As you go about your daily life, whether you are at the gym, at work, or walking out your front door, your ankle can suddenly twinge, twist or give out on you, causing you pain, inflammation, and discomfort. When this happens, you likely try to just shake it off and move on with your day. However, more often than not, that sudden ankle pain tends to linger. While you may think you just twisted your ankle and the problem will resolve itself, this may not be the case. Before you potentially do more damage to your ankle, learn a few of the possible causes of your newfound ankle pain.
Tendonitis is the inflammation and/or irritation of your tendons. It can occur anywhere in the body where the muscles attach to the bone and can come about suddenly or gradually. If it is a sudden onset, the tendonitis is usually brought about by a serious injury. A gradual onset, on the other hand, is usually due to repetitive use and motion.
Pain and swelling are common symptoms of tendonitis, which makes it easy to confuse with other injuries and ailments. Treatment often involves basic rest and icing. However, if the condition does not resolve itself with these self-care remedies, you may need corticosteroid injections or surgery to repair the damaged tendon.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve disorder that affects the hands and wrists. However, very few know of the same syndrome in the ankles and legs known as tarsal tunnel syndrome.
When the posterior tibial nerve in the leg is pinched for whatever reason, tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs. This can cause severe pain in the ankle, numbness in the foot, or a perpetual tingling sensation. Treatments for tarsal tunnel syndrome can include steroid and/or pain relief medication injections into the tarsal canal to reduce swelling and inflammation, splints and braces, or even surgery to free the posterior tibial nerve from the pressure that is pinching it.
Sprains and Fractures
Ankle pain is most commonly attributed to sprains and fractures. An ankle sprain is actually a torn ligament in the ankle whereas a fracture is damage to the bone itself. In spite of what you may think, a broken bone in your ankle is easier to heal than a torn ligament.
Symptoms of both are sudden and excruciating pain, an inability to bear weight on the effected limb, swelling, and tenderness to the touch. X-ray scans will help you to determine whether you have a bone fracture. Treatments, however, vary widely depending on the severity of the injury. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications are the primary options. However, if a break or fracture occurs, you will likely need a cast or splint as well. Surgery is a last resort, but an option as well.
When you experience ankle pain, there are a number of injuries or disorders that can cause your pain. Know your symptoms and seek medical assistance in order to know what you can do to recover quickly and heal well.