One of the fun things to do in Orange County in the summer is to head to Huntington Beach for movies displayed on a huge, inflatable, outdoor movie screen with the latest in picture and sound technology. On July 16, you could take a picnic supper (or visit the food booths), watch the sunset, and then enjoy Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just be careful when you are stumbling back to your car later—you don’t want to end up with an ankle sprain or other injury!
Sprains are just one of the possible reasons for outer ankle pain. Twisting your ankle stretches the ligaments too far and can even tear them. If the sprain doesn’t heal well, pain can become chronic, and weak tissues can make the ankle unstable and prone to future injuries. Besides ligament damage, here are some other common causes of ankle pain on the outside of your foot:
- Peroneal tendon injuries – these tendons run from calf muscle to foot around the back of the outer ankle bone. They can become inflamed, frayed, or torn, and can also dislocate from their normal path, all of which can be quite painful.
- Forms of arthritis – Osteoarthritis (the wear and tear kind), the rheumatoid version (degenerating joint linings), and gout (sharp uric acid crystals forming in the joints) can all affect the outside of your ankle.
- Fractures – Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bones caused by repetitive stress. With avulsion fractures, a small piece of bone breaks off. They can also fracture completely, and any bone on the outside of the ankle is susceptible.
- Nerve issues – The peroneal nerves could be pinched or damaged from trauma to the ankle.
- Scar tissue – Previous sprains can lead to scar tissue that presses on ligaments, tendons or nerves and causes discomfort.
So take care this summer! If you are out and about and start feeling pain at the outside of your ankle, call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists and let us take a look at it. Treating the problem in the early stages may save you a lot of grief in the months and years to come. You can reach our office in Ladera Ranch at (949) 364-9255 (WALK), or schedule your visit online, and head off disabling ankle pain before it takes hold.