The ankle joint is the meeting of the bones of the leg and the foot and is responsible for the up and down motion of the foot. In popular usage, the ankle is often considered to be the ankle joint plus the surrounding anatomic region, including the lower end of the leg and the start of the flat part of the foot. 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. Ankle pain can be associated with other symptoms including
- ankle swelling,
- numbness or tingling,
- burning pain,
- inability to bear weight on the affected ankle,
- stiffness, and
Common causes of ankle pain include sprains or injuries. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and other types of arthritis can also cause ankle pain. Achilles tendonitis is another potential cause.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Foot Health: Causes of Swollen Feet and Ankles
Swollen feet and ankles may be associated with conditions like pregnancy, injury, heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease,...
Pain-Relief Tips for Bumps, Bruises, Sprains, and Strains in Pictures
View this First Aid slideshow on Care and Pain Relief. See how to get pain relief if you've bumped your head, sprained your...
Sports Injuries: Types, Treatments, and Prevention
Learn about common sports injuries types, treatments, and prevention. Can you heal a pulled muscle in the back, neck, lower back...
Worst Shoes for Your Foot Health and Beauty With Pictures
Stilettos, platforms or flip-flops...which are the worst shoes for your feet? See how some of the hottest styles can be torture...
Causes of Ankle Pain
Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon is the body's largest and strongest tendon. Repeated stress is the usual cause of a ruptured Achilles tendon....
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing...
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness...
Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)
A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures, such as: compressed, open, stress, greenstick,...
A bruise, or contusion, is caused when blood vessels are damaged or broken as the result of a blow to the skin. The raised area...
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...
Dislocated Ankle (Ankle Dislocation)
Symptoms and signs of a dislocated ankle include pain, swelling, bruising, ankle deformity, and possible numbness and tingling in...
Flatfoot (Pes Planus)
Flatfoot is a disorder in which the foot's entire sole is touching the ground while standing. Symptoms and signs of flatfoot...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also...
Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. Potential causes include injections around the bone, fractures that puncture the skin,...
Pseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Reactive arthritis is a chronic, systemic rheumatic disease characterized by three conditions, including conjunctivitis, joint...
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Septic arthritis, or infectious arthritis, is infection of one or more joints by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Symptoms and signs...
Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...
Swollen Ankles and Swollen Feet
Swollen ankles and swollen feet is a symptom of an underlying disease or condition such as edema, medications, pregnancy,...
Other Causes of Ankle Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)
- Ruptured Tendon
Examples of Medications for Ankle Pain
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter