Ankle & Achilles Pain

Ankle injuries are classified as sudden onset (acute ankle injuries) or gradual onset injuries, often referred to as chronic injuries. The most common ankle injury is a sprained ankle. However, there may be other complications that arise from ankle sprains which are not initially diagnosed.

The most common cause of ankle pain is a sprained ankle. But there are a number of other less common ankle injuries as well as important conditions and ankle injuries which should not be missed! Immediate first aid (RICE) rest, ice, compression and elevation is important for all ankle injuries, especially sprains. If the injury is severe or a fracture is suspected always seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Pain at the back of the ankle is usually related to the achilles tendon and comes on gradually over time. A sudden onset or acute achilles tendon injury may be a partial or even complete rupture of the achilles tendon which needs urgent medical assistance.

Medial ankle pain refers to pain on the inside of the ankle which is not a sudden acute ankle injury. Pain may come on gradually or from an acute injury that has not healed properly. We explain the most common causes, some less common medial ankle injuries and important conditions that should not be missed.

Lateral ankle pain is pain on the outside of the ankle which usually develoips over time as opposed to an acute ankle injury such as a sprained ankle which happens suddenly. Chronic ankle injuries can occur after an acute ankle injury which has failed to heal properly or was not treated correctly in the beginning. The most common causes of gradual onset pain on the outside of the ankle are peroneal tendinopathy (tendinitis) and sinus tarsi syndrome.

Pain at the front of the ankle which has come on gradually rather than from a sudden twisting or trauma is ususally due to impingement or tibialis anterior tendinopathy (tendinitis).