The most common cause of ankle pain is an inversion sprain. This may occur when your foot rolls inward pulling, and sometimes tearing, the ligaments on the lateral (outside) aspect of the ankle. Pain usually is located on the outside area of the ankle; often swelling and discoloration are noted. The ankle joint is a hinged type joint moving in two directions, dorsiflexion (upwards) and plantarflexion (downward). Usually ankles can dorsiflex approximately 10° and plantarflex 45°. There are collateral ligaments on either side of the ankle helping stabilize the joint. Sprains can be mild to severe, immediate treatment should be ice and elevation. If the sprain was minimal then within a few hours the pain should be gone and there should be no obvious discoloration or swelling. Moderate to severe sprains require medical attention.
Initially with any injury of the foot or leg, ice and elevation will help reduce swelling and pain, but if pain continues, and you find that walking is agonizing, you may need to see a doctor. Moderate to severe sprains require medical attention. Initially X-rays will be taken to rule out fractures. Ultrasound evaluation may be required to check for possible tears in the ligaments. If pain continues even when both x-rays and ultrasound show no changes then an MRI will be needed to evaluate the soft tissue surrounding the ankle. Treatment may include surgery, but usually immobilization may be all that is required. There are various ankle braces, walking boots, bandages, splints and topical medications that can treat sprains rapidly. The longer the ankle has been hurting the more difficult it will be to reverse; therefore, seeking medical expertise rapidly is important.
Therapeutic laser treatments may be needed to alleviate an ankle that has not responded to traditional treatments. The earlier you seek medical treatment the faster you can resume a normal life. Nevertheless, ankle ligaments, especially the lateral ankle ligaments, once stretched will have a tendency to give out during activity. Simply stated once you have injured your ankle the chances of re-injury are greater, so it is important to support that ankle during strenuous activities. Our On-Line Store offers several ankle braces that we have found to be excellent for daily use.
Arthritis can occur in any joint throughout the body. It may occur following an acute injury that was left untreated, or it may occur due to chronic injuries from overuse. Naturally it just may be an inherited arthritic condition that is occurring at various joints throughout the body. If you are suffering with a constant dull ache to your ankle and walking has become a problem, then it is time to see your podiatrist. Occasionally, ankles may need surgical correction to stop the pain, but most of the time conservative treatment alleviates the problem without the risk of invasive surgery. There are treatments to help reduce the pain of arthritic joints, often supporting the foot and joint can alleviate much of the pain and help the patient return to an active life style.