Why Is My Ankle Hurting?

Why Is My Ankle Hurting?

Ankle pain can be a real game-changer, especially for athletes who rely on their feet for peak performance. Whether you’re a runner, a soccer player, or a gymnast, understanding the root causes of ankle pain and knowing how to address it is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind ankle pain, identify common injuries, discuss various treatment options, and introduce you to the experts who can help you get back on your feet.

What Can Cause Ankle Pain?

Overuse and Strain

One of the most common reasons for ankle pain among athletes is overuse. When you push your body to its limits, your ankles bear a significant portion of the stress. This repeated strain can lead to inflammation and discomfort. It’s essential to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs to prevent overuse injuries.

Improper Footwear

Wearing the wrong shoes can also contribute to ankle pain. Athletic shoes are designed with specific activities in mind, and using the wrong type can put undue stress on your ankles. For instance, running shoes provide different support compared to basketball shoes or cleats. Ensuring you wear the right footwear for your sport can make a significant difference.

Poor Training Techniques

Incorrect training techniques or sudden increases in intensity can lead to ankle pain. Proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and gradual progression in your training routine are vital to avoid injuries. Ignoring these fundamentals can result in unnecessary stress on your ankles, leading to pain and potential injuries.

Common Types of Ankle Injuries


Ankle sprains are one of the most frequent injuries among athletes. They occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch or tear. Sprains can range from mild to severe, and they often result from sudden twists, falls, or impacts during physical activity.


Fractures, or broken bones, can cause severe ankle pain. These injuries usually result from high-impact activities or accidents. Fractures require immediate medical attention and can take several weeks or even months to heal properly.

Tendon Injuries

Tendons connect muscles to bones, and injuries to these structures can be particularly painful. Tendonitis, an inflammation of the tendons, is a common issue for athletes. Overuse or repetitive motion can cause tendon injuries, leading to swelling and discomfort.

Treatment of Fractures

Immediate Care

If you suspect a fracture, it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Immobilizing the ankle and applying ice can help manage pain and swelling until you can see a doctor. Avoid putting weight on the injured ankle to prevent further damage.

Medical Intervention

A healthcare professional will likely order imaging tests such as X-rays to confirm the fracture. Depending on the severity, treatment may involve casting, bracing, or even surgery. Follow your doctor’s recommendations closely to ensure proper healing.


Rehabilitation is a critical part of the recovery process. Physical therapy can help restore strength and flexibility to the injured ankle. Following a structured rehab program can reduce the risk of future injuries and help you return to your sport safely.

Treatment of Sprains

R.I.C.E. Method

The R.I.C.E. method—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation—is a common approach for treating sprains. Resting the ankle, applying ice packs, using compression bandages, and elevating the leg can help reduce pain and swelling.

Medical Evaluation

While mild sprains can often be managed at home, severe sprains may require medical evaluation. Your doctor might recommend physical therapy or prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to aid in the recovery process.

Gradual Return to Activity

Once the pain and swelling subside, it’s important to ease back into physical activity gradually. Rushing the recovery process can lead to re-injury. Listen to your body and follow your healthcare provider’s advice to ensure a safe return to your sport.

Treatment of Tendon Injuries

Rest and Medication

Rest is crucial for tendon injuries. Avoid activities that aggravate the condition and take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications or suggest corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be highly effective in treating tendon injuries. A therapist will guide you through exercises designed to strengthen the affected area and improve flexibility. Consistency in following your therapy regimen is key to a successful recovery.


In severe cases where conservative treatments fail, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged tendons. Surgical intervention is typically followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation program to restore function and prevent future issues.

Types of Surgery for Ankle Injuries


Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat joint problems. Small incisions and specialized instruments allow the surgeon to repair damaged tissues with minimal disruption. Recovery time is often shorter compared to traditional surgery.

Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF)

ORIF is a surgical procedure used to fix severe bone fractures. It involves repositioning the broken bone fragments and securing them with metal plates, screws, or rods. This method provides stability and promotes proper healing.

Tendon Repair

Tendon repair surgery involves stitching torn or damaged tendons back together. This procedure is typically followed by immobilization and a structured rehabilitation program to ensure a successful recovery.

About POSMC Foot and Ankle Specialists

At Plano Orthopedic, our foot and ankle specialists are dedicated to providing top-notch care for athletes. With extensive experience in diagnosing and treating a wide range of ankle injuries, our team is committed to helping you get back on your feet. Learn more about our specialists and their expertise here.

How Can Plano Orthopedic Help?

Comprehensive Care

Plano Orthopedic offers comprehensive care for athletes dealing with ankle pain. From initial diagnosis to rehabilitation, our team provides personalized treatment plans tailored to your needs. Our goal is to help you achieve a full recovery and return to your sport stronger than before.

Advanced Treatment Options

We utilize the latest advancements in medical technology to offer state-of-the-art treatment options. Whether you need conservative care or surgical intervention, our specialists are equipped to provide the best possible outcomes.

Community and Support

Joining the Plano Orthopedic community means gaining access to a network of support. We believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to maintain their health and prevent future injuries. Connect with us and become part of a community dedicated to athlete wellness.

Ankle pain is a common issue for athletes, but it doesn’t have to sideline you for long. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking appropriate treatment, you can overcome ankle injuries and get back to doing what you love. At Plano Orthopedic, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you’re experiencing ankle pain or have questions about your recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialists and explore how we can help you achieve your goals. Visit our website to learn more and take the first step towards a pain-free future.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!