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Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

Chronic lateral ankle pain is recurring pain on the outside part of the ankle that often develops after an injury such as an ankle sprain.

Causes of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Arthritis of the ankle joint
  • Fracture in one or more of the bones that make up the joint
  • Inflammation of the joint lining
  • Injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle (for more on maladies related to nerve damage in the lower extremities, check out our pages on Morton's neuroma and neuropathy)
  • Scar tissue in the ankle after an ankle sprain
  • Torn or inflamed tendon (also see our tendinitis page)


Symptoms of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Ankle instability
  • Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels
  • Pain, sometimes intense, on the outer side of the ankle
  • Repeated ankle sprains
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Treatments for Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Ankle braces or other supports
  • Immobilization to allow the bone to heal, especially in cases of fractures
  • Over the counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling (Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.)
  • Physical therapy, including tilt-board exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles, restoring range of motion, and increasing perception of joint position
  • Steroid medication
  • Surgery, in the most extreme cases, to remove loose bone fragments or repair damaged ligaments or tendons

Prevention of Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

  • Continued use of an ankle brace (rather than taping the ankle) when playing sports
  • Physical therapy, if applicable after surgery, in order to prevent recurrence of pain
  • Resting the injured ankle
  • Wearing properly fitting shoes and lacing them correctly

 

 

For more information on chronic lateral ankle pain treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, please call (504) 457-2300.

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