Anyone know what this is?....

MacMac ✭✭✭
edited March 2017 in Health + Injury
Well, it's been a long time since I posted here and to be honest my running has been on and off for a few years.
My mileage crept down and as a result my weight crept up!
Still, I am attempting to pick it up again, albeit on a reduced mileage and less often than I'd like.
One of the main reasons for failing to regain a routine and consistency in my running is niggley injuries that seem to hinder and plague me whenever I try to get back into a regular running routine?
A year or so ago I picked up a torn ligament and damaged cartilage in my left knee, which was bad for a while. However, with careful management and medical help (including injections into the knee) I managed to avoid the keyhole least so far.
It still twinges when I stray over 5 miles or so but so far no re-occurrences of the pain and swelling/stiffening up suffered previously.
Anyway, I digress.
On a run about 3 weeks ago, I picked up what started as a twinge in my left ankle, then seemed to creep up to my Achilles, then crept further up into the bottom of my calf where it insisted on remaining until it tightened and became too uncomfortable and sore to continue.
I assumed it was just "one of those things" as often they do just go away after a couple of days rest , never to return?
At first this seemed to be the case as after a few days rest it indeed just seemed to "go away".
However, after a couple to three miles on my next run )following a few days or more of rest) it once again started...ankle, Achilles then up to my lower calf.
I reckon it's at about the 2.5 - 3 mile mark when it first starts and it very quickly worsens once it spreads up to my Achilles..
Last Saturday I ran for 3.5 miles with no problems and thought (again) that it had eventually passed.
The next day an old friend asked me to run on the Sunday so filled with new confidence and hope I agreed.
We ran a comfortable, easy/slow pace for 5.4 miles and I again at first I thought it would be fine but after around 4 - 4.5 miles it came back and although I managed to continue and finish the run back to his house (total 5.4 miles) it was quiet stiff and sore. I thought I'd perhaps over done it even though it did hold off for longer than previous episodes of the usual 2-3 miles.
Today is Wednesday and I still feel a slight stiffness and tenderness in the lower calf (not the ankle at all) when on all previous occasions the pain and discomfort had disappeared after a day or two?

Does anyone know what this is and how to manage it?
Has anyone had a similar problem?

The tightness and the lasting discomfort is in the lower calf not the Achilles or ankle. It's just that it seems to start in the ankle, then to the achilles, then to the lower calf where the main discomfort remains. 

All ankle and Achilles discomfort are gone within minutes or certainly hours after I stop running but the lower calf issues last longer.

  • Do I just need to rest up for a lot longer? (I'd rather not as I am struggling with my weight a bit lately and need to shed a few pounds)
  • Could it be my shoes need replacing? I've had them over a year. This is not typically how it works though, I usually just get a few twinges in my knees?
  • Do it need new orthotics? I've had them for a few years now but this injury is not typical or symptomatic of my previous gait problems.
  • Any other ideas?
Thanks in advance.



  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭
    Where is the ankle discomfort, inside, outside, front, back, deep, all over?
    Which ligament did you tear in your knee - i take it, it wasn't a complete rupture?
  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    The left ankle discomfort seems to start on the outside somewhere between the heel and the ball joint.
    It's a slight, twinge type of sensation but particularly painful.
    It's hard to say if it's deep or not but I'd say not especially deep?
    I think the ligament was the lateral collateral ligament on the inside of the left knee.
    According to the MRI (or was it a CT?) there were a couple of small tears.
    They also said that the cartilage (meniscus) may be damages so may need to be trimmed via keyhole surgery to remove the excess that was causing some pain by catching on the ligament and tissues?
    The knee pain is mainly OK now and I only get a slight twinge if i push the mileage too much past 5 miles.
    It is curious though how all this is the same (Left) side?
  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭
    The lateral collateral is on the outside, the medial collateral is on the inside.
    Any numbness, tingling, weakness of the left foot? Is it sore to touch?
    How old are you?
    Good choice on not having your meniscus trimmed.  If you have normal function of the knee which doesn't affect your quality of life then leave it like that.  Treat the patient, NOT the MRI.
    Your body undoubtedly will have made subtle adjustments following a serious injury.
  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    Sorry my bad ref the incorrect ligament description, it's definitely on the inside of the left knee.
    I am 54.
    No weakness, soreness or tingling on the left foot/ankle.
    It just feels tight, sore and "bruised" on the lower left calf.
    One of my best friends is an orthopaedic scrub nurse and he advised me against the operation. Apparently it can trigger all sorts including premature arthritis in the affected knee? 
    Any ideas what it is and if I need to stop running altogether for a while or can it be managed?
  • FootmechFootmech ✭✭✭
    It sounds like there is a combination of stresses at play.
    to me the medial collateral ligament and now this pain have something in common. 
    Adult acquired flat feet. 
    The deep posterior tibialus may be taking a lot of load.

    you need to review your orthotics and shoes.
    as well as quadriceps function in light of your knee injury.

    ruuning to lose weight is great, but the muscles are going to struggle to get conditioned to meet the load. 
    Hence the tendency to get repetitive injury. 
    Focus on food quality intake as part of your regime. 

    Get to a Podiatrist for a review
  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.
    I am 5' 8" and approx 13st with decent muscle mass (albeit a little concealed right now!)
    I am not grossly overweight but certainly need to lose some weight.
    I've never been a graceful runner although I can usually out sprint everyone in the local running club (when i went) including the "top" runners there. It's what I'm built for.
    I think I'll take your advice and see the podiatrist who operates from the local running shop in Derby so I can look at shoes too.
  • PewpewpewPewpewpew ✭✭✭
    Does it just feel tender or is there actual bruising on your calf - that is quite serious?
    Yes, a menisectomy will lead to osteoarthritis. The surgeon should try to repair it rather than remove it where possible.
    It could be various things - I'd need to examine you properly to make an accurate diagnosis.  It sounds like a peroneal problem from what you describe, but it could also be a calf/achilles problem.  Two or three weeks rest followed by massage should eradicate the symptoms.  First few runs back, mix a walking warm up followed by alternate running walking every 200 metres.  These are important to get blood flowing to the region but not stressing the tissue too much.  Have a day off between each of these sessions. Aim to do 4 or 5 of them before jumping back into normal running.
    The cause is what you need to tackle.  Otherwise it will keep reoccurring.  It may very well be a training error, overdone the mileage slightly, different terrain, increased intensity, reduced sleep/rest/stress?  Ideally, you should be evaluated from your spine down to your feet to see if there is anything contributing to it.
    Why are you wearing orthotics?

  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    No actual bruising that's just my poor description, it just feels like it is on the inside, but only when I move my calf muscle
    It's not tender to touch, it's all on the inside?
    I was prescribed orthotics around 10 years ago by a local midlands Podiatrist (Karl Travis) as I got knee pain and acute arch and toe blistering when I ran in the early days of running.
    I tried various shoes but nothing really worked so I went to the Pod.
    I don't wear them any other time except for running, they stay in my running shoes.
    I over pronate and have a few mm leg length difference.
    The orthotics are a high density foam rather than a hard compound.
    They are over 5 years old now (I had them replaced once after around 5 years) so perhaps they just need re-assessing?
    Perhaps I've grown out of them and could manage without, just using supportive shoes?
  • PaulMarshPaulMarsh ✭✭✭
    Maybe running is too much for you with your knee condition. I reckon you should stop running, but do other cardio, such as biking, gym or x trainer instead.

    I know that it is not ideal, but running might make the problem worse - adding more injury. Sometimes running isn't for everyone, or for ever.
    I'm ok, been running all my life and not had any problems, but others I see running are in pain, even on short distance - covered in bandages and compression pads due to the pain.

  • FootmechFootmech ✭✭✭
    Get a review Mac
  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    I had a gait analysis at my local running store last Friday and it seemed OK.
    They did say my shoes had seen better days and probably needed replacing.
    They are over a year old so probably right about that one.
    Perhaps I just need to rest up a little longer before trying to run on it, otherwise I'll just get stuck in this vicious cycle?
    Doesn't look like I'm flat footed, no probs going onto tip toes etc.

  • FootmechFootmech ✭✭✭
    With all due respects to running stores. Who utilise youngsters barely out of school to take a look at you running on a treadmill. 
    Please don't tell me that you value that opinion as the be all that ends all. 
    There is a lot more to foot function that just looking at a person running on the treadmill. It's not to say that under the right eye a treadmill is not useful. But it needs three dimensional analysis with slow motion video to be more informative. 

    You need an physical check up, someone to feel around, do the tests, like single leg stance balance test, single leg squat test, and single leg bridge . These will give indicators as to the state of your muscles which cannot be picked up very easily on treadmill. 

    Get an opinion from from a specialist. 

  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    Are you referring to a podiatrist?
  • MacMac ✭✭✭
    Ah, just re-read your earlier post and you do mean with a pod.
    Thanks I will look into it.
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