Dr. Mathew M. John - Podiatrist - Marietta
2790 Sandy Plains Rd
Marietta, GA 30066
Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain
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Also visit www.foothealthfacts.org to learn more about what conditions are treated by podiatric foot & ankle surgeons.
Many patients ask:
What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedist?
The short answer is that both podiatrists and orthopedists perform surgery on the foot and ankle. This is similar to neurosurgeons and orthopedists both performing back surgery or dermatologists and plastic surgeons both performing cosmetic surgery.
Yet there are some distinctions in choosing a podiatric surgeon for your foot and ankle care:
- While being the same 4 year length as osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) medical school and covering the same basic and clinical sciences, the podiatric medical school curriculum provides additional intense focus on conditions of the foot, ankle and lower leg.
- Podiatric surgeons typically complete 3 years of intense residency training in complex foot and ankle surgery. General orthopedists who desire to pursue additional training in foot and ankle surgery typically complete a 1 year fellowship.
- As Fellows of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, podiatric surgeons remain among a group of the only physicians who are Board Certified in Foot Surgery and/or Reconstructive Rearfoot Surgery.
Chronic lateral ankle pain is recurring or chronic pain on the outside part of the ankle that often develops after an injury such as a sprained ankle.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Ankle instability.
- Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels.
- Pain, sometimes intense, on the outer side of the ankle.
- Repeated ankle sprains.
Although ankle sprains are the most common cause of chronic lateral ankle pain, other causes may include:
- A fracture in one of the bones that make up the ankle joint.
- Arthritis of the ankle joint.
- Inflammation of the joint lining.
- Injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle. In this case, the nerves become stretched, torn, injured by a direct blow, or pinched under pressure.
- Scar tissue in the ankle after a sprain. The scar tissue takes up space in the joint, putting pressure on the ligaments.
- Torn or inflamed tendon.
Treatments for chronic lateral ankle pain include:
- 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 your perception of joint position.
- Ankle braces or other supports.
- Steroid medication.
- Immobilization to allow the bone to heal (in cases of fractures).