Chronic ankle pain is a recurring injury, the onset of which is not immediate after a single incident, but develops gradually after neglect of the initial wound, or from repeated injuries to the ankle. Ankle sprains, a common type of ankle injury which tends to occur after one falls, is usually brought about by a sudden twist or a crushing or rolling blow to your ankle joint. Some 40 percent of individuals who suffer from this type of ankle injury will go on to experience some measure of ankle pain, even after they have been treated for this injury.
In many cases, tendon injuries are the main culprit when it comes to causing recurring chronic ankle pain. In many cases, even after repeated injuries to the ankle, the condition is neglected, left untreated, and simply overlooked, the result of which is an issue which will live on to recur in years to come.
The most commonly recognized varieties of tendon injury include tendonitis (bruising and swelling of the tendons, which are tough elastic, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to the ankle bone, in order to facilitate proper balance and locomotion). In some of the more severe cases of tendonitis, the tendons can rupture or tear, or cause uncomfortable swelling in the area behind the fibula (calf bone). This swelling can, in turn, be the cause of ligaments suddenly stretching far beyond their natural ability to do so, and rupturing. This is one of the causes of severe tendonitis, an acute source of chronic ankle pain.
Symptoms which are normally associated with this variety of tendonitis, which is known as peroneal tendonitis, can include (but are not limited to): Recurring ankle pain which seemingly will not respond to even professional treatment, pain that occurs behind the ankle bone itself, or that transmits itself from the region of the ankle down into your foot, and a pronounced swelling, accompanied by severe tenderness around the outside region of your ankle.
When diagnosing the source of chronic ankle pain, especially peroneal tendonitis, the use of an ultrasound or an MRI can help to identify the specific disorder one is suffering from. You should certainly consider obtaining one of these from a trained medical professional if you are currently living with recurrent ankle pain. However, should this condition of chronic ankle pain be noticed and treated early on before it proceeds to later stages of tendon degeneration, there is a high possibility that it can be treated without resorting to expensive and risky surgical treatments.
Non-operative, home based options of treatment can include one or more of the following: simple bed rest (at the very least, keeping off one’s feet for a while), regular ice pack treatments, and elevation (making sure to keep your injured ankle above the level of your heart). If ankle pain due to bruising, tenderness, or swelling persists, one can have recourse to anti-inflammatory medication.
You should keep the ankle immobilized in an ankle cast or medical brace. If circumstances dictate that moving around is necessary, one can use a cane, walker, or crutches to keep excessive weight and pressure off of the ankle. A prescribed program of exercise and physical therapy is a must, in order to avoid tendon degeneration through disuse, and to prevent the future recurrence of chronic ankle pain. It should be noted, however, that more severe injuries, including ruptures or tears of the peroneal tendons, will most likely culminate in surgery to correct the damage.
In conclusion, if one has experienced multiple injuries in the region of the ankle without properly treating them, one should see a doctor immediately, in order to forestall the looming possibility of years of future chronic ankle pain.