Have you been feeling pain in one of your ankles lately? Having a sore ankle is very common at any age. Our ankles are very complex structures; bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles work together to create a joint that can bear the entire weight of our bodies so that we can walk and move properly. Therefore, it is no wonder that there are many possible causes for a sore ankle.
A twisted or sprained ankle is one of the most common causes for ankle pain, but it is far from the only one. Many traumatic injuries can affect your ankle, causing damages to the joint that can range from a simple bruise to a complex fracture; however, there are many non-traumatic conditions that can cause acute or chronic ankle pain.
Some of these non-traumatic condition that can cause a sore ankle include:
- Gout is an inflammatory disease that is caused by chronically elevated levels of uric acid in your blood. These abnormal levels can be caused by your diet –red meat being the biggest culprit-, medications, genetic influence, and other medical conditions. Gout is characterized by acute and recurrent episodes of arthralgia (pain in your joints). During a gout attack, any joint can become tender, red, and swollen. This condition is usually managed through a combination of NSAIDs and lifestyle changes.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome is similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome of the wrist. The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space that can be found along the inner portion of your ankle, posterior to the medial malleolus. It contains nerves, veins, arteries, and tendons. These structures can become painful when the tarsal tunnel is compressed. This compression can be caused by the presence of a varicose vein, neurofibromatosis, bone spurs, and flat feet. Systemic illnesses such as diabetes or arthritis can also cause tarsal tunnel syndrome. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, tarsal tunnel syndrome can be treated through a range of procedures, from physiotherapy to surgery.
- Arthritis is one of the most common causes of joint pain. There are many different types of arthritis: some of them, such as osteoarthritis, tend to affect elderly people. However, other causes of arthritis such as septic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis can affect younger people.
There are many other non-traumatic conditions which can cause a sore ankle. Depending on your specific symptoms, your podiatrist will order different tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Once they can point to the cause of your pain, it will be easier to establish a therapeutic plan that can relieve your pain and return your ankle to its full strength and mobility.