Your ankle has been hurting you lately and it feels stiff and uncomfortable to touch. Sometimes it swells up and you feel like it’s going to give out on you, especially when you are walking on an uneven or bumpy surface. You don’t recall twisting it recently, even though you have sprained it in the past. In fact, the last time you did it didn’t even seem bad enough to even go to the foot doctor and healed on its own. What’s going on? These symptoms point to chronic lateral ankle pain.
Causes of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
There are several possible reasons why you might be experiencing chronic lateral ankle pain. At Lansdowne Podiatry, the first step to figuring out why you are in pain is a complete physical examination of the entire foot and ankle by our board qualified podiatrist, Dr. Monique Renee Rolle. Most often, chronic lateral ankle pain is the result of repeated ankle sprains and the scar tissue that builds up from these sprains. Unfortunately, many patients don’t realize that sprains require immediate and thorough medical attention. Just because the pain stops doesn’t mean that the sprain has been completely or properly rehabilitated. If the muscles are not strengthened or the sprain is not fully healed, additional sprains are likely to occur. Other causes of chronic lateral ankle pain include:
- Fractures in the joints of the ankle bones
- Nerve damage—stretching, tearing or pinching in the ankle area
- Arthritis or other conditions that cause inflammation in the joints, joint linings or tendons associated with the ankle
The treatment for chronic lateral ankle pain will have the goal of eliminating your current pain and discomfort and preventing future ankle injuries. If an x-ray reveals an ankle fracture, the foot doctor may immobilize your ankle for a period of time to allow the bones to heal. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling. Once healed, physical therapy that will help strengthen surrounding muscles and increase range of motion may be recommended. The podiatrist can also advise you to wear a brace or ankle supports to give your ankle greater stability and reduce the risk of it twisting.
The most important action you can take when it comes to ankle pain is to make an appointment at our Leesburg office to get it evaluated. Many chronic ankle conditions can be prevented if injuries are treated properly and promptly. Contact our office to get solutions to your ankle issues.