More than 75 percent of Americans will suffer some foot or ankle problems in their lifetime. This percentage is even higher for New Yorkers since walking is our primary method of movement. The human ankle is a complex system of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. The ankle joint complex must be strong and stable enough to support your body throughout the load requirements associated with walking, running, jumping, pivoting, and adapting to uneven terrain.
Ankle pain can stem from a variety of structures within and surrounding the ankle. Thus, an evaluation by a specialist is crucial. Ankle pain is very treatable, whether it is due to ligament, tendon, cartilage, or bone. All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
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Ankle Sprain Versus other Causes of Ankle and Foot Pain
Ankle pain is widespread and can result from a myriad of causes. Podiatric doctors are trained to treat all causes of ankle pain, including ligament injuries, arthritis, tendonitis, and fractures. Regular visits to a Manhattan foot specialist or podiatrist should be part of every New Yorker’s healthcare plan. Any foot doctor in NYC can tell you that ankle injuries are widespread and need to be evaluated by a qualified specialist!
The most common causes and conditions:
- Sprained ankle: An ankle sprain results from excessive twisting, turning or rolling of your ankle, and a podiatrist can help you determine if this is your diagnosis. These motions can stretch or tear the ligaments holding your ankle together. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that stabilize your joints and prevent abnormal movements that can lead to joint damage. An ankle sprain results when excessive twisting or turning of the ankle occurs, damaging the ligaments and cartilage of the ankle. It is very important to visit a top podiatrist in NYC to evaluate the injury if you have an ankle injury.
- Bursitis: The bursae, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints between your bones. Injury to the bursa on your heel causes ankle pain. This can be very painful. It is important to see a qualified foot specialist obtain a proper diagnosis and begin your recovery path. You may have bursitis if you have a swollen, achy, or stiff ankle, especially if the pain worsens when you apply pressure. It is imperative to visit a podiatrist if your pain becomes disabling, a fever ensues, or the pain lasts for more than a couple of days. The sooner you address ankle pain, the easier it is to treat.
- Plantar fasciitis: This common heel pain occurs when the tissue connecting your heel and your toes (called the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. This stabbing sensation is most commonly experienced in the morning, and then it lessens as the day progresses. The condition tends to affect people between the ages of 40–60. People who work on their feet, runners, and overweight individuals who wear non-supportive shoes are most at risk. The common treatment for plantar fascia is Plantar Fasciitis Surgery.
- Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon’s function is to connect the two largest muscles in your leg to your heel. When this tendon becomes inflamed, it is referred to as Achilles tendonitis. This condition generally is associated with runners and other athletes and can take a long time to heal.
- Achilles rupture: A rupture of the Achilles almost always occurs during recreational sports, and the tear can be partial or total. This kind of injury requires an immediate visit to the emergency room followed up by treatment by a foot and ankle specialist or a podiatry doctor. A severe tear of the Achilles tendon generally requires Achilles Tendon Surgery. Consult a podiatric doctor in this situation.
- Broken ankle: Symptoms of a broken ankle include swelling, bruising and throbbing. When the break occurs, you may feel a snap. A foot doctor must diagnose the cause, which can be as basic as a simple misstep. An NYC podiatrist can diagnose if the break is severe enough to require surgery. Visit the office of your NYC foot specialist if your pain doesn’t subside on its own.
- Stress fractures: When you have a stress fracture, your podiatry doctor observes tiny cracks in your bone. They are caused by repetitive stress or overuse. While excessive jumping and distance running are common causes, these fractures can appear after normal activity if your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis. Track and field athletes are often susceptible too. Repeat X-rays by your Manhattan foot doctor are often required since stress fractures often don’t take 3 weeks to appear on an X-ray.
- Avulsion fracture: This foot fracture occurs when the Achilles tendon pulls off a piece of bone from the heel. Most podiatry doctors recommend treatment similar to a sprain consisting of rest, ice, and elevation, and immobilizing the ankle. An NYC foot doctor should always evaluate all conditions of the foot and ankle.
- Gout: When uric acid crystals form in the joints of your body, you get gout. While it’s more commonly associated with your big toe, it can also occur in your ankle. Characterized by extreme pain that appears suddenly, even at night, gout can feel like your joint is on fire. There’s usually swelling, redness, and reduced mobility in the affected joints. If these symptoms are present, consult your podiatric specialist as soon as possible. Untreated, gout can get worse and lead to permanent joint damage. Diet, obesity, certain medical conditions, and family history are factors in gout. Although most common in men between the ages of 30 and 50, gout can also affect postmenopausal women.
- Osteoarthritis: Joints are covered by a protective layer of cartilage. Osteoarthritis is a result of your bone’s protective cartilage being worn down over time. This process can be accelerated in individuals who live active lifestyles, especially those who participate in sports regularly. According to podiatric doctors, you’ll feel pain, stiffness, and a grating sensation with osteoarthritis. Being a degenerative disease gets worse over time, eventually preventing you from working or even performing daily tasks. X-rays, MRIs, blood tests, and joint fluid analyses help diagnose the condition. Your foot doctor can perform these tests. Risk factors that lead to condition include:
- Joint injuries
- Repetitive movements
- Bone deformities
- Osteochondritis dissecans: This condition typically occurs after an injury disrupts the blood flow to your joint, resulting in the separation of cartilage and bone. The symptoms are pain and disruption in the gliding motions of your joint. It is imperative to visit a foot specialist early to prevent permanent damage. In some cases, surgery may be necessary; however, immobilization in a boot may suffice if intervention is early.
All symptoms should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by your podiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious condition.
Do you have any questions about Ankle Pain? Would you like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrists and foot doctors at Manhattan Podiatry Specialists? Please contact our office for a consultation.Dr. Mohammad Rimawi has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. New York City Locations Manhattan Foot Specialists (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D14, New York, NY 10028
(212) 389-1886 Manhattan Foot Specialists (Midtown) 51 East 25th Street, Ste 451, NY 10010
(212) 389-1887 Manhattan Foot Specialists (Union Square) 55 W 17th St Ste 106, NY 10011