What is Ankle Pain?
Ankle pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort in your ankles. This pain could be caused by an injury, like a sprain, or by a medical condition, like arthritis.
According to the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), an ankle sprain is one of the most common causes of ankle pain — making up 85 percent of all ankle injuries. A sprain occurs when your ligaments (the tissues that connect bones) tear or get overstretched.
Most ankle sprains are lateral sprains, which occur when your foot rolls, causing your outside ankle to twist toward the ground. This action stretches or tear the ligaments.
A sprained ankle often swells and bruises for about 7 to 14 days. However, it may take a few months for a severe injury to heal fully.
Causes of Ankle Pain
Injury to any of the ankle bones, ligaments or tendons and several types of arthritis can cause ankle pain. Common causes of ankle pain include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Achilles tendon rupture
- Avulsion fracture
- Broken foot
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Gout (arthritis related to excess uric acid)
- Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Plantar fasciitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Reactive arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Septic arthritis
- Sprained ankle
- Stress fractures
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Symptoms of Ankle Pain
A sprain is a common cause of ankle pain. Sprains are generally caused when the ankle rolls or twists so that the outside ankle moves toward the ground, tearing the ligaments of the ankle that hold the bones together.
Rolling the ankle can also cause damage to the cartilage or tendons of your ankle.
Pain can also be a result of:
- Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis
- Nerve damage or injury, such as sciatica
- Blocked blood vessels
- Infection in the joint
Gout occurs when uric acid builds up in the body. This higher-than-normal concentration of uric acid (a by-product of the body’s normal breakdown of old cells) can deposit crystals in the joints, causing sharp pain.
Pseudogout is a similar condition where calcium deposits build up in the joints. Symptoms of both gout and pseudogout include pain, swelling, and redness. Arthritis can also cause ankle pain. Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints.
Multiple types of arthritis can cause pain in the ankles, but osteoarthritis is the most common. Osteoarthritis is often caused by wear and tear on the joints. The older people are, the more likely they are to develop osteoarthritis.
Septic arthritis is arthritis that’s caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. This can cause pain in the ankles, if the ankles are one of the areas infected.
Treatment of Ankle Pain
Many patients have turned to Stem Cell Therapy as a better alternative to foot or ankle surgery, with an easier and faster recovery and with significantly less complications. Surgery has the risk of complications including pain, blood clots, reactions to anesthesia, infections or muscle loss. It also requires being hospitalized for a few days and the recovery from surgery may be relatively slow, often requiring a period of up to three months wearing crutches or a cast. In many cases, foot or ankle functionality may not be fully recovered after surgery, which can limit the movements of patients.
Stem cells are part of our body’s natural healing resources. They continually renew our cells throughout our body, including our joints and tendons. Unlike other cells, stem cells have the unique ability to develop into a wide range of cells, including those needed to repair tissues in the foot and ankle.
The aim of using Stem Cell Therapy is to support the self-healing process of the foot and ankle, reverse disease progression and suppress inflammatory reactions that can worsen pain, leading to symptom relief and recovery of function.