3131 Nassau St, Suite 101
Everett, WA 98201
Fax (425) 258-6933
515 Minor Ave Suite 240
Seattle WA 98104
Our Seattle Office is for Consultation Only
Persistent Ankle Pain
How can this develop?
Pain and stiffness which can develop and linger in the ankle can occur from repetitive irritation from sports, intense exercise, work activities, or from an injury insult to the ankle such as an ankle fracture or severe sprain. Although there are some cases where the ankle can be painful with just walking, it is more usual for the pain to present with increased activities such as: prolonged walking, running, or walking on uneven ground.
One of the causes of this condition, impingement synovitis, can arise from a build-up of inflammatory tissue within the ankle that partially clogs the joint or gets trapped between the joint surfaces. Joint adhesions or ligament tissue can cause focal irritation in the joint and cause clicking or a feeling of catching within the joint. These internal soft tissue problems can cause swelling, stiffness, and a feeling of instability.
What else could cause ankle pain?
While soft tissue impingement within the ankle joint is the most common cause of persistent ankle pain, there are a number of other problems that can produce similar symptoms within the ankle region that need to be considered when evaluating an ankle with persistent pain problems. Some of these conditions are:
- Cartilage chip fractures (commonly called osteochondral defects or OCD).
- Traction neuritis of overlying sensory nerves (caused from partial torn nerve)
- Systemic arthritis (includes rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other types)
- Ankle joint instability, (looseness or feeling ankle is going to give out)
- Bone spur formation
- Partial tendon tear
How is this treated?
Simple treatments can be tried initially, and if there is good response no further treatment is necessary. With more persistent ankle pain, the doctors at the Ankle & Foot Clinic of Everett feel it is important to initiate a good diagnostic work-up to accurately determine the precise problem causing the persistent pain. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, then the best treatment options can be determined. While many ankle problems respond to conservative treatments such as oral anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, and physical therapy; others may fail conservative care and require either arthroscopic surgery or more involved open surgical care to control the problem.