Texas Health Centers - Fort Worth Chiropractic and Pain Management Clinic
Information about ankle pain causes and treatment
Ankle pain is an extremely common complaint with many causes. It is important to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms so you can get appropriate treatment. If you have ankle pain, some
common causes include:
Arthritis--Arthritis causing ankle pain is much less common than degenerative changes in other joints. However, ankle cartilage can wear away and is often quite painful. Ankle arthritis is most
common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or in patients with a previous injury to the ankle joint.
Sprains--Ankle sprains cause an injury to the ligaments around the ankle. Sprains can cause significant ankle pain, as well as swelling and a feeling as though the joint may 'give-out.'
High Ankle Sprain A high ankle sprain is a specific type of ligament injury to the ankle. In a high ankle sprain, the ligaments on top of the joint are injured. The treatment and rehabilitation from
a high ankle sprain is different from a usual sprain.
Tendonitis--Tendonitis can occur in any of the tendons around the joint and cause ankle pain. Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, the attachments of muscles to the bone, become irritated and
Posterior Tibial Tendonitis--Posterior tibial tendonitis cause ankle pain on the inside part of the joint. If left untreated, posterior tibial tendonitis can lead to significant walking
Achilles Tendonitis--Achilles tendonitis causes ankle pain in the back of the joint. Achilles tendonitis is the most common type of tendonitis around the ankle joint.
Fractures--Ankle fractures are a common type of broken bone. However, there any many different types of ankle fractures and each of these must be treated individually. Some ankle fractures can be
treated like sprains, and others require surgery.
Cartilage Damage--The cartilage of the ankle joint is susceptible to injury if you sustain an ankle sprain, fracture, or other traumatic injury. Cartilage injuries can run the spectrum from a limited
area of damage to more widespread ankle arthritis.
Gout--Gout is an uncommon cause of ankle pain. However, in patients who have a diagnosis of gout, it must be considered as a cause for new ankle pain.
When do you need to call your doctor about your ankle pain?
If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek medical attention. Treatment of ankle pain must be
directed at the specific cause of your problem. Some signs that you should be seen by a doctor include:
Inability to walk comfortably on the affected sideInjury that causes deformity around the jointAnkle pain that occurs at night or while restingAnkle pain that persists beyond a few daysInability to
bend the ankleSwelling of the joint or the calf areaSigns of an infection, including fever, redness, warmthAny other unusual symptoms
What are the best treatments for ankle pain?
Treatment depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it's important that you get a good evaluation by one of our doctors to get you started on a proper course of treatment. Some of the
treatment options are:
Rest: The first treatment for most common conditions that cause ankle pain is to rest the joint, and allow the acute inflammation to subside. Often this is the only step needed to relieve ankle pain.
If the symptoms are severe, crutches may be helpful.Footwear Modifications, Orthotics, and Braces: Depending on the type of injury, footwear modifications, braces, or orthotics may all be potentially
helpful. The specific injury, and the problem needing to be addressed, will determine which of these may be helpful. We custom make Footlevelers custom inserts for shoes on site.Ice and Heat
Application: Ice packs and heat pads are among the most common treatments for ankle pain.Physical Therapy / Rehabilitation: This is an important aspect of treatment of almost all orthopedic
conditions. We may use different modalities and exercises to increase strength, regain mobility, and help return patients to their pre-injury level of activity.Anti-Inflammatory Medication:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, commonly referred to as NSAIDs, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, especially for patients with ankle pain caused by problems such as
arthritis and tendonitis.Cortisone injections: Cortisone is a powerful medication that treats inflammation, and inflammation is a common problem in patients with ankle pain. Discuss the possible
benefits of a cortisone injection for your condition with your doctor.
When does an ankle injury require surgery?
Very few patients require surgery to relieve ankle and foot pain. For the vast majority of patients, a combination of rest, medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy will relieve ankle and
foot pain. Surgery may be necessary to reduce pressure on the nerves when pain is caused by an entrapment or a fracture.