Ankle problems can present themselves in several different ways. Persistent swelling and low pain in and around your ankle after a mild-to-moderate injury can linger for months or be resolved in several weeks if addressed early. If you have pain and weakness on the inside of your ankle when you rise up onto your toes, that’s your warning of a smoldering tendon problem that will eventually rage into a 3-alarm fire. If, after an ankle sprain, there is point tenderness and swelling just in front of the outside/lateral ankle bone, expect this to continue for months. When ankle pain and issues are present, they are not something you want to drag your feet on.
Your ankles are some of the most valuable joints in your entire body. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to walk, run, jump, or even operate the gas and brake pedals in your car. When your ankles are healthy, they allow you to stay mobile and independent.
It’s easy to take your ankles for granted, but if a common ankle problem results in pain, swelling, or stiffness, you will certainly become well-aware of how much you rely on them in daily life. The good news is that we can find a way to address the problem for you, whether by changing the environment or changing the foot. We’ll discuss what those terms mean in the context of treatment, but first let’s take a look at how your ankle is structured and some of the more common injuries we see.
It is not uncommon for people to think about their ankles as having only one joint. The truth of the matter is there are actually two joints. The “true ankle joint” is the one people often think about, and this is found where the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) meet the ankle bone (talus). There is a second joint on the bottom of the talus, where it meets the heel bone (calcaneus). We call that the subtalar joint.
The true ankle joint allows the foot to move up and down, whereas the subtalar joint enables side-to-side movement.
These bones are all connected and supported by various ligaments, which are connective tissues that hold bones together. (The other common connective tissue—tendons—connect bones and muscles.) Muscles provide further support and mobility. Nerves, of course, are used by your brain and spine to signal when muscles should contract or elongate to move the foot in an appropriate manner.
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Indianapolis, IN 46216