If you're having pain on the inside of your ankle, it might be due to compression of the nerve that runs from your leg along your ankle to your foot. This condition is called tarsal tunnel syndrome and a podiatrist can examine your foot and order medical tests to determine if this syndrome is the cause of your pain. Here's what causes this condition and how it might be treated.
What Might Cause Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The tarsal tunnel is an area along the inside of your ankle where nerves and blood vessels are located. The area is protected by a ligament and when something causes the ligament to swell, the ligament can press against the nerve and cause pain. Pressure on the nerve can happen due to an injury, an abnormal growth or cyst that presses against the nerve, or a condition such as diabetes that affects your feet and ankles. An abnormal gait or foot structure can also cause this problem when it places stress on your ankle. You can even develop tarsal tunnel syndrome when you stand, walk, or exercise for long periods when you're not used to it.
How This Ankle Condition Is Treated
It's important to seek help if you have pain in your ankle because the nerve might be damaged permanently if you don't relieve pressure on it. Plus, sometimes the pain is severe and the muscles in your foot and toes may become weak if you don't seek help. The treatments depend on how the condition affects you. Home treatments include applying ice to your ankle and keeping your foot elevated. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication might help as well since swelling makes the pain worse.
Your ankle doctor might give you a corticosteroid shot in the area to further reduce swelling and pain. If the problem is caused by your gait, you may be given orthotics to wear in your shoes. You might even need to wear a foot brace until your ankle heals. Physical therapy might be an important part of your recovery to strengthen muscles in your leg, ankle, and foot to stabilize your ankle. With proper treatment, your ankle could heal in a few weeks. However, if your ankle doesn't respond to treatments or if your pain is bad enough to interfere with your life, your podiatrist might recommend surgery to relieve compression on the nerve.
Once you've recovered from tarsal tunnel syndrome, you can take steps to prevent the condition in the future by increasing activities slowly and wearing the right supportive shoes and orthotics if you need them. Visit an Ankle Doctor Clinic for more help.