Ankle pain can have a range of causes, including injuries, disease, or various degenerative conditions. Below, we outline some of the most frequent causes of ankle pain—a common complaint that can seriously impact your mobility. If chronic ankle pain is slowing you down, we are here to help.
For over 30 years, patients have trusted Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers to provide care that ends their pain and improves their daily lives. We are a fully-equipped modern facility powered by board-certified professionals and a highly dedicated staff. If Ankle Pain is interfering with your health and happiness, we have the solutions and compassionate approach to get you moving in comfort again.
For patients in Ann Arbor Ankle Pain can have a variety of sources. Athletes are particularly susceptible to ankle injuries and conditions caused by repetitive use. Patients who are obese may experience ankle pain more commonly than others as a result of the weight in the area. Athletes also commonly experience ankle pain of some kind.
Wearing supportive shoes and stretching before engaging in sports are important measures you can take to help prevent injury to the ankle. In addition to treating any existing pain, our providers will take time to educate you about your condition and recommend lifestyle modifications to prevent future recurrence.
Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your joints. When they become inflamed, this is known as bursitis. Retrocalcaneal bursa or Achilles bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursa in the back of the ankle and is often caused by repetitive stress or pressure on this area. The result may be pain, swelling, tenderness, and visible redness. Treatment typically involves rest, avoiding aggravating activities, applying ice packs, using pain medication, and wearing suitable footwear. Physical therapy, stretching exercises, and orthotics may be recommended. If conservative measures fail, corticosteroid injections or surgery to remove the bursa can offer more lasting relief.
An ankle fracture refers to a broken bone in the ankle joint. It typically occurs when excessive force is applied to the ankle, such as during a fall, a sports injury, or a car accident. The most common type of ankle fracture involves the fibula bone, but the tibia and other bones in the ankle can also be affected. Treatment depends on the severity and location of the break. It often involves immobilization using a cast, splint, or brace to allow the bones to heal. In some cases, realignment of the bone fragments may be necessary through manipulation or surgery. Pain management, rest, elevation, and physical therapy are commonly recommended to aid in the recovery process and restore strength and mobility.
A sprain happens when the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint are torn or excessively stretched, usually due to excessive twisting or rolling of the ankle. Walking on an uneven surface, playing sports, or landing incorrectly after a jump are common ways that sprains happen. Treatment for an ankle sprain typically involves the R.I.C.E. method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Resting the affected ankle helps prevent further damage while applying ice, compression bandages, and elevating the foot can reduce swelling and pain. In more severe cases, immobilization with a brace or cast and physical therapy exercises may be necessary to promote healing, restore stability, and prevent future sprains.
Inflammation of the tendons around the ankle joint, called tendonitis, is often caused by repetitive strain or acute injury. Treatment includes R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to reduce pain and inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used for symptom relief. Physical therapy exercises and stretching improve ankle strength and flexibility. Severe cases may require bracing or immobilization for healing. Modifying activities, wearing supportive footwear, and gradually resuming physical activity help in recovery and prevent recurrence.
Arthritis of the ankle involves inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage within the ankle joint. It can be caused by wear and tear over time (osteoarthritis) or by an autoimmune response attacking the joint (rheumatoid arthritis). Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Treatment for ankle arthritis can include pain management with medications, physical therapy to improve joint mobility and strength, assistive devices like braces or orthotics, and lifestyle modifications. In severe cases, surgical interventions such as ankle fusion or ankle replacement may be considered to alleviate pain and restore function.
Flatfoot, also known as pes planus, is a condition in which the arches of the feet are significantly flattened, causing the entire sole to come into contact with the ground. Symptoms of flatfoot may include pain or discomfort in the feet, ankles, or lower legs, swelling along the inside of the ankle, difficulty standing for long periods, and an uneven gait. Treatment options depend on the severity and symptoms but may include supportive footwear, orthotic inserts, physical therapy exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve foot mechanics, and in rare cases, surgery to correct structural abnormalities or reconstruct the arch.
Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by sudden and acute joint pain, swelling, and redness. While it commonly affects the big toe, it can also impact the ankles. Gout in the ankles leads to intense pain, inflammation, and difficulty walking. It is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint. Treatment involves medications like NSAIDs or corticosteroids to manage acute attacks and lifestyle changes such as a low-purine diet, weight management, and medications to lower uric acid levels. Effective management of gout can reduce symptoms, prevent future attacks, and protect the ankle joint from damage.
An infection can cause ankle pain through various mechanisms. When bacteria or other pathogens invade the ankle joint or surrounding tissues, they can trigger an inflammatory response. This leads to pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in the ankle area. Infections can occur due to open wounds, surgical procedures, or underlying conditions like cellulitis or septic arthritis. Additionally, certain systemic infections, such as Lyme disease or viral infections like hepatitis, can cause Ankle Pain as part of their symptomatology. Prompt medical attention is crucial to diagnose and treat the infection, often requiring antibiotics or antiviral medications, and in severe cases, drainage or surgical intervention may be necessary.
When experiencing Ankle Pain Ann Arbor patients know that it can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Chronic pain in this area can impede your mobility and cause you to avoid activities you love.
Your overall fitness and well-being suffer as a result. Many conditions cannot heal on their own and will continue to worsen if not treated. Our providers take the time to get to the bottom of your symptoms and carefully plan treatments that offer relief in the least invasive manner possible. If surgery is necessary, we use the most innovative methods and support you from initial consultation to full recovery, ensuring you have a partner in your journey of healing and relief.
Call For A Consult Today!
Whatever the source of your pain, you can rely on our experienced podiatrists to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Armed with this information, they can then recommend the best Ankle Pain treatment options for your individual needs. Many conditions respond well to lifestyle adjustments and minimally invasive therapies. If surgery is indicated, we will educate you fully about the procedure, the timeline for recovery, and the results you can expect. We care about providing lasting relief and will be by your side every step of the way.
Experienced & Caring Doctors
Our team of board-certified podiatrists and medical staff are experienced professionals who care deeply about improving patients’ comfort and quality of life. We want to get to the root of your symptoms and offer treatments that provide lasting relief.
If you believe you’re experiencing an ankle injury, it’s highly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and an advised treatment plan. To learn more about Ankle Pain Treatments Ann Arbor patients can call (734) 975-1700 to schedule a consultation today!
Yes, ankle pain is a relatively common condition that many people seek treatment for. The bones, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues of the ankle work in a delicate balance to bear the body’s weight and help you move with precision. Yet, these soft and hard tissues are susceptible to a number of common conditions and injuries that can be painful and even debilitating without proper treatment.
Treatments for ankle pain vary widely depending on the source of the pain and the treatment or treatments indicated. Many therapies, such as incorporating custom orthotics into your footwear, are non-invasive and not associated with any pain. Treatments like physical therapy can involve some discomfort as you train and strengthen your body to work in better biomechanical harmony. If surgery is required, there will likely be some discomfort during healing, but this can be well managed with medication. In all cases, the pain relief treatment can provide tends to far outweigh any discomfort incurred from the treatment itself.
Treatments for many conditions, such as an ankle fracture, may provide long-lasting relief. Other conditions may require ongoing therapeutic support. Seeking treatment in a timely manner is important to slow down the progression of any condition you are experiencing and prevent further injury or damage.
Costs can vary widely depending on the treatment needed. We will always work with you to provide an accurate cost estimate and help you navigate the coverage provided by your health insurance.
Insurance coverage typically applies to medically necessary treatments for Ankle Pain. Contact your provider for details. Our office staff is happy to help you work with your insurance company and understand your coverage.
Get relief today at Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers
At Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we identify your unique foot and ankle needs and develop a highly effective and individualized treatment plan to resolve them. Our experts will work relentlessly to make you feel better and put your best foot forward.