7 Reasons for Ankle Pain and When to Worry

reasons for ankle pain

We’ve probably all set out for a walk or jog and rolled our ankle at some point in our lives.

Many people limp home, put some ice on it, and hope for the best. But how can you tell if the issue is actually something more serious? And what if you get ankle pain but don’t remember injuring it?

Let’s take a quick look at 7 reasons for ankle pain and what you should do. We’ll also tackle the daunting question — do I need surgery?

1. Sprained Ankle

One of the most common causes of ankle pain is a sprained ankle. If you rolled your foot sideways, chances are you that’s what you have. This means that there are tears in the ligaments that keep the ankle bones in place.

It’s characterized by swelling and bruising. However, it could be hiding something more serious, so always get it checked out by a doctor. In severe cases, orthopedic treatment, such as a boot or cast, may be needed.

2. Ankle Strain

Another cause of ankle pain and swelling is an ankle strain. The difference between a strain and a sprain is that the muscles or tendons are affected. This causes painful inflammation.

An ankle strain is less common than an ankle sprain. Let a doctor help diagnose the condition, and advise you on the right course of treatment.

3. Arthritis in the Ankle

 Arthritis in the ankle is not a simple diagnosis.  In fact, there are over 100 forms of arthritis of the foot and ankle.

The most common is osteoarthritis. This causes inside ankle pain, as the cartilage has worn away.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can strike at any age. It commonly begins with ankle pain. It causes ankle pain when walking and often affects both ankles. 

4. Fractured Ankle

An awkward step, stumble, or fall may be all it takes to fracture one of the three bones in your ankle. You may be able to walk with a fractured ankle, but don’t take a chance.

Let an orthopedic doctor check it out. You’ll often need a cast or splint to keep the bones in place as they heal. More serious fractures may require surgery.

Your doctor will also provide pain treatment to help you cope with the discomfort as it heals.

5. Achilles Tendonitis

If you love nothing better than tennis, racquetball, or running, then your ankle pain might be caused by Achilles tendonitis. This is an overuse injury that affects the Achilles tendon. This runs from your calf to your heel and can result in ankle pain.

If you’re experiencing back of the ankle pain, don’t delay in getting your ankle examined by a doctor. Continued overuse could lead to more serious tears in the Achilles tendon.

6. Infection in the Ankle Joint

The skin, muscles, tendons, and bones in the ankle can all become infected. An infection can sometimes spread from one part to another.

Telltale signs are swelling and pain in the ankle, accompanied by a fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Antibiotics are an effective treatment for this type of ankle pain.

7. Gout in the Ankle

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in your ankle joint. It causes intense inner ankle pain and swelling.

A doctor can prescribe medication to remove the buildup. You may also need to make changes to your diet to prevent a recurrence.

Choose Central Texas Orthopedic to Treat Your Ankle Pain

Googling ‘how to treat my ankle pain’ is not a long-term solution. Ankle pain has many causes, and it’s important to identify your issue before starting treatment.

At Central Texas Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. Paul A. Bednarz knows exactly what he’s looking for. He will make a swift diagnosis, and provide you with a tailored treatment plan. 

Call us at 254-313-9559 or request an appointment online today!