What is Foot and Ankle Pain ?
Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain.
Ankle pain is often caused due to an ankle sprain. A sprain is am injury to the ligaments, which connects bones to one another. In most cases of ankle sprain, the ankle is twisted inward, causing small tears in the ligaments. This makes the ankle unstable. The tearing leads to swelling and bruising, making it difficult to bear weight on the joint.
Symptoms of Foot and Ankle Pain
Symptoms of foot pain are listed below –
- Restricted ability to bring the foot up
- Foot heaviness or weakness
- Difficulty walking on tiptoes
Pain in the ankle can result from inflammation or injury to any of the structures in this region, including the bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons or muscles. Other symptoms include ankle swelling, bruising, redness, instability, stiffness, weakness and burning pain.
How is Foot and Ankle Pain diagnosed
The doctor will ask you several questions to determine how the problem began. It can be helpful to tell the doctor about how it started, how it affects you and when it bothers you. If necessary, a thorough physical exam may be conducted to evaluate for any other injuries. An X-Ray, MRI or bone scan of the foot and arch may be taken to determine if there are abnormalities of the bone and /or soft tissues.
Imaging tests can allow your doctor to see the structures inside your ankle non invasively. A standard X-ray is a simple test in which an X-ray beam is passed through the ankle to create a 2-D image of the bones that form the joint. Your doctor can use X-rays to view –
- Joint space
- Bone Spurs
In some cases, a contrast dye is injected into the ankle to enable the doctor to better see the joint on X-ray. This is called arthrography.
Treatment for Foot and Ankle Pain
One can treat oneself with rest, ice, compression and evaluation (RICE). Over- the-counter medications may also be used to reduce the pain. Rest will allow tissue to heal by preventing any further stress to the affected area. Crutches should be used if you have difficulty putting weight on the foot.
Ice should be applied for less than 20 minutes. The ice may be put in a plastic bag or wrapped in a towel. Compression and evaluation will help prevent any swelling of the affected tissues. Excessive swelling can cause stretching of the nerve fibres in the affected area, which can cause more pain. Therefore, decreasing swelling provides some degree of relief.
Treatment for ankle pain depends on whether it is a sprain or a fracture. To treat ankle pain, one is usually required to stay off one’s foot for a few days or weeks, depending on the extent of the injury. When reclining, you will be told to evaluate your foot.
Your doctor may also –
- Tell you to apply ice to your ankle upto 3 times a day to reduce swelling.
- Prescribe a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
- Advise that you take over-the-counter medications to help with swelling and pain.
In case of severe ankle injuries, surgery may be necessary.
Consultation for Foot and Ankle Pain in Singapore
We do help with treatment of foot and ankle pain so please feel free to contact us. We have specialists with more than 20 years of experience. Also we are suitably located at Gleneagles Medical Centre in the Central Part of Singapore.