Ankle pain or ankle joint pain is a description for pain emerging from the transition from the lower leg to the ankle to the foot. The ankle joint is strongly strained during daily life and sports activities because it has to bear all the body weight. Compared to other joints of the human body, the ankle joint has to bear the highest weight in relation to its small cartilage surface.
Ankle pain or ankle joint pain occurs in and around the ankle but can also spread to the arch, the front- or the backside of the lower leg along the Achilles tendon. Pain sensation is sometimes limited to one point or affecting the whole ankle and often described as pulling or stinging. The ankle may also be very sensitive to pressure and hurt while standing, walking or turning the foot. Instability of the ankle is also possible, so that the foot twist inwards or outwards. Ankle pain can also come along with visible symptoms like a strong swelling, reddening or effusions.
Symptoms of ankle pain in short:
Causes of ankle pain are various. Possible causes are strain, overload, congenitally soft or deformed ligaments, cartilage, joints or malposition of the foot.
In addition to that, ankle joint pain may also emerge as a symptom of the following injuries:
In case of ankle joint pain, a comprehensive orthopedic examination is carried out often accompanied by imaging procedures like X-raying or MRI. The best method to differentiate between different injuries is MRI.MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones. If it is necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.
The treatment of ankle pain is subject to the examination results. Some injuries can be treated conservatively with immobilization, cooling and putting the feet up, bandages as well as physiotherapy and strengthening of the muscles of foot and leg to regenerate stability, mobility and strength. If necessary, special bandages or ortheses may help stabilize the ankle joint.