What could be my problem?

Recurring or chronic pain on the outer side of the ankle, known as Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

What causes Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain?

  • An injury to the nerves that pass through the ankle. The nerves may be stretched, torn, injured by a direct blow or pinched under pressure (entrapment)
  • A torn or inflamed tendon
  • Arthritis of the ankle joint
  • A fracture in one of the bones that make up the ankle joint
  • An inflammation of the joint lining (synovium)
  • The development of scar tissue in the ankle after a sprain; the scar tissue takes up space in the ankle joint thus putting pressure in the ligaments

When to see a foot doctor about Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain:

  • Ankle pain, usually on the outer side, may be so intense that you have difficulty walking or participating in sports; pain can be a constant, dull ache.
  • Difficulty walking on uneven ground or in high heels
  • A feeling of giving way (instability) in the ankle joint
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Repeated ankle sprains

If I have Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain, what are my treatment options?


  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Ankle brace
  • Steroid injection therapy
  • In the case of fracture, immobilization to allow the bone to heal


When conservative ankle paint treatment does not relieve the pain, surgery may be recommended, including:

  • Removing (excising) loose fragments
  • Cleaning (debriding) the joint or joint surface
  • Repairing or reconstructing the ligaments or transferring tendons