Complications Related to Chronic Ankle Pain

ankle pain

Chronic ankle pain is a persistent feeling of discomfort that occurs in the ankle and may result from injuries, such as ankle muscle sprain, ankle joint dislocation, and ankle bone fracture. Inflammatory conditions, such as tendon sheath inflammation, that affect the ankle joint, may also lead to chronic ankle pain. Although ankle pain may disappear on its own with time depending on the cause, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention when the pain persists. Failure to seek medical care in time may worsen ankle pain, resulting in various complications, including injury to the nerves of the affected ankle, infection to the damaged ankle, inflammatory conditions and other painful conditions such as compartment syndrome.

Injury to the Nerves

When the ankle joint sustains injury as a result of fracture or muscle sprain, the peripheral nerves that serve the ankle may get damaged in the process. In some cases, caregivers may focus on treating the fracture or sprain, but fail to address the damaged nerves. When this happens, the pain is likely to persist despite the healing of the fracture or sprain. To determine what exactly causes the pain, the patient may have to visit a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the injuries to the nervous system.

Ankle Infection

An infection mostly occurs when the body cells get exposed to infection causes such as bacteria and viruses. When the ankle gets injured in such a way that the ankle bone breaks the skin around the ankle, the ankle gets exposed to infection. Preventing this infection involves using antibiotic prescription medications. Additionally, an infection to the ankle may result from a surgical procedure to correct the ankle damage, where a surgeon leaves some hardware inside the patient’s ankle. In this case, a doctor may recommend a further surgical procedure to remove the hardware. However, not all ankle fractures, especially, those that do not break the skin, result in infection.

Inflammatory Conditions And Other Painful Conditions

One common inflammatory condition that may result from chronic ankle pain is arthritis, which is a condition characterized by joint stiffness, which reduces the joint motion range. This painful condition, which may occur following an ankle injury needs medical attention from a medical specialist that deals with the same. Lev Kalika is one such a specialist who can help you regain ankle pain relief. Besides arthritis, compartment syndrome is another painful condition that may occur when ankle pain persists. It results from muscular pressure accumulation, which typically occurs following a serious injury. The pressure results in the ankle tension by exerting weight on the nerves and blood vessels in the ankle.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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