If you have acute ankle pain that will not go away in an expected healing time, you may have chronic lateral ankle pain. Repetitive ankle movement such as typically the case for people who participate in sports or any high-level of activity may develop chronic ankle pain. This condition can develop due to previous injuries that have not healed properly before receiving additional damage.
Common causes of chronic ankle pain often result from underlying injuries such as tendon tears, bone spurs, fractures, or sprains. The pain advances after an injury fails to heal properly. Pain is an equal opportunity offender impacting people in every stage of life as a result of conditions from sports injuries to arthritis. Chronic ankle pain can also be caused by scar tissue that forms around a nerve, by pinching it and causing pain.
Patients may experience constant pain symptoms or could develop ankle pain only during physical activities. Sometimes an ankle is weakened causing instability or immobility and may even appear swollen or red. A limited range of motion in the affected ankle is also common or patients may hear a clicking sound as they rotate the ankle. Most often, patients typically experience pain on the outer side of the ankle.
For patients who are new to experiencing persistent ankle pain, The Spine & Pain Center physicians may recommend resting the ankle. Often ice, elevation, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications will be enough to reduce the swelling. If the pain becomes chronic, we suggest making an appointment at our clinic to undergo a physical examination including diagnostic imaging and other tests. Once a proper diagnosis has been assessed, we may treat patients with anti-inflammatory medication or administer steroid injections for long-lasting pain relief. A boot or a cast over the ankle may even be necessary as it heals. Physical therapy and minimally invasive procedures are other options used as well.