Ankle sprains are a common cause of ankle pain, and without treatment, sprains can develop into more serious conditions, including chronic ankle instability.
The expert team at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center (OFAC) in Falls Church and Arlington, Virginia, accurately diagnoses and treats a wide range of problems that cause ankle pain. If you’re in the Washington, DC, area and need relief from ankle pain, don’t hesitate to call or request an appointment online today.
Ankle Pain Q & A
What causes ankle pain? Back to top
The ankle is a complex joint that absorbs a great amount of stress from daily activities like walking and climbing stairs. This makes the ankle prone to a wide range of conditions, including:
Ankle pain is often due to a sprained ankle, which is one of the most common injuries people of all ages experience. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support your ankle stretch too far and tear.
Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a joint problem that often affects the lower bone of your ankle joint (talus). OCD happens when a segment of bone loses its blood supply, which may cause it to break off and float inside the joint.
The cause of OCD is unclear, but it may result from repetitive foot trauma or a severe injury, like an ankle sprain.
Repeated or untreated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability. This condition causes your ankle to become wobbly and unstable. You may experience persistent pain and notice your ankle rolling to the side repeatedly. Many athletes suffer from ankle instability.
A bone spur is a bony growth that protrudes from your heel bone. Your body may respond to an untreated soft tissue injury by growing more bone, which leads to a spur. Common causes of bone spurs on the heel include plantar fasciitis and arthritis.
How is ankle pain diagnosed? Back to top
First, your provider at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center reviews your symptoms and medical history. Then, they perform a physical exam, carefully checking your ankle for signs of injury, like tenderness and swelling. Depending on what they find, they may also take tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.
How is ankle pain treated? Back to top
After they diagnose the underlying cause of your ankle pain, your provider at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center recommends the best course of treatment. Treatment varies depending on the specific cause and severity of your ankle pain, but may include:
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic devices
- Therapeutic injections
Severe injuries and those that don’t improve with treatment may require surgery. The surgeons at Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Center are the most highly trained in northern Virginia. To find relief from your ankle pain, call or request an appointment online today.