Ask The Podiatrist: 5 Common Ankle Issues That Require Attention

Your ankles might seem like a very small part of your body, but they have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. Your ankles are essentially your lifeline. They help carry you through the day—and every single step. You probably don't notice their importance, until there is a problem.

Podiatrists see patients every day for these five common ankle issues:

1. Achilles Tendon Issues

One of the more common issues that affect the feet and ankle are Achilles tendon injuries. The important tendon connects the calf muscle to the foot. When something goes awry, it can send pain all the way up your leg. Sports injuries and overuse are the most common causes of Achilles tendon injuries; and while painful, you can usually still move. However, if you tear the tendon you may notice that you cannot walk, jump, or even stand.

2. Fractures

Another common issues with ankles are fractures. The bones within the heel are tiny and they can break, or fracture, very easily. Ankle fractures are usually caused by a trauma of some sort, such as falling. If your ankle is fractured, you will usually experience severe pain and bruising. This sort of injury is serious and does require immediate attention, so do not hesitate to see an ankle doctor.

3. Sprains

A less severe injury you might encounter is an ankle sprain. This is usually caused by overexertion, where the bones and tendons in the ankle twist in a way they shouldn't. Like a fracture, you will probably experience pain and swelling. While ankle sprains can heal without treatment, it is best to see a doctor; because without treatment, you may develop a more severe or long-term problem.

4. Growths

You might also experience growths on your feet or ankles. Sometimes, growths are harmless. However, they can also be quite serious. Symptoms of a growth are usually visible. However, you might also experience pain, tenderness, or difficulty walking. If you do notice a bump, be sure to have it evaluated because it might be anything from cancer to a harmless bunion.

5. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Another issue that you might experience with your ankles is tarsal tunnel syndrome. This is a serious bone condition that causes a wide range of symptoms. However, lack of motion is the most common. If you develop this condition, you might notice that you cannot move your ankle in all directions or as well as you used to. Tarsal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a wide range of health conditions from inflammation or flat feet. Treatment will depend on what is causing the syndrome, so see your podiatrist.

For more information, contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine or a similar location.