Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Are you dealing with persistent ankle pain that refuses to go away? Chronic lateral ankle pain could be the frustrating and debilitating condition affecting your daily life.

At OrthoNeuro, we understand the challenges you may be facing. This article will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments for chronic lateral ankle pain, helping you gain a better understanding of this condition.

If you’re experiencing chronic lateral ankle pain, OrthoNeuro is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced specialists. With multiple locations in Columbus, OH, we’re committed to providing exceptional care for your foot, ankle, and podiatry needs.

Defining Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

Chronic lateral ankle pain refers to ongoing discomfort on the outer side of the ankle. Unlike acute pain caused by a recent injury, chronic pain persists for an extended period, typically beyond six weeks. It can develop due to various factors and may be associated with previous ankle injuries or conditions.

Causes of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

Below, you will find a list of some of the common causes of chronic lateral ankle pain:

  • Ankle Sprains: One of the leading causes of chronic ankle pain is an ankle sprain. When the ligaments supporting the ankle joint are stretched or torn, they can weaken, leading to persistent pain.
  • Recurrent Ankle Injuries: Individuals who have experienced multiple ankle injuries, such as repeated sprains or fractures, may be more susceptible to chronic lateral ankle pain.
  • Inflamed Tendon: Inflammation of the tendons around the ankle can contribute to chronic pain. This can be caused by overuse, repetitive motions, or conditions like peroneal tendonitis.
  • Arthritis: Ankle arthritis can affect the ankle joint, leading to chronic pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis are common types that can impact the ankle.
  • Scar Tissue Formation: Scar tissue can develop after a sprained ankle or surgery, causing pain and restricting joint movement.
  • Inflammation of the joint lining: The joint lining (known as the synovium) can get inflamed.
  • Uneven Ground or Poor Footwear: Walking on uneven surfaces or wearing improper footwear, such as high heels, can strain the ankle and contribute to chronic lateral ankle pain.

Symptoms of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Persistent Dull Ache: Individuals with this condition often experience a dull and constant ache on the outer side of the ankle.
    Difficulty Walking: Chronic pain may make it challenging to walk or engage in physical activities, affecting mobility and overall quality of life.
  • Weakness and Instability: The affected ankle may feel weak and unstable, making it difficult to maintain balance.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Reduced flexibility and range of motion in the ankle joint can be a common symptom of chronic lateral ankle pain.

Diagnosing Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

To accurately diagnose chronic lateral ankle pain, our specialists at OrthoNeuro will perform a comprehensive evaluation, which may include:

  1. Medical History: Your doctor will discuss your symptoms, previous ankle injuries, and any other relevant medical information.
  2. Physical Examination: A thorough examination of the ankle, foot, and lower leg will be conducted to assess pain, swelling, instability, and range of motion.
  3. Imaging Tests: X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound may be recommended to visualize the structures within the ankle joint and identify any abnormalities.

Treatments for Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Conservative Treatments: Non-surgical options, such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and using an ankle brace, may help relieve pain and promote healing.
  • Injection Therapy: Corticosteroid injections or regenerative medicine techniques, like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, can provide targeted pain relief and promote tissue healing.
  • Surgical Intervention: In cases where conservative treatments fail to alleviate chronic pain, surgical options, such as ankle arthroscopy, ligament repair, or joint stabilization procedures, may be considered.

Preventing Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

While preventing chronic lateral ankle pain may not always be possible, certain measures can help reduce the risk of an ankle injury and subsequent recurring pain.

This could include the following:

  • Maintain Ankle Strength: Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles around the ankle joint and improve stability.
  • Wear Proper Footwear: Choose footwear that provides adequate support and cushioning, avoiding high heels and shoes that put excessive pressure on the ankle.
  • Use Caution on Uneven Ground: Be mindful when walking or running on uneven surfaces, taking appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of ankle injuries.

Let Our Specialists Treat Your Ankle Pain

Chronic lateral ankle pain can significantly impact your daily activities and overall well-being. If you’re experiencing persistent ankle pain, OrthoNeuro is here to help.

Our experienced specialists can accurately diagnose your condition and develop a personalized treatment plan to alleviate your pain and restore your mobility. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our multiple locations in Columbus, Ohio.

Foot, Ankle, and Podiatry Specialists


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