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Ankle Pain

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of conditions including: Ankle instability, arthritis, gout, tendonitis, fracture, poor alignment of the leg/foot, or infection.  A foot and ankle surgeon can best determine the cause of your ankle pain and appropriate treatment options. 

Ankle Sprains/Instability

Ankle sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments in the ankle.  Ligaments are a soft tissue structure that connects one bone to another.  In ankle sprains, the ligaments on the outer (Lateral) side of the ankle are more commonly affected.  The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn, or completely torn.  More than one ligament can be injured in a single sprain.  Symptoms can include: pain, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking, and stiffness in the joint.  Ankle fractures can be mistaken for a sprain, however, their treatment can be very different.  Accurate and early diagnosis is extremely important.  We offered urgent-same day appointments for these types of injuries.  In addition to a thorough history and examine, xrays or other imaging studies may be taken to help determine the severity of your injury.  Treatment for a sprain includes: Immobilization, rest, ice, compression, elevation, physical therapy, or medications.  An untreated ankle sprain may lead to chronic ankle instability.  Chronic ankle instability occurs when the is continued giving way of the ankle, weakness, and discomfort.  Repeated ankle sprains lead to further weakening or stretching of the ligaments, resulting in greater instability and the likelihood of developing additional problems in the ankle.  

Talar Dome Lesion

This condition is also called Osteochondral lesion or osteochondral defect of the talus.  “Osteo” refers to bone and “chondral” refers to cartilage.  The ankle joint is composed of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus.  The talus, sometimes called the ankle bone, is dome shaped and covered with cartilage.  A Talar dome lesion is an injury to the cartilage and underlying bone of the talus.  This damage to the bone and cartilage is usually caused by an injury such as an ankle sprain.  Symptoms include: chronic deep ankle pain, “clicking” or “catching” feeling within the ankle, episodes of swelling of the ankle.  A thorough history and examination is important for proper diagnosis.  Xrays and additional image are also important to evaluate the lesion size and extent of the injury.  Non surgical treatments include: immobilization, oral medications, physical therapy, and ankle bracing.  

To learn more about foot and ankle conditions, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ patient education website, FootHealthFacts.org

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