Nobody likes foot pain, yet it happens to us all. Most of the time, foot pain can heal naturally on its own. However, in more severe cases, special attention and care is required. At Advanced Foot and Ankle, we have board-certified podiatrists to help you with all of your foot problems! Call us today or book an appointment online!
What doctor should I see for ankle pain?
Doctors that specialize in ankle pain are called podiatrists. Orthopedists also specialize in foot pain.
While most ankle sprains heal on their own between 2 and 12 weeks, if the pain is bothersome, especially when you put weight on the injured ankle, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.
They will be able to tell if your ankle is sprained or if it’s a more serious injury with similar symptoms.
You should also see your doctor if the sprain doesn’t seem to be getting better over time.
When should I see the doctor for ankle pain?
Below are a few common injuries for when you should see a podiatrist:
Growth plate injuries — Growth plates are the areas of cartilage positioned near the ends of the bones. They are the last portion of a child’s bones to harden, therefore children are particularly vulnerable to injury in the growing skeleton.
Strains — Overstretched or torn muscles, strains can happen after trauma, such as over-exertion or not properly warming up. They also can be caused by repetitive overuse.
Fractures — Also called broken bones, most fractures happen when someone rolls or twists an ankle on an uneven surface, such as when stepping into a hole. This can occur when someone changes direction too quickly or sharply, rotating the ankle abnormally. In addition to trauma, repetitive overuse can also lead to broken bones. These are called stress fractures.
How do you treat chronic ankle pain?
Treatment for chronic ankle pain depends on the results of the examination, as well as on the patient’s level of activity. Nonsurgical treatment may include:
Physical therapy — Physical therapy involves different exercises and treatments to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion and to retrain your muscles.
Bracing — Some patients wear an ankle brace to help support the ankle and keep the ankle from twisting. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains.
Medications — Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
What causes sharp stabbing pain in ankle?
Below are several injuries and conditions that can cause a sharp, stabbing pain in the ankle:
Achilles tendon rupture — The Achilles tendon, named after the hero of the Trojan war, is a strong band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. The tendon can rupture or tear due to over-stretching when running or exercising, or after a fall. Certain antibiotics can increase the risk of an Achilles tendon rupture.
Taking corticosteroids or certain antibiotics, including fluoroquinolones such as Cipro, can also increase the likelihood that a person will experience a tendon rupture.
Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include:
- a reduced range of motion
- pain that occurs abruptly in the ankle or calf
- a popping or snapping sensation in the ankle
- problems standing on tiptoes or walking up stairs
- swelling on the back of the leg or ankle
In many cases, an Achilles tendon rupture requires surgery to correct.
Ankle sprain or strain — Sprains and strains are both types of soft tissue damage. Depending on the severity, both can cause significant pain and discomfort.
A sprain is a tearing or over-stretching of a ligament, which is a band of tough tissue that joins bones together. Sprains can range from partial to complete.
A strain is an injury to tendons or muscles. Tendons are tough cords that attach muscles to bones. Strains can range from a small overstretch to a complete tear.
The ankles are a common area for sprains and strains, as they are a complex joint that endures a lot of daily movement.
Symptoms of an ankle sprain or strain include:
- a popping or snapping sound
- instability of the ankle joint
Infection — Cuts, trauma, or surgery can allow bacteria to enter the skin or joint around the ankle and cause an infection.
Symptoms of an ankle infection include:
- fatigueand feeling generally unwell
A doctor may prescribe oral or intravenous antibiotics depending on the infection’s severity. People should try to seek treatment for the infection as quickly as possible to ensure that it does not get worse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing foot pain, don’t hesitate to come to Advanced Foot and Ankle today! Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!