Ankle Pain: Ankle Injuries

The 26 Review

  • What is Ankle Pain? Any kind of pain or discomfort affecting any part of the ankle.
  • Causes Various conditions: bursitis, fractures, sprains, tendonitis, arthritis, flat feet, gout, infection
  • Symptoms Swelling, bruising, redness, warmth, difficulty walking, and any level of discomfort in the ankle
  • Diagnosis Physical examination, X-ray, severe cases include CT scan or MRI.
  • Treatment Braces, splints, joint aspiration, orthotics, medication, physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery

Let’s take a closer look…

Our ankles are an integral part of the musculoskeletal system. They support our weight and allow us to stand, balance, and walk. A flexible and healthy ankle joint enables you to point, flex, rotate, and turn your foot in a complete circle. The lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) come together to meet the foot bone (talus) to form the ankle. Ligaments are a part of this system and are bands of tissue that bind bone to bone.

There are ankle ligaments on both sides of the ankle and in both the front and back of the ankle joint. Additionally, there is a complex mesh of tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues that are involved with the ankle joint that allow for movement. Ankles are very susceptible to pain when any of these parts are either not working properly or have experienced any type of injury or trauma. Unfortunately, some ankle pain is hereditary due to inherited bone structure.


Ankle pain can be caused by many things, but the most common culprits are overuse, injury, and inherited bone structure for example flat feet. The ankle joint is one of the more mobile joints in the body, making it prone to injury from sudden moves and twists. Overuse can occur from excessive wear and tear on the joints due to repetitive motions like jogging or playing sports that require sudden stops and turns such as soccer, football, basketball, and tennis.

There are many different causes of ankle pain, from simple sprains to more serious conditions like arthritis. The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprain, which occurs when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn. Other causes of ankle pain include fractures, tendonitis, bursitis, and nerve compression. Gout and infection can also cause ankle pain. Both can be easily diagnosed by your Podiatrist and treated in-office.


There are a few different ankle pain symptoms that you may experience, depending on the severity of your discomfort and/or injury. These include swelling, bruising, redness, warmth, difficulty walking, and pain when moving the ankle or putting weight on it. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away so that you can get the treatment you need. There are times when ankle pain is simply due to a misalignment in the foot and can be easily corrected with shoe inserts. In other cases, ankle pain may be indicative of a more severe condition such as a fracture or cartilage damage, and require surgical treatment.


The first step in diagnosing ankle pain is to take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and when they began. He or she will also ask about your medical history, including any previous injuries or illnesses that might be causing your ankle pain. Your most current diet may also be discussed as gout can be a big factor in causing ankle pain which is commonly due to one’s diet. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, may be ordered to further evaluate the cause of your ankle pain. Blood tests may also be ordered to rule out certain conditions.

Treatment For Ankle Pain

Treatment for ankle pain will vary depending on the underlying cause. However, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are often recommended as initial treatment for ankle pain. There are several ways to treat ankle pain, depending on the underlying cause. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, you may need to wrap it in an ace bandage and keep it elevated. Your doctor may want to cast you or prescribe a medical boot if a fracture has been found. If you have arthritis, you may need to take medication or have surgery. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for your case of ankle pain.

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