Your ankle — the joint where your foot and leg meet — is an intricate network of bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Strong enough to bear your body weight, your ankle can be prone to injury and pain.
You may feel ankle pain on the inside or outside of your ankle or along the Achilles tendon, which connects the muscles in your lower leg to your heel bone. Because ankle pain can sometimes indicate a serious problem, severe ankle pain should be evaluated by your doctor, especially if it follows an injury. Although mild ankle pain often responds well to home treatments, it can take time to resolve. See your doctor when any ankle pain doesn't improve within a few weeks.
Injury to any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the ankle can cause ankle pain. Most ankle pain, however, is the result of a sprain, which occurs when your ankle rolls over your foot, causing an ankle ligament to stretch or even tear. Though sprains are often sports related, they can occur when you walk on an uneven surface or simply take a misstep.
Ankle pain is often due to an ankle sprain.
- An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments, which connect bones to one another.
- In most cases, the ankle is twisted inward, causing small tears in the ligaments. The tearing leads to swelling and bruising, making it difficult to bear weight on the joint.