Ankle pain usually results from injury or degeneration at the joint. Injuries may be due to a one-off incident, such as stepping off a curb awkwardly, or from chronic stress like running. People who play sports that involve pivoting, jumping, and sprinting are also at risk of ankle injury and pain.
Ankle pain may also develop due to an underlying disease like osteoarthritis. This wear-and-tear arthritis occurs when the cushiony cartilage that sits between the bones at your joint wears away. Without enough cartilage, you experience pain and inflammation due to bone rubbing directly against bone.
Other conditions that can cause ankle pain include:
If you’re experiencing ankle pain, don’t delay getting a diagnosis. Putting off care can make your injury worse and cause compensatory injuries.
A comprehensive evaluation of your ankle helps Dr. McCall make an accurate diagnosis. In addition to reviewing your complete medical history and symptoms, he’ll physically examine the area around your ankle and evaluate the range of motion you have in the joint.
Imaging tests like X-ray or MRI can help Dr. McCall better understand what’s happening inside the ankle joint and reveal a fracture or soft tissue tear.
Your treatment depends on the reason for your ankle pain. For example, if you have a mild sprain or tendinitis, rest, icing, bracing, and over-the-counter medications may be enough to relieve pain and heal.
Dr. McCall sometimes recommends physical therapy as part of your treatment, especially if you would benefit from strengthening the muscles that support your ankle joint. Chronic pain from a problem like arthritis may benefit from corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.
Dr. McCall may recommend surgery for fractures, ankle instability or serious tissue damage.
Your treatment plan also involves regular check-ins with Dr. McCall to evaluate healing and determine when you’re ready to get back to normal activities and, if relevant, sports play.
Call Alpine Foot and Ankle or use this website to set up your appointment to have your ankle pain evaluated.