Ankle Condition

Ankle Condition (2)

Wednesday, 07 April 2021 15:08

Dealing with Chronic Ankle Pain

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You haven’t sprained your ankle—at least not recently—but it hurts and is stiff and swollen at times. This is a complaint we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center sometimes hear from our Los Angeles county patients. When an ankle sprain occurs, our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas always stress the importance of prompt and complete rehabilitation. Many chronic ankle issues stem from a previous injury. Below are two types of chronic ankle trouble and what to do about them.

Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

The characteristic symptom of chronic lateral ankle pain is pain along the outside of the ankle. You may also experience discomfort in your leg along with stiffness, swelling, and tenderness in the ankle. Many patients also report that their ankle feels like it is unstable or going to “give way” especially when walking on surfaces that are not level or when wearing heels. Although the most common cause of chronic lateral pain is a past sprain or injury, there are other possible sources, including:

  • Fractures in the ankle joint bones
  • Arthritis or inflammation in the joint, joint lining or tendons
  • Nerve damage
  • Scar tissue

Treatment Options: The treatment for chronic lateral ankle pain will depend on the source. If the podiatrist finds a break in a bone, it may be necessary to immobilize the ankle to allow the bone to heal. Other possible treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications or a prescription steroid
  • Physical therapy
  • Ankle brace or another type of support

Osteochondritis

The symptoms of osteochondritis often mimic those of an ankle sprain: pain, stiffness, and swelling in the ankle joint. You may also find it difficult to bear weight on the ankle. This condition can affect people at any age and is almost always due to a previous sprain that may have caused lesions or a stress fracture on the surface of the joint.

Treatment Options: The foot doctor will first want to x-ray the ankle that’s bothering you to check for fractures or other injuries. This can be done right in our Long Beach office. At a minimum, the ankle will likely have to be immobilized to rest the joint and allow it to heal. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove bone fragments or cartilage, stimulate new blood vessels, and promote scar tissue.

If you are experiencing ongoing ankle pain or stiffness, contact our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800 to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, 05 October 2017 14:50

Dealing with Chronic Ankle Problems

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At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center many patients come to us with ankle pain and discomfort saying, “But I didn’t twist my ankle or fall—I don’t know why it hurts.”  Chronic ankle problems can include the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain or soreness
  • Feeling of instability—like the ankle is going to “give way”
  • Swelling

These may be signs of osteochondritis, chronic lateral ankle pain, “weak ankles” or another chronic ankle condition.

What’s Behind the Pain?

Most often, chronic ankle problems affect patients who have had one or more ankle sprain injuries in the past, leaving them with scar tissue or nerve damage in the ankle. In many cases ankle sprains are either not treated promptly or rehabilitated fully, leaving the patient more likely to experience repeated sprains or ongoing ankle pain and discomfort. Other common sources of chronic ankle pain include: arthritis or other condition that causes joint inflammation or an undiagnosed ankle fracture.

Getting Relief

The first step is to have one of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas evaluate your ankle. The foot doctor will want to get a detailed medical history and will be particularly interested in knowing about any previous ankle injuries or problems. X-rays or other imaging studies may be made to get a more complete idea of the condition of your ankle.

Once the podiatrist has diagnosed your chronic ankle problem a treatment plan that best suits your condition and lifestyle can be developed. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory or steroidal medications to relieve swelling and relieve pain
  • Immobilizing the ankle to allow healing
  • Physical therapy to improve range of motion and strengthen supporting muscles
  • Ankle braces or supports

If you are suffering with ongoing ankle pain, stiffness or weak ankles, don’t assume nothing can be done about it. Make an appointment at our Long Beach office today by calling: 562-420-9800 and find out how you can get relief and resume the active lifestyle that you love.

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