Persistent Ankle Pain and Stiffness
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.
MORE ON Ankle Soft Tissue Impingements
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:
- Talar Dome Fractures (commonly called osteochondral defects or OCD).
- Ankle Joint Instability (looseness or feeling ankle is going to give out).
- High Ankle Sprain (pain between leg bones above ankle)
- Peroneal Tendon Injuries
- Traction neuritis of overlying sensory nerves (caused from partial torn nerve).
- Bone Spur Formation (ie Footballer's Ankle)
- Systemic arthritis (includes rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other types)
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 Ankle & Foot Clinics Northwest 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 open procedures or minimally invasive techniques to treat the persistent problems including:
We are your Seattle area Ankle Specialists; we treat the full spectrum of ankle conditions simple to complex. Whether you are in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bothell, Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Whidbey Island call us today to make an appointment and we can diagnose and educate you on ankle problem and better yet solutions!
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