initial X-Ray to look completely normal, even when reviewed by a senior radiology consultant in retrospect if the fracture is still perfectly aligned. With a bit of time and movement the ends of the fracture can become displaced, making it obvious.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 14-Apr-13 13:53:15

Yes it does happen but OPs description sounds completely normal to me, even with a mild to moderate sprain.

upjacobscreekwithoutapaddle Sun 14-Apr-13 21:23:26

Thanks for all your responses. He is quite a keen sportsman and has had various knocks and sprains over time that have all healed quickly which is why I was wondering. TheAccidental...at what point would you start to consider asking to be xrayed? Tia.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 13:37:43

I wouldn't consider it in this case but if he is worried he should see the GP.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 13:43:06

If he wants to speed up the recovery though he should either see a Musculo skeletal Podiatrist or a physio. Ankle sprains take a long time precisely because they are weightbearing. It should gradually return to normal especially if he does some proprioreception exercises (Pod or Physio can give them to him).

cathers Mon 15-Apr-13 14:32:19

Serious ankle sprains can give symptoms up to 12 weeks post injury, however if he is 2 weeks into that it and seeing no improvement I would be inclined to contact the GP requesting either a second X-ray to look for calcification ( mending) around the break if there is one, and physio if there is not.

Yonihadtoask Mon 15-Apr-13 14:40:15

It could be. I had a broken arm as a child, which was n't diagnosed on xray. I got a letter a week or so later asking me to go in for it putting in a cast.

However, I believe that sprain/strains - particularly in the ankles can be much more painful and take longer to heal than an actual bone fracture. So it could be a sprain.

Hope he feels better soon.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 15:49:28

In my experience serious ankle sprains can give symptoms up to 12 months after the injury. I regularly see patients several months after the original injury with similar symptoms as your DH with no fracture.

If he has concerns he should go and see his GP.

CunfuddledAlways Mon 15-Apr-13 15:58:48

twice my youngest daughter has been sent away from a&e with broken bones (one of which has seriously affected her walking and she will have to have an operation) but i think its easier to miss on small children than adults but even a small break can cause great pain. always best to get a second opinon if your not convinced

upjacobscreekwithoutapaddle Mon 15-Apr-13 18:28:53

Thanks again for all the responses. He certainly doesn't want to waste the hospitals' time so would only go if he was really concerned. Anyone have any idea what the crack he heard could have been? Loud enough for his friend nearby to also hear...

EstoyAqui Mon 15-Apr-13 18:32:03

I would get it x-rayed again. My DS recently suffered a broken leg and it wasn't until our 4th visit to the hospital at day 10 that they identified it. If you are unsure get it checked.

Loftyjen Mon 15-Apr-13 18:41:30

Even hearing a crack doesn't automatically indicate a fracture - was an emergency nurse practitioner & lots of patients with ?fractures would report that but be badly sprained.
Would definitely be worth requesting repeat X-ray either via GP or returning to A&E as if there had been an undisplaced fracture (easiest to miss) there would be clear signs of it now healing showing the fracture site. Hope he's better soon, annoyingly sprains can take a lot longer to heal than you'd expect xx

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 15-Apr-13 20:48:32

I agree, the crack can often be the sound of the talus and the fibula knocking together on a eversion sprain, they can get a good bashing. Very common with a sprain.

upjacobscreekwithoutapaddle Mon 15-Apr-13 21:29:05

Thanks very much. I've learnt something today. I've passed the info and advice onto him.

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