The ankle is a complex weight-bearing joint that supports your mobility. It is made up of many bones, ligaments, and tendons that are vulnerable to injury and illness.
A top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor evaluates your symptoms to determine the most effective ankle and foot pain treatment for you. He reviews your pain history, workout routine and medical records.
Most ankle pain results from an injury, such as a twisted ankle. This can occur from tripping or falling, landing awkwardly after jumping or sports activity and from wearing poor footwear. Twisted ankles often result in the outside ligaments tearing. Ankles can also swell and stiffen due to other health conditions or arthritis.
Tendinitis occurs when tendons, which attach muscle to bone, become chronically irritated and inflamed. This can be caused by overuse or by a health condition like diabetes. The Achilles tendon, which runs from your calf muscles to your heel, can swell and feel tender if you have a condition called lupus, a type of arthritis.
Arthritis can cause ankle pain if the cartilage in your ankle joint becomes deteriorated and causes bones to rub together. Over time, this can lead to bone spurs. Pain, swelling and stiffness can also result from a gout attack or an infection in the ankle or foot.
Pain, stiffness and swelling in the ankle are the main symptoms. You might also have a fever, which is a sign of infection. You can usually treat mild to moderate ankle pain at home with rest, ice and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine.
The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprain. These injuries happen when ligaments (tough, fibrous tissues that connect bones) get stretched or torn. You can get a sprain from stepping off a curb or walking on uneven ground, playing sports like tennis and basketball, or falling.
Other types of ankle pain include arthritis and normal wear and tear. You might feel pain, stiffness and swelling from a joint problem or from health conditions like gout and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also affect the Achilles tendon, which runs from your calf muscle to your heel. This condition causes a tender bump where the tendon joins your ankle bone. You may also have a burning sensation or tingling in the ankle, foot and calf.
The ankle is a large weight-bearing joint that supports your entire body. Because the joint is composed of a complex system of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, injuries or medical conditions that impact any one of these structures may cause ankle pain.
Your doctor diagnoses ankle pain through a physical exam and by asking questions about your symptoms. He or she will touch around the injured area to check for points of tenderness and may move your ankle in different positions to understand what positions cause pain or discomfort.
Your doctor may order imaging tests to get a closer look at your ankle bones and tissues, including X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. X-rays use radiation to produce images of your ankle bones and surrounding tissues, while MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to create 3-D pictures of soft internal structures like ligaments. Your doctor may also order blood tests to identify an underlying condition like gout or arthritis that causes joint inflammation.
The feet and ankles are vital for supporting the weight of the body, absorbing shock, and providing balance and mobility. Their complex assembly of bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments makes them susceptible to injury and disease.
The team at Sunset Foot Clinic in Silver Lake, Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks, Northridge, La Palma, and Whittier, California, provides comprehensive care for all foot and ankle problems. They treat acute injuries such as sprained ankles, and they can also help you prevent future injuries so that you can remain active.
They use conservative treatments like rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce pain and swelling and promote healing. When these treatments aren’t effective, they perform surgery to repair damaged ligaments and joints. They may also perform an osteotomy, which involves cutting the bone to shorten or lengthen it. They can even perform a joint fusion to increase stability. The experts at this practice also provide PRP therapy, an innovative injection treatment that uses your own healing growth factors to accelerate tissue healing.