While there could be a number of potential causes for the ankle pain that you are experiencing, how can you tell when it is time to see a podiatrist for help? You could have sprained your ankle or there may be something else going on like arthritis. No matter whether you have pain that came on suddenly or it is something that has been growing gradually, a podiatrist will be able to perform an examination and give you some answers.
Ankle Pain Causes
Your ankle is made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Any disease or injury to any of these elements can impact the ankle and cause varying levels of discomfort or pain. The more that you know about the potential problems that can develop with your ankle, the easier it will be for you to decide if it is time to visit your podiatrist for treatment.
Ankle Sprains – These are injuries that take place with one or more of the ligaments, which are the fibrous tissues connecting the bones. Sprains can happen from a fall, playing sports, stepping wrong, and more.
Tendonitis – This is a condition where the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone will become inflamed or irritated. Visiting a podiatrist will help you to determine the type of tendonitis that you have to come up with the right solution for treatment.
Arthritis – You will find that there are generally three types of arthritis that impact the ankle, which includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and posttraumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis takes place due to wear and tear where the joint will deteriorate gradually. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when the immune system attacks various joints. Posttraumatic arthritis can take place after any sort of injury to the ankle.
Broken Bone – If you have a fracture of the bone in the ankle, it could have happened from falling, tripping on a step or curb, or twisting or rolling the ankle. You will usually feel a sharp pain that can be followed by bruising, swelling, and inability to stand fully on the ankle.
There can be other conditions that may be impacting your ankles, such as bone infections, gout, tarsal tunnel syndrome, peroneal neuropathy, or a tumor.
Should you be dealing with pain and discomfort in one or both of your ankles, it will benefit you to make an appointment with your podiatrist to get some answers. There are a variety of tests that can be performed after you have a full examination of your ankles and a medical history is taken. Some of the testings may include:
- Blood tests
- Squeeze test
- Talar tilt test and more
You podiatrist will work to rule out things like blood clots, skin infections, and any other conditions that may be leading to your ankle pain. The treatment protocol may include RICE, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Depending on the diagnosis, you may be prescribed the use of stability and support items, physical therapy, or the potential for medications and surgical intervention in severe cases.
The good news is that you can be diligent about caring for your body and your ankles by taking care of your health overall. Try to maintain a healthy weight, always warm up before you engage in physical activity, and wear the right footwear depending on the activity you are taking part in.
If you are having ankle pain, Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic can help. Call Dr. Hall at (425) 482-6663 for more information.