Why Do My Ankles Continue to Hurt?
|Arrows Identify Defective Cartilage in Ankle Which is Only Detectable With an MRI|
It can be easy to take the ankle for granted, given the relative ease at which it helps us walk every day. However, at the fundamental level the ankle is a magnificently complex device; a joint allowing for a great range of motion while surrounding ligaments hold its forces in balance. Only when something goes wrong do we begin to recognize all that goes into keeping our ankles functioning well. Chronic ankle pain, instability, and other problems can make for a miserable time.
An ankle sprain is the injury most people think of first when discussing ankle problems. It is a very common occurrence, with about 25,000 people suffering from it every day. A bad step or foot roll can cause the ligaments around the ankle joint to become overstretched or even tear. Many minor cases will heal well enough with minimal care, but the ligaments can stretch out of alignment or balance if the injury does not heal properly.
Other conditions such as fractures and arthritis can also cause long-term ankle pain and weakness. At California Foot & Ankle Institute, we specialize in the anatomy and function of the ankle. Having treated hundreds of similar cases, our experts know what to look for where others may not. B.J., a network services director, was not receiving the treatment she needed before consulting with us. She had wondered whether she would ever be able to resume an active lifestyle without ankle pain:
“I slipped and fell on the floor in the kitchen at work and injured my left ankle. I had x-rays taken which did not disclose any fracture or dislocation. I re-injured my left ankle when I stepped into a pothole in the parking lot of an airport. I went back to the doctor and he stated that I had a bad sprain and treated me with a portable cast. After 4 months, my ankle still had severe pain as well as swelling and weakness. It had not improved—rather gotten worse. I went back to my doctor and he stated ‘it takes time to heal.’
“I was uneasy with that explanation and had a consultation with California Foot & Ankle Institute. They reviewed my x-rays and stated they did not see anything on the x-ray. However, they stated even though the x-rays did not reveal any problems, frequently there is damage to the ankle which needs to be looked at with an arthroscope to actually look at the cartilage for defects.
“California Foot & Ankle Institute performed an arthroscopy and found that the cartilage in my ankle had been severely damaged and, with minimally invasive surgery, my ankle was repaired. The procedure was performed on an outpatient basis in an ambulatory surgery center. Had I not had the surgery, I would still be suffering from the problem with a diagnosis of a bad sprain.”
We seek to address your ankle problems with treatments that are as conservative and minimally invasive as possible. While full surgery may be required in some cases, we do not opt for it unless it is absolutely necessary.
Seeing ankle pain or instability as a normal or unavoidable part of life is not only an incorrect way of thinking; it is a dangerous one. Ankle injuries that don’t receive full, proper treatment can contribute to new injuries down the road, resulting in even worse chronic pain. The sooner that ankle problems are addressed, the more effective treatments tend to be.
Don’t Wait to Call for Help With Your Ankle Problems
Even if another doctor has not found the source of your pain, come see us here at California Foot and Ankle Institute. We offer free consultations to new patients, so you have nothing to lose to visit an expert. Call us toll-free at (888) 796-6631 or fill out or contact form at any time to set up an appointment at our Irvine or Victorville offices.