Ankle Pain

The ankle is an intricate part of your body that is has a significant role in your ability to move. It’s made up of bone, ligament, muscle, tendon, and cartilage. If anything is wrong with your ankle, your feet, legs, and overall gate can also suffer. Having alignment in your feet, knees, and hips helps keep your movement smooth. Without that, you can suffer from various different kinds of pain anywhere from your foot to your back. Most people think of ankle injuries as something that happens to those playing sports. However, injuries happen all the time to people of all ages and all activity levels. Between nine and fifteen percent of people suffer from ankle pain in the United States. This is a problem that many people experience, and getting treatment is important. Without treatment, it can cause more issues that you will have to deal with later.

What are the Causes of Ankle Pain?

It can be caused by so many different things. The most common reason is a sprain. Half of the time, these sprains happen during athletic activity. However, there are a number of other reasons why you may be experiencing it. Below you will find some of the most common reasons people suffer from ankle pain.

Breaks and Fractures

If one or more of your bones breaks or fractures, you will definitely experience discomfort and need medical attention.

Arthritis (rheumatoid or osteoarthritis)

Your immune system usually fights off germs, but sometimes it will attack your joints by mistake. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you will likely experience discomfort, swelling, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage (the cushion) between your bones. This can also cause significant pain as the bones are rubbing directly against one another.

Tendonitis or tendinosis

Tendinitis is when there is an immediate or substantial strain on your tendon. The tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel so that any strain can cause pain. Tendinosis is the result of overuse. The tendon will eventually break down and cause discomfort if left untreated.


Ganglion cysts are the most common soft tissue tumors found in the foot.

Nerve damage

If accompanied by numbness and weakness, it can be caused by a pinched nerve or sciatica. Finding the underlying issue is essential when it comes to nerve damage.


Gout is when uric acid turns into crystals that collect on your joints, causing pain and swelling. This can affect your ankle and requires treatment as soon as possible.


This disease causes your body to attack and break down the healthy tissue in your body. This can directly affect your ankles.

Flat Feet

Without an arch, your ankles can be impacted due to wear and tear. The arch usually helps keep your ankles and knees aligned. If they aren’t aligned, you can experience discomfort. Find more about Flat Feet Correction.


If you feel sick or have a fever and your ankle is swollen, red, or warm, you may have an infection. This can cause pain and discomfort, especially if you have a lot of swelling.

Bone spurs

Bone spurs are abnormal growths in your foot and ankle that can cause discomfort and swelling. They are most commonly found in your joints.

What are the Symptoms?

Depending on what is causing your discomfort, you may experience some of all of the following symptoms.

  • Stiffness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Swelling and inflammation, including redness and warmth
  • Weakness, including instability
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected foot
  • Pain that gets worse, including sharp, dull, or throbbing

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, contact us for an appointment. We can help determine what is causing your discomfort and advise you on your treatment options. Living with pain can diminish your quality of life. At an appointment, we will discuss your symptoms and medical history. Also, we will take a look at your medical records and discuss your family history with you. Depending on your issue, we may also perform other tests like an MRI or X-ray. Once the problem is determined, we can discuss treatment options and do what works best for you.

Ankle Pain Treatment Options

Because the cause of your discomfort could be a wide variety of things, treatment will also vary. Once the cause of your pain is diagnosed, there are multiple options for how to treat the issue. Initial approaches usually involve medication, physical therapy, orthotic devices, or injections. However, surgery may be able to provide you with a long-term solution to your pain.

Ankle Pain Specialist in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Stein is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in foot and ankle orthopedics. Dr. Stein is focused on getting patients back to health and, most importantly, ensuring that they prevent the same or similar injury from occurring again. Contact Dr. Benjamin Stein for an appointment.