FAQs About Lateral Ankle Pain

hammertoe (1)Find out more about this painful condition and how your Tampa podiatrist treats it.

Q. What is lateral ankle pain? What are the symptoms?

A. This foot condition causes chronic pain that occurs most frequently on the outside of the ankle. You may find that the pain is more severe after physical activity or your pain may just be a constantly mild ache. You may also notice swelling, inflammation, tenderness or feeling as if your ankle gives out when you move.

Q. What causes lateral ankle pain?

A. The most common cause of lateral or chronic ankle pain is when a previous ankle sprain has not healed properly or fully. This is most likely to occur if the tissues that have been torn or overstretched aren’t rehabilitated properly. When this happens the muscles around the ankle are weakened. If you have lateral ankle pain you may also notice that you are prone to other ankle injuries.

You can also experience lateral ankle pain if you have arthritis in the ankle joint, a torn tendon, inflammation of the ankle joint lining or scar tissue.

Q. How will my Tampa podiatrist diagnose lateral ankle pain?

A. In order to properly diagnose your condition, we will need to discuss your past medical history including any ankle or foot injuries you may have experienced in the past. We will also ask you if you received treatment for any of these injuries, what kind of pain you are experiencing and when you notice the pain.

Since many conditions are responsible for causing ankle pain, we will run a series of tests and a thorough physical exam to check your flexibility, the range of motion and any areas that might be swollen or sore. X-rays will also most likely be performed to check for any structural problems with the ankle joint.

Q. What are the common types of lateral ankle pain treatments?

A. The type of treatment plan you receive will depend on your unique needs and the severity of your condition. As always, we will always recommend more conservative treatments to handle symptoms. This includes taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain medications, performing daily stretching and strengthening exercises, going to physical therapy, wearing ankle braces or orthotics or even steroid injections to reduce swelling.

If these options don’t offer relief, then we may recommend surgery. This procedure is performed outpatient and recovery time is anywhere from six to 10 weeks.

If you are experiencing symptoms of later ankle pain then it’s time to do something about it. Don’t let chronic pain ruin your life. Schedule an appointment with your Tampa podiatrist, Dr. Brandi Johnson, DPM, FACFAS and enjoy living a pain-free and active life again.