The Injuries Behind Ankle Pain

Symptoms and diagnosis for Ankle Pain
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By Orthopaedic and Neurology Clinic

Ankle pain info

What is define by an Ankle Pain?

Ankle pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort in your ankles. This pain could be caused by an injury, like a sprain, or by a medical condition, like arthritis.

A sprain occurs when your ligaments (the tissues that connect bones) tear or get overstretched. Most ankle sprains are lateral sprains, which occur when your foot rolls, causing your outside ankle to twist toward the ground. This action stretches or rips the ligaments.

What are some symptoms of an Ankle Pain?

The ankle joint is the meeting of the bones of the leg and the foot and is responsible for the up and down motion of the foot. Pain in the ankle can result from inflammation or injury to any of the structures in this region, including the bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. Ankle pain can be associated with other symptoms including

  • ankle swelling
  • bruising
  • redness
  • numbness or tingling
  • instability
  • burning pain
  • inability to bear weight on the affected ankle
  • stiffness
  • weakness

“Although mild ankle pain often responds well to home treatments, it can take time to resolve. You should see your doctor for severe ankle pain, especially if it follows an injury.”

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What types of diagnosis?

Our doctor may ask and conduct one or more of the following tests to determine whether you have ankle pain:

    • History of symptoms. To diagnose ankle pain, our doctor will first want to get your full medical history. This includes whether you have had any recent injuries, where you feel the pain, and how the pain feels.
    • Physical examination. Our doctor will include testing your muscle strength and reflexes. He might also ask you to do some stretching and moving exercises to determine which activities cause more pain.
    • X-rays. An ankle X-ray is to determine whether there are any broken bones. In addition to an ankle X-ray, your doctor may ask for X-rays of the leg and foot to determine whether there may be other related injuries.
    • MRI, CT scan. This scan can help to determine if there is a stress fracture. This will will show more detail about the injury.

Possible treatment methods?

Physical therapy

Step 1: RICE

RICE stands for rest, ice, compression (with an elastic ankle wrap) and elevation (toes above the nose). For significantly swollen ankles or if limping persists for more than three days, you should see our Specialist.

Step 2: Rehabilitation

To prevent permanent damage to the ankle, take steps to achieve better range of motion (flexibility), balance and strength. It is better to work out with our trained Therapist to prevent further injuries.

Step 3: Supportive devices

When back to playing sports, previously injured athletes should probably wear an ankle brace, no matter how much they have rehabilitated their ankle or how good their sneakers. An injured ankle will never have the same support again, so a brace should be considered.

Surgery

Surgery may be performed when the damage to the ligaments is severe and there is evidence of instability, or when the injury doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment. Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopy: During an arthroscopy, our surgeon looks inside the joint to see if there are any loose fragments of bone or cartilage.
  • Reconstruction: For reconstruction surgery, our surgeon will repair the torn ligament with stitches. They may also use other ligaments or tendons around the foot or ankle to repair the damaged ligaments.

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