Ankle and Foot Pain

Ankle and Foot pain is an extremely common complaint with many causes. It is important to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms so you can get appropriate treatment. If you have ankle pain, some common causes include:

Ankle Arthritis

Ankle arthritis is most commonly the result of a prior injury to the ankle joint. In patients who sustain an injury such as an ankle fracture, the cartilage may be damaged and lead to accelerated arthritis. When the ankle is injured, it is also susceptible to an injury called osteonecrosis. When osteonecrosis occurs as the result of an ankle injury, a portion of the bone has damage to its blood flow. Osteonecrosis can also lead to ankle arthritis.

Ankle Sprains

A sprained ankle occurs following a sudden sideways or twisting movement of the foot. An ankle sprain can occur during athletic events or during everyday activities. All it takes is an awkward step or an uneven surface to cause an ankle sprain--that is why sprained ankles are among the most common orthopedic injuries. Orthopedic doctors see patients for ankle sprains very often, and it is the most common foot and ankle injury. The most common type of ankle sprain occurs when the foot is inverted, falling inward. When this type of ankle sprain happens, the outer, or lateral, ligaments are stretched too far. There are three ligaments that attach to the outer side of the ankle. About 90% of ankle sprains are inversion injuries. Pain is always on the outside of the ankle, and there is usually no pain on the inside of the ankle joint. The other type of sprained ankle is called an eversion injury, where the foot is twisted outwards. When this occurs, the inner ligament, called the deltoid ligament, is stretched too far. Patients will have pain on the inner side of the ankle.


Sometimes the tendons become inflamed for a variety of reasons, and the action of pulling the muscle becomes irritating. If the normal smooth gliding motion of your tendon is impaired, the tendon will become inflamed and movement will become painful. This is called tendonitis, and literally means inflammation of the tendon.

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

Posterior tibial tendonitis is an uncommon problem of one of the tendons on the inner side of the ankle. The posterior tibial muscle attaches to the back of the shin bone; the posterior tibial tendon connects this muscle to the bones of the foot. The posterior tibial tendon passes down the back of the leg, not far from the Achilles tendon, then turns under the prominence of the inner side of the ankle. The posterior tibial tendon then attaches to the bone of the inner side of the foot, just adjacent to the arch of the foot.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a condition of irritation and inflammation of the large tendon in the back of the ankle. Achilles tendonitis is a common injury that tends to occur in recreational athletes. Overuse of the Achilles tendon can cause inflammation that can lead to pain and swelling. Achilles tendonitis is differentiated from another common Achilles tendon condition called Achilles tendinosis. Patients with Achilles tendinosis have chronic Achilles swelling and pain as a result of degenerative, microscopic tears within the tendon.

Ankle Fracture

If an ankle fracture is suspected you should see your Medical Doctor or go to the emergency room. X-rays can be done to determine the extent of the injury.When a broken ankle occurs, the injury may be to the end of the tibia (the medial malleolus) or to the fibula (the lateral malleolus), or both.


Home-Based Physical Therapy Intervention With Adherence-
Enhancing Strategies Versus Clinic-Based Management for
Patients With Ankle Sprains .

A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Passive Accessory Joint mobilization on Acute Ankle Inversion Sprains

Effects of Ankle Sprain in a General Clinic Population
6 to 18 Months After Medical Evaluation

Kinesthetic Awareness in Subjects with Multiple Ankle Sprains