People come to me all the time for ankle problems. And their question is, "what's causing this pain in my ankle that just started yesterday"? Well, it may be true that many patients with ankle pain have had an injury, that isn't always the case, even with sudden onset pain.
How Podiatrists Evaluate Ankle Pain
When evaluating ankle pain, the first step is figuring out which structures are involved. These may include the bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels that cross in front, on the sides, and the back of your ankle. Once that's done, we need to figure out whether there's bone involvement or soft tissue involvement or both. Then we can move on to diagnosing your problem.
Diagnosing Ankle Pain
We diagnose your ankle pain using an X-ray or an ultrasound scan. For more complex cases we'll order an MRI to figure out exactly what the problem is with the joint. Then we can move on to figure out whether the pain is related to the ankle, to your Achilles tendon, or the muscles around it. Finally we need to determine if the problem can solved with something as simple as a brace or are there chronic underlying problems that need further treatment?
So if you have sudden onset of pain, pain is not normal. And if it's lasting more than a day or two, come in so we can get to the source of the problem.