The ankle is a complex joint where the tibia and fibula bones of your lower leg meet with the talus bone in the foot. The bones are connected at the ankle joint by muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons which support the ankle and give it strength, flexibility, and good range of motion.
Ankle pain can be caused by several different factors including injuries and medical conditions. Depending on the cause of the ankle pain, treatment can vary. Some common treatments for minor ankle injuries include RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and pain medication, while other causes of ankle pain may require more intense treatments.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes of ankle pain.
Many ankle injuries happen during sports and athletic activity, but this isn’t always the case. Just walking over an uneven surface or wearing inappropriate footwear could lead to a nasty ankle injury. The most common ankle injuries include:
Fracture An ankle fracture happens when one or more bones that make up the ankle joint are broken. Fractures can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and bruising. Treatment depends on the severity of the fracture and may require surgery.
Sprain A sprain happens when you stretch or tear the ligaments in your ankle. This can be caused by a sudden loss of balance that causes the ankle to twist. A sprain can cause swelling, pain, and bruising. A light sprain should only take a few days to heal and can usually be treated with RICE, but a serious sprain can mean the ligament has suffered a serious tear. Most ankle sprains heal with non-surgical treatments, but a major sprain or repeated sprains can lead to permanent ankle instability and may require surgery.
It is not just injuries that can cause ankle pain. Some medical conditions can affect the ankle and cause pain, too. Some examples include:
Osteoarthritis (OA) Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear over time and is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage that cushions the end of the bones to break down which leads the bones to rub against each other. It can cause stiffness, pain, and a loss of range of motion in the ankle joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the joints. It happens when the body’s immune system begins to attack the membrane that covers and protects the joints. It causes pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of function, and joint damage.
Gout Gout is a form of arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid (a waste product that circulates in the bloodstream) builds up and forms crystals in and around joints. Gout often occurs because of an injury or illness, and symptoms often initially affect the big toe, moving to other joints including the ankles. Gout can cause significant pain and swelling in joints.
Causes of ankle pain can range in complexity, but any problem causing pain that lasts for more than a few days or accompanies swelling, discoloration, or loss of motion in the ankle joint should be evaluated by your orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. The diagnosis and the severity of the pain will determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment for Ankle Pain In North Dakota
If you are suffering with ankle or any other joint pain, contact The Bone & Joint Center. Our expert team have substantial experience treating all types of orthopedic conditions, including ankle pain. We can diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatments.
We are the largest private orthopedic practice in North Dakota, and our surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and physical and occupational therapists treat patients at several convenient locations throughout the state.
So, don’t delay, call us today to make an appointment at (800) 424-2663 or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you!