Ankle pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort in ankle joint. This pain could be caused by an injury, like a sprain, or by a medical condition, such as arthritis.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common causes of ankle pain. A sprain occurs when your ligaments (the tissues that connect bones) tear or get overstretched. Most ankle sprains are lateral sprains, which occur when your foot rolls, causing your outside ankle to twist toward the ground. This action stretches or rips the ligaments. A sprained ankle often swells and bruises for about seven to fourteen days. However, it may take a few months for a severe injury to heal fully.
Once healed, the sprained ankle is sometimes permanently weaker and less stable than the other ankle.
Causes of Ankle Pain
A sprain is a common cause of ankle pain.
Pain can also be a result of:
A sprain is generally caused when the ankle twists suddenly so that the outside ankle moves toward the ground, tearing the ligaments of the ankle that hold the bones together.
Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the body. This higher than normal concentration of uric acid (a by-product of the body’s normal breakdown of old cells) can deposit crystals in the joints, causing sharp pain. Pseudogout is a similar condition where calcium deposits build up in the joints. Symptoms of both gout and pseudogout include pain, swelling, and redness.
Arthritis can also cause ankle pain. Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. Multiple types of arthritis can cause pain in the ankles, but osteoarthritis is the most common. Osteoarthritis is often caused by wear and tear on the joints. The older people are, the more likely they are to develop osteoarthritis.
Septic arthritis is arthritis that is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. This may lead to pain in the ankles, if the ankles are one of the areas infected.