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Ankle pain - what could be the causes of this condition?

Ankle pain in the legs is a very common condition. It can have various causes, but most often it arises because of various types of overloads and strain, but also from numerous systemic diseases. Although any unpleasant pain in the ankle area is not necessarily a sign of anything serious, the necessary measures should always be taken to alleviate it or to consult a doctor for ankle pain. So, what can frequent ankle pain signal and how can it be dealt with?

Leg pain in the ankles – causes

Ankle pain is a symptom that can have two different origins. It can be caused by injury or disease.

Ankle pain after injury

The pain we may feel in the ankle joint may be the result of an injury to it. This is the joint that is most frequently injured. This is mainly due to its anatomical structure, as well as the external forces that act on it during movement. Thus, ankle pain can be caused by injuries such as:

  • Contusion, where there is no change in the structure of the joint and bone. Pain occurs only at the site of injury and is accompanied by swelling and haematoma.
  • Sprain causes damage to the soft tissues, i.e., the joint capsule and ligaments. There is severe pain and a lot of swelling.
  • Dislocation, during which the bone is displaced. It is then necessary to set it. In this case, ankle pain in the legs occurs and is aggravated when attempting to move the limb.
  • Fracture, i.e., damage to the bone structure.

Painful ankles on toes without the occurrence of trauma

Have you not suffered any injury, but leg pain in the ankles appears? The cause here can be found in developing diseases. One of these is RA, or rheumatoid arthritis. Pain in the ankles at night or during the day can also be caused by chronic venous insufficiency, plantar fasciitis, various types of defects, as well as linearity disorders of the feet. It is also very common in the exacerbation of gout, in cases of excessive obesity, in Morton's neuralgia or in sagging foot, which you can read about in the article: "Falling foot - what is the condition and how should it be treated". A swollen and painful ankle without trauma is also a sign of circulatory insufficiency.

Leg pain in the ankles - coexisting symptoms

What symptoms accompany ankle pain in the legs largely depends on the degree and type of injury to the ankle structures. The patient may also notice swelling, redness and bruising under the skin. In addition, there is sometimes a tingling sensation and stiffness in the ankle area. In addition, there may be problems with movement in the form of pathological types of gaits or complete immobilisation of the joint.

Ankle pain in the legs – diagnosis

Painful ankles are diagnosed in several stages. At the outset, the specialist takes a medical history in order to understand the cause of the pain. Then, he or she performs a physical examination, which allows the preliminary cause of the problem to be identified. In order to confirm or exclude the diagnosis, the doctor usually recommends an X-ray examination and sometimes even an ultrasound examination. In the case of very serious injuries, a CT scan or MRI scan is also carried out immediately.

Ankle pain - what is the treatment?

Appearing ankle pain at night and during the day should be diagnosed and treated immediately so that recovery can be accelerated, and the risk of complications reduced. To this end, plenty of rest, bracing of the limb and pressure relief are recommended. If swelling and redness occur, the ankle should be cooled with ice or special gel packs, and the affected limb should be kept above body level. If you have mobility problems, your doctor may also order the fitting of an orthosis to support proper movement.

Ankle pain can make it very difficult to function daily. For this reason, specialists also recommend the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs available as ointments, gels, or tablets.

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