The Many Faces of Ankle Pain

Dr. Robert Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Ankle painIn the classic 50s film The Three Faces of Eve, Dr. Luther sees a patient to find a way to cure her headaches and blackouts. During the sessions, he discovers multiple personalities (Eve White, Eve Black and Jane) and uses hypnosis to unite them and help her become whole again. In a similar (but hopefully less traumatic!) way, podiatrists sometimes have to dig a little deeper to find out the exact cause of your ankle pain. It can be an adventure, because several conditions have this symptom.

The most obvious one is an ankle sprain, in which the foot rolls and stretches or tears the ligaments in the joint. This makes it very unstable and can lead to other problems. One is peroneal tendonitis, in which damaged tendons cause pain behind the outer ankle bone. A similar problem on the inside of your ankle is tarsal tunnel syndrome, where pressure on the posterior tibial nerve causes nerve pain from ankle to toes.

Then there are diseases like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and gout. All these forms of arthritis involve aching, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints. Gout has dietary triggers that cause urate crystals to form in the joint, causing excruciating pain—often in your big toe, but sometimes in your ankle. 

Achilles tendinitis or rupture from overuse can also cause pain at the back of the ankle. These injuries can also involve bursitis, inflammation in the bursa sacs around the tendon from pressure or irritation.

Bone fractures can also be a reason for ankle discomfort. They can occur either in one of the foot bones or in the ends of the leg bones that form part of the joint. Acute injuries may cause a bone to break, but so can repeated trauma that results in stress fractures, and both can be very painful.

We don’t use hypnosis to finally get to the bottom of your foot issues, but we do use physical examination, imaging tests, and our decades of experience treating foot problems to pinpoint the reasons for sore ankles. Once we know the cause, we can usually tackle it with conservative treatment. If not, surgery is always an option, and we excel at that, too.

Don’t hesitate to call Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX at the first sign of pain in your ankle. Early treatment is easier, quicker, and more effective than waiting until the problem grows bigger, so call us at (281) 497-2850 or schedule your appointment online and discover the true face of your ankle pain.

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