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Sudden Ankle Pain Without Injury Treatment

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Why Does My Ankle Suddenly Hurt For No Reason

Sudden Ankle Pain Without Injury
  • Injured tendons or nerves, tendinopathy, infection, and stress fractures can be some of the reasons.
  • If you have recently changed shoes, frequently wear high heels, have flat feet, or play sports with repetitive stress on your legs and ankles, such as runners or hikers, sudden ankle pain is common.
  • With osteoarthritis, the cushion of cartilage between two bones gradually wears away, causing the bones to rub against each other which is painful. You may also have some stiffness and tenderness.
  • Lupus is another autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. It tends to cause swelling, muscle pain, and joint pain in various parts of the body, including the feet and ankles.
  • Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. It most commonly affects the big toe, but can and often does affect other joints, including the ankle.
  • If the pain is located at the back of the heel, you may be experiencing Achilles tendonitis.
  • Flat feet, in which the arch of the foot has little curvature, and high arches, in which the arch of the foot has an exaggerated curvature, can change the way you walk. This often puts pressure on other areas of the foot to compensate for the uneven arch.

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How Do I Know If My Ankle Pain Is Serious

Your ankle pain can be serious if:

  • Your ankle pain is getting worse day by day
  • Your pain doesnt allow you to do your daily activities
  • You feel stinging or tingling in your foot
  • You have swelling or inflammation in your foot or any sign of infection
  • Loss of sensation in your foot
  • Moreover, if youve diabetes, it might be a serious issue!

Additional Causes For Severe Ankle Pain

Injuries to the ankle due to various fractures, sprains, or Achilles tendon ruptures can cause severe ankle pain. Ankle injuries are is among the most common reasons people visit the emergency room.

  • Avulsion fracture: A ligament or tendon tears away from its attachment on the bone, taking a fragment of bone with it.
  • Fibula fracture: The fibula is the smaller of the two bones in the lower leg. A break just above the ankle can cause severe ankle pain.
  • Stress fracture: This is a crack or severe bruising in the small bones of the ankle, due to overuse and/or weakening from a loss of minerals.

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How Can You Avoid This Condition

Sudden ankle pain without injury is a condition that can be pretty debilitating. Many different things can cause it, but the most common are sprains and strains.

If youre experiencing ankle pain that doesnt have an apparent cause, its essential to get evaluated by a doctor. They can do a range of tests to determine the source of your pain and recommend the best course of action.

Prevention is always the best way to avoid any injury, including sudden ankle pain without injury. Try keeping your balance exercises routine, stay hydrated, and dont overdo it when it comes to activities that could cause you to strain or sprain your ankle.

Ankle Instability Causes And Fixes

Sudden Ankle Pain Without Injury Treatment
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Maybe you sprained your ankle one too many times. Maybe age or a previous injury is taking its toll on this hardworking, supportive joint. Or maybe an inflammatory condition, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, has damaged your ankle.

Whatever the cause, ankle arthritis could be contributing to symptoms, including catching or locking, instability, stiffness, and activity-related pain. Ankle arthritis tends to affect people older than 40 due to cumulative wear and tear or inflammation. Sometimes younger patients develop ankle arthritis if they’ve had a bad injury, such as a broken ankle, early in life.

Ankle arthritis can be painful and limit daily living as much as hip or knee arthritis. While younger people rarely have arthritis, they may still have ankle instability or cartilage problems due to athletic injuries or ankle sprains.

But there are fixes both nonsurgical and surgical that can reduce pain, strengthen your ankle and improve your mobility.

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Possible Causes Of Ankle Pain Without Injury

You might experience pain in your ankle while running or even while walking. It is possible for ankle pain to arise suddenly without memory or knowledge of an injury occurring to the ankle complex and associated structures. Improper footwear and repetitive overuse injuries to the ankle complex contribute to pain arising in the area, alongside other underlying health conditions listed below.

Bony Protrusions Or Projections On The Ankle Bone

A few bony protrusions or projections on the ankle bone can cause sudden ankle pain without injury. One is called a talus, a small bony lump located at the back of the anklebone. This talus can become inflamed and cause sudden ankle pain.

Another bony projection located at the front of the anklebone is called an os calcis. This os calcis can become dislocated and cause sudden ankle pain. Additionally, multiple ligaments and tendons attach to these bony protrusions and can also become injured, leading to sudden ankle pain.

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If you experience suddenanklepainwithoutinjury, there may be a medical cause for your discomfort. Learn more about the possible causes of suddenanklepain and home remedies for treating it. Why Does My Ankle Suddenly Hurt For No Reason? Injured tendons or nerves, tendinopathy, infection, and stress fractures can be some of the reasons.

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Rare Causes Of Ankle Pain

Sudden Knee Pain Without Injury

While your healthcare provider will consider the following potential causes for ankle pain, they are not common.


Gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis, develops as a result of uric acid crystal formation within one or more joints. Since gout is an uncommon cause of ankle pain, it will be primarily considered in people who have already been diagnosed with gout.

Bone Infection

An infection in the bone may rarely occur in the ankle. Besides a tender ankle joint, other signs of an infected bone include warmth and swelling.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal tunnel syndrome refers to compression of the tibial nerve within the “tarsal tunnel” of the ankle . This syndrome may cause an aching or burning pain and numb or tingling sensations on the sole of the foot, toes, and sometimes, the heel, ankle, or calf.

Peroneal Neuropathy

The common peroneal nerve runs down the lower leg and branches into both the deep peroneal nerve and the superficial peroneal nerve. If this nerve is compressed, it can cause symptoms that vary depending on where the compression happens.

For instance, compression on the outside of the knee and upper shin, which can occur from prolonged recumbency during hospitalization or from an excessive crossing of the legs, may cause a foot drop.

Deep peroneal nerve compression causes pain on the sides of the ankle along with burning or tingling sensations between the toes. This is a rare condition that can result from wearing a tight-fitting strap from a shoe.


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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Leg Edema

By far, the most common cause of leg edema is chronic venous insufficiency, but there are some other causes that are critical to rule out.

Chronic venous insufficiency

This is the cause in about 70% of older adults with leg edema. To understand chronic venous insufficiency , we first need to cover how veins work.

Veins are the blood vessels that return blood to the heart so that it can be pumped to the lungs and get oxygenated. Veins dont have muscles in their linings like arteries do instead, they rely on a system of valves to keep blood from flowing backwards. Over time, these valves become less effective, and blood can hang around in the veins longer than it needs to a phenomenon called venous insufficiency.

When venous insufficiency becomes chronic, this can cause varicose veins and/or edema, due to there being extra fluid in the veins. Venous insufficiency can also end up causing phlebitis , ulceration of the skin and even sometimes cellulitis .

CVI is common, affecting an estimated 7 million people worldwide and causing 3 million to develop venous ulcers, the most common type of leg ulcers. The cost of venous ulcers to the US healthcare system is estimated at 2 to 3 billion dollars a year.

Risk factors for CVI include:

  • Lower extremity trauma
  • Prior venous thrombosis

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is the most common cause of generalized edema , and a major cause of edema of the legs.

Medication-related leg edema

Sudden Ankle Pain Without Injury The Causes

Were going to be outlining 13 potential causes of sudden ankle pain in cases where there is no injury. This insight will help diagnose the problem. For example, some people experience sudden ankle pain without injury at night, or they may experience the sudden ankle pain only on the left or right side.

If youre experiencing random ankle pain without injury, then keep reading below for some insight.

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How Leg Swelling Is Treated

As I noted above: most of the time, leg swelling in an older adult is caused by chronic venous insufficiency , an issue with the leg veins not doing an adequate job to return blood to the heart.

What to know BEFORE starting a water pill for leg or ankle swelling

You might think that a diuretic will help, and they certainly are often prescribed for this purpose. However, research has shown that they often dont help much, probably because they dont really address the underlying issue, which is weak valves in the veins and local fluid overload.

Furthermore, diuretics in older adults can easily cause side effects like dehydration low blood pressure, low potassium levels, and constipation. They also increase urination, which can cause or worsen urinary continence issues.

How to treat chronic venous insufficiency in aging adults

So before starting a water pill, be sure to ask your doctor about the cause of your leg swelling and consider trying these strategies first:

Other treatment options for chronic venous insufficiency

Again, the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and prevent other problems, like ulcers and discomfort. Most older adults can treat their leg swelling with some of the strategies described above and maintain their usual activities and quality of life.

Treatment of Leg Edema from Other Causes

Treating With Ice Or Heat

Heel Pain Without Trauma or Injury

Heat or ice can be beneficial in the management of musculoskeletal pain.

Ice is most beneficial if your ankle problem is related to an injury. You can try heat to help your pain levels if theres no swelling and your symptoms are not related to a recent injury.

Never place ice or heat directly on your skin. Use a barrier, like a towel, to protect your skin from a burn.

How long you use ice as a treatment can vary. However, you should generally apply heat or ice for up to 15 minutes. You should also leave a few hours between treatments.

You should stop treating the area with ice or heat and seek advice from a medical professional if you notice an increase in redness, discolouration or blistering of the skin.

If you have any issues with circulation or sensation, you shouldnt use ice or heat as a treatment for ankle pain.

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Treating Swelling And Oedema

Treatment for swelling or oedema that does not go away on its own depends on the cause.

It may include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or going on a low-salt diet.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 25 March 2021 Next review due: 25 March 2024

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Why You Might Be Experiencing Sudden Ankle Pain Without Injury

Romi Hector

Romi Hector uses her experience in editing and proofreading to work with writers to produce polished, grammatically correct content.

The ankle joint is complex in nature due to the various bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that allow the joint to function optimally. The ankle supports the weight of the body as the heel strikes the ground while translating the forward movement of the tibia over the foot. Should ankle pain arise suddenly, there may be an underlying cause as to why you are experiencing these symptoms suddenly. Read further to learn more about why this may be the case and what you can do about it.

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Finding The Source Of Your Discomfort

Your ankles have a big job to do. Not only must the support your weight without collapsing, they also have to allow your foot to move. If they give out or dont bend and flex to allow foot movement, you arent going anywhere. Unfortunately, this means any type of ankle pain can have a profound impact on your mobility.

Two Causes Of Sudden Ankle Pain Without An Injury

Ankle Pain Without Injury

When you suddenly feel ankle pain, you may believe that youve injured your ankle in some way. However, there are actually several issues that can cause sudden ankle pain without any injury at all. Physical therapy can often be used to treat injuries and other issues that cause ankle pain. In fact, there are two sources of this type of ankle pain that a physical therapist can help you treat.

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Y Strap: Uses Effectiveness Safety & More

Overview Over the years, different techniques have been invented to help treat any misalignment in the spine. One of the most used techniques is chiropractic adjustment, which involves manually controlling the spine, and in some cases, other parts of the body. The technique plays a significant role in reducing the …

Ankle Pain Without Injury

Ankle pain is a very common occurrence amongst the population in current times. It can be usually attributed to many factors rolling an ankle during sport, tripping over a step or having an ankle sprain.

However, if you are suffering from ankle pain without having an injury – you are not alone.

There are numerous causes of ankle pain without injury with the main cause being due to wear and tear and conditions that are usually associated with this are different types of arthritis such as gout, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis .

The symptoms to watch out for would be pain, stiffness and loss of joint movement where the ankle and shinbone meet.

However, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis swelling and inflammation may be present and especially with gout, severe pain and swelling in the big toe.

If you are feeling any of these symptoms it would be best to see a healthcare professional immediately to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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When Should I Call My Doctor About Ankle Pain

  • Ankle pain is severe or doesnt go away after two to three days of at-home treatment.
  • Pain and swelling come on suddenly.
  • The area is red or warm to the touch, or you have a fever, which could be a sign of infection.
  • You cant put weight on your ankle.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Ankle pain is a symptom of many injuries and conditions. Swelling, stiffness and pain can make walking difficult or impossible. Most ankle injuries get better with treatments you can do at home, such as elevating your foot and getting plenty of rest. Ankle pain doesnt usually require surgery. If the pain is severe, you have a lot of swelling or the pain doesnt go away after a few days, see your provider. Several noninvasive treatments can help you get back on your feet.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sprained Ankle. Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle. Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Ankle Pain. Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • Merck Manuals. Ankle Fractures. Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • Arthritis Foundation. Ankle Pain. Accessed 11/16/2020.
  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain. Accessed 11/16/2020.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Front Of Ankle Pain Causes & Best Treatment Options

Achilles Tendinitis Info

Front of ankle pain is an affliction or discomfort in the ankle. It can result from an injury to the ankle or other medical conditions of the front of the ankle.

According to the National University of Health Sciences , the most common cause is a sprain in the ankle. It is the primary factor behind 85 % of ankle injuries. An ankle sprain takes about 7 to 14 days to recover, but a severe injury might take a few months to heal properly.

If youre having pain in front of your ankle and are worried about the causes, confirmed diagnosis, treatment, and home remedies for it, youre at the right place.

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Dealing With Vascular Disease

The first step in dealing with swollen ankles is to determine the cause of the swelling because there are many potential causes of edema in the lower leg.


Your doctor will begin with a conversation about the swelling, and this conversation will cover:

  • Medical history treatment for cancer, kidney disease, and other conditions can be a factor in the cause of your swollen ankles.
  • Current medication.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

Urine analysis

Testing for vascular disease is noninvasive and uses duplex ultrasound techniques that combine traditional and Doppler ultrasound to give a picture of narrowing in the blood vessels and blood flow.

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