Ankle Pain: Don’t Ignore the Signs

Uneven playing surfaces, a missed step, or a slip—ankle injuries are quite common.  Affecting people across all demographics, no one is exempt from the possibility of long-term pain following a mishap.  Once damage has occurred, the daily stress placed on this vital, weight-bearing mechanism makes it susceptible to irritation and re-injury.

The ankle is often thought of in terms of the bones that form it.  However, its structure is much more complex.  Tendons, ligaments, and muscles work in concert with these bones to carry your frame.  After an injury, you may not take the necessary time to recover.  You’ve probably heard someone say, “It’s just a sprain.”  In fact, full weight-bearing on an injured ankle can cause even more damage, delaying recovery and introducing the possibility of chronic pain and instability.

Ankle pain may be accompanied by a decrease in range of mobility, heat, red coloration, and enlargement.  Don’t ignore signs of an injury.  At home, use rest, ice, compression, and elevation to address your discomfort.  If the damage is severe, or these steps are not improving the condition of your ankle, make an appointment with Dr. Stavros Alexopoulos today to avoid long-term consequences tomorrow.

Whether you feel pain around the inside of the ankle, near the outside, or along the Achilles tendon, addressing the cause is critical to your full recovery.  Take a few minutes to learn more about possible reasons for your discomfort, so that you’ll be prepared to take action.  Ankle pain is often the result of the following:

  • Achilles tendonitis
    • The Achilles tendon is integral to movement.  Connecting the heel bone and the calf muscle, it is also the biggest tendon in the body.  Over time, repetitive motion can cause inflammation and discomfort.
  • Ankle fracture
    • The ankle consists of three bones, and any of them can be involved in the case of a fracture.  Not only are the bones affected, but ligaments can also sustain damage during a traumatic injury of this type.  If there is not a complete break of the bone, the injury may be labeled as a stress fracture.  Due to symptoms that are similar to sprains, the ankle may not receive proper treatment and chronic pain may result.
  • Ankle sprain
    • Stretched and torn ligaments can occur with a missed step or a slip on an icy sidewalk.  Sprains are graded according to their severity and treatment is based upon that determination.
  • Arthritis
    • Over time the cushion between bones wears away and osteoarthritis can develop causing joint pain.  Post-traumatic arthritis begins as the result of a prior injury to the ankle.  Arthritis pain can be managed, and staying active is very important.
  • Flat feet
    • This foot type can lead to over-pronation, the excessive rolling in of the ankles during motion.  Over time, ankle pain can develop as a result of the uneven distribution of weight across the feet.  Custom orthotics may be helpful in correcting this problem.
  • Improper shoe gear
    • Choosing shoe gear that fits your foot well is very important.  Lack of support, or wearing the wrong type of shoe for a given activity can increase the risk of ankle sprains, fractures, and overuse injuries.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
    • Compression of the tibial nerve results in this condition.  An ankle sprain can lead to this condition if swelling results in pressure on the nerve.

Don’t let ankle pain slow you down, or keep you from the activities that you love.  Live your life to the fullest!  Address ankle pain quickly to ensure ongoing health.  At My Chicago Foot Expert, Dr. Stavros Alexopoulos serves his patients with compassion and expert treatment.  Call (773) 561-8100 today to make an appointment, or use the online appointment request.  We look forward to serving you!