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Issues With Ankle Pain

Issues With Ankle Pain

Ankle pain refers to any pain that affects any of the bones that make up the ankle joint. It may also apply to pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or other tissue in the region. Injury most commonly causes it, but it may also occur as the result of various conditions. In many cases, ankle pain is not severe and can be treated using home remedies. In some instances, however, medical attention may be necessary.

What Causes Ankle Pain?

In many cases, ankle pain occurs as the result of a sprain. A sprain occurs when the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle joint are injured. Typically the ankle is accidentally twisted in an inward direction. A twisted ankle causes small tears in the ligaments that lead to bruising and swelling. It may also be difficult to apply one's full weight to a sprained ankle. Minor sprains typically heal on their own if patients take a few days to rest. Doctors may also recommend wrapping the joint and keeping it elevated. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can usually be used to manage pain and swelling. Applying ice to the ankle can also reduce swelling. 

Types of Ankle Pain

While sprains are the most common cause of pain in the ankle, there are numerous other potential causes including damage to the tendons are cartilage, infections of the ankle joint, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and Reiter syndrome. Also, problems affecting nearby areas can also cause a sensation of pain in the ankle. Common issues include heel injuries, nerve injuries such as sciatica or tarsal tunnel syndrome, or a blockage of a blood vessel in the leg. Severe injuries like breaks or fractures of the ankle or foot bones will also cause pain.

Should I See A Doctor?

When pain is ongoing or severe, it should be assessed by a doctor. Patients should also see a doctor if the swelling does not subside, the ankle looks deformed, or fever develops. Doctors can diagnose problems like sprains through simple physical examinations. However, radiological tests such as X-rays are also commonly performed to allow the physician to see whether or not there is any damage to the bones. Other imaging tests may also be performed.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Injuries typically require rest to heal. Patients may be given pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs to lessen pain and swelling. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases. In treating patients with arthritis or other chronic conditions, doctors come up with individualized treatment plans.