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Ankle Pain and Injury


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Ankle pain results from overuse, trauma, or disease in the joints, ligaments (connect bones together), or tendons (connect muscle to the bones). Symptoms of an ankle injury or disease can be mild or severe, and include pain in the joint, foot, or lower shin. Joint tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and ankle instability are also symptoms.

Some conditions that cause ankle pain include:

  • Ankle fractures or ankle dislocation: bones are broken or moved out of place
  • Ankle bursitis: painful inflammation
  • Cartilage injuries: damage to the tissue that covers the surface of the bone
  • Infection: can occur in the ankle bone or joints
  • Nerve compression, damage, or ankle impingement: compression of the bony or soft tissue structures of the ankle during certain activities, such as pointing the toes
  • Osteoarthritis: degenerative “wear and tear” on the ankle joint
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: a chronic (ongoing) inflammatory joint disorder
  • Sprained ankle: due to torn ligaments
  • Tendonitis: inflammation due to strained or ruptured tendons

If your ankle pain lasts longer than two or three days, call an orthopaedic specialist at University of Miami Health System. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.


RICE Method
Most mild ankle pain and injuries resolve with home treatments, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method).

Anti-inflammatory Medication
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to reduce swelling and pain in your ankle.

Physical Therapy
You may need to work with a physical therapist to regain strength and use of your ankle following an injury.

Ankle Replacement Surgery
If other treatments have been unsuccessful in relieving your ankle pain, your specialist may recommend ankle replacement surgery.


Comprehensive Exam
Your doctor will conduct a thorough exam and ask for your health history to diagnose your ankle injury.

Your orthopaedic doctor may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a more serious injury like a fracture.

Why Choose UHealth?

Orthopaedic trauma care you can count on. The trauma team manages orthopedic trauma services at the UHealth Tower, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Jackson South Community Hospital. Our team is made up of six surgeons who each have a subspecialty focus in orthopedic trauma. We treat everything from simple fractures that need a brace or cast to complex injuries that are best handled at a Level 1 or Level 2 trauma center.


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