This week, we will discuss ankle pain treatment. Ankle pain can be treated with various modalities: medication, fracture repair and physical therapy are the most commonly-used tools.
Medications for treating ankle pain include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which can be particularly useful if the underlying condition is arthritis of all forms.
- Steroid injections into the affected joint is also utilized for arthritic ankles.
- Pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can be used, with supervision.
- Oral steroid medication
- Specific arthritis medications
Fracture repair typically means one of the following:
- Splinting and/or bracing a broken ankle.
- Surgical repair, including the insertion of a metal screw and/or metal plate to fortify a joint that cannot heal on its own. Sometimes ankle fusion is also recommended, although this limits mobility forever, but can be quite effective in lessening chronic pain.
- Ankle arthroscopy is a less invasive surgery, where a narrow instrument can be utilized to remove small segments of cartilage or bone chips or even to tie or repair a torn ligament.
Physical Therapy to Combat Ankle Pain is really important. Your ankles bear the weight of your body and their appropriate, relatively pain-free functioning is the key to lifetime mobility.
Typical physical therapy regimens will work to
- Strengthen the ankle joint,
- Strengthen the muscles that support the functioning of the ankle
- Increase the range of motion
- Increase flexibility
- Decrease pain
Ankle pain can be debilitating. A proper diagnosis of the cause and a multifaceted approach to easing pain including medication, surgical options (as a last resort) and physical therapy can be a very effective combination.