Damage sustained during an injury or disorder may not be fully understood until it is thoroughly diagnosed. This is typical of ankle problems; many times patients will feel intense pain or discomfort along the outside of the ankle following a sprain, or with the onset of arthritis and joint inflammation. Such conditions will lead to a decrease in mobility. At Parker Foot & Ankle we believe in investigating every case thoroughly in order to gain full insight into the extent of the damage. This information is then used to form the best treatment plan for your ankle pain.
What is this Condition?
This medical problem is the result of consistent or severe damage to the tissues within the ankle. When damage affecting this area of the foot is extensive enough, many patients will suffer impairment to the biomechanics of their feet. Weakness in the ankles is often resistant to healing. The problem forces the foot into such a position that walking constantly degrades the health of the ankle itself. This condition will not typically form by itself, but typically stems from another problem like an ankle sprain or foot deformation.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain?
As the causes for this condition vary widely, a series of tests including X-rays, CT scans, or MRI may need to be completed to properly diagnose the symptoms. A physical examination will be utilized to determine any ankle instability or range of motion deficiencies.
Common symptoms include:
- Ankle weakness or fatigue
- Trouble walking across irregular surfaces
- Difficulty walking in high heels
- Frequent ankle sprains
- Stiffness, swelling or tenderness of the affected ankle
- Pain along the outside of the ankle that ranges from a dull aching to intense discomfort
How is this ankle problem caused?
Any individual experiencing persistent ankle pain needs to find the root of the problem. With the help of our office, we can determine the exact variables that led to this current predicament. While it is often the case that patients develop chronic lateral ankle pain from sprains, there are many other ways it can be acquired. For instance, arthritis, bone fractures, and some forms of tendonitis will weaken the area enough to allow consistent damage to be dealt to the outside of the ankle. In more rare cases, a person may be experiencing problems with their nerves being stretched, torn, or pinched.
How is chronic ankle pain treated?
Treatment for this problem is similar to the methods for other ankle conditions. Physical therapy, immobilization, and pain management are primary factors in recovery. A unique plan will be put into place for each patient and their specific needs. Ibuprofen or aspirin may be prescribed for pain relief—speak to your doctor before taking this medication. In severe cases, surgery may be required to excise, debride, repair, or reconstruct the structures within the feet and ankles.
Chronic lateral ankle pain doesn’t have to be a fact of life; our Texas office has had great success in treating this condition. For information on the services we provide, contact our Houston office at 281-497-2850, or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Robert Parker.