You don’t recall twisting it but you have pretty bad pain on the outside of your ankle. Sometimes it hurts too much to participate in any sports or even walk very far. At other times it is just a constant, dull ache. It also feels like your ankle is weak and about to give way, especially if you’re walking on an uneven surface. Sometimes it is stiff and tender to the touch. Many times, when patients come to Foot & Ankle Specialists, PC with these symptoms, the diagnosis is Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain.
Causes of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
Most frequently, chronic lateral ankle pain is the result of an ankle sprain that did not heal properly. Many times once the pain from an ankle sprain goes away patients stop the physical therapy and exercises prescribed by the doctor. What they may not realize is that the muscles surrounding your stretched or torn ankle ligaments need to be strengthened to provide necessary support to those ligaments. If this does not occur, there is a much greater likelihood of spraining the ankle again.
Other possible causes of this condition are:
- A tendon that is inflamed or torn
- Nerve injury
- Fracture of one of the bones in the ankle joint
- Scar tissue from a previous sprain exerting pressure on the ligaments
Our podiatrists, Dr. Scott E. Hughes, Dr. Greg P. Vogt, Dr. Christine I. Tumele, and Dr. Matthew W.E. Lewin will need to examine your ankle and get detailed information about your symptoms. Digital x-rays (which can be done in either our Monroe or Lambertville office) and other imaging studies may be ordered to rule out other medical issues with the ankle.
Once the foot doctor confirms a diagnosis of chronic lateral ankle pain, several conservative treatment choices are available. Depending on your individual case, the podiatrist may recommend physical therapy and/or some kind of ankle brace or support to prevent injury. Anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections may also be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling.
If these non-invasive measures do not work, the foot doctor may suggest surgery. If you are experiencing any pain or wobbliness in your ankles, make an appointment at one of our Monroe County offices by calling: 734-241-0200 or 734-856-8900 today.