The ankle complaint that we treat most often at Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS (especially during icy winter months) is a sprain. Over-stretching of the ligaments surrounding the ankle bones due to a twisting injury or a traumatic blow is usually something a patient is able to identify fairly easily due to the cause of the injury. There are, however, other instances when you may experience ankle discomfort that is not from a sprain.  What are other possible causes?

  1. Osteochondritis—sometimes a previous sprain that doesn’t heal completely will cause other issues in the future. This is the case with osteochondritis. Lesions form on the joint that cause stiffness and pain in the ankle. Swelling is another possible symptom of this condition.
  2. Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain/Instability—these two related ankle concerns are also the result of one or multiple sprains. The more times the ankle is sprained, the weaker it becomes making it more prone to being sprained again. Regular pain or soreness and the feeling that your ankle is going to “give out” are characteristic of this problem. Physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the ankle ligaments may help.
  3. Arthritis—wear and tear on the cartilage as you age or a previous injury may result in the development of arthritis in the ankle joint. Gout, an acute arthritic inflammation of the joint and joint lining may come on suddenly with intense pain. Gout can be triggered by certain foods, such as red meats, shellfish, rich sauces, red wine and beer.
  4. Nerve Problems—there are several nerves that run down the back of the heel, through the ankle and foot. Nerve issues, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome and others result in the nerves getting pinched or compressed which can cause considerable pain.

In order to treat your pain, our podiatrist, Dr. Paul Klein, will need to examine your ankle and take a complete medical history, including a list of previous ankle injuries. Imaging studies such as x-rays may also be ordered to allow the foot doctor to assess joint and bone damage. Once the exact cause of your ankle pain, swelling or weakness is known, the foot doctor can create an effective treatment plan for you. If you are having ankle issues, don’t wait. Contact our Wayne office for an appointment by calling: (973) 595-1555.