Outside Ankle Pain
Lateral ankle pain is pain on the outside of the ankle which usually develops over time as opposed to an acute ankle injury such as a sprained ankle which happens suddenly. Chronic ankle injuries can occur following 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.
Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of the peroneal tendons which run behind the bony bit on the outside of the ankle (the lateral malleolus) causing swelling on the outer ankle. The ankle pain will normally intensify during exercise and may be exacerbated and caused by overuse and tight calf muscles. Resting this ankle injury is key to recovery.
The sinus tarsi is a small bony canal which runs into the ankle under the talus ankle bone. Damage to the sinus tarsi can be caused from overuse or an ankle sprain. It normally causes pain and tenderness near the bone on the outside of the ankle, which is often exacerbated by running round a curve. Read more for the symptoms and treatment of this ankle injury.
The peroneal tendon runs behind the lateral malleolus or the bony bit on the outer ankle. Repeated dislocation or slipping can mean the tendon rubs against the bone, causing inflammation. Outside ankle pain is the main symptom and is common among athletes with unstable ankles, whether from previous injuries or lack of muscle strength.
The talus bone is the bone at the top of the ankle which the tibia or shin bone sits on. Stress fractures of the talus are sometimes seen in footballers and track and field athletes. Exercise will often cause the outside ankle pain to feel worse. Overpronation can increase the risk of this ankle injury, so correcting any biomechanical issues is a key part of the recovery process.