There are many reasons your foot or ankle may hurt, especially if you are a physically active person. Accidentally turning your ankle while playing tennis or jogging can result in pain, which is often caused by a sprain or even a torn ligament. If you are experiencing pain in your foot or ankle after activity, you should have it checked by an orthopaedist to make sure you haven’t torn ligaments or even fractured a bone in the ankle.
Diagnosing Ankle Problems
When you see a doctor regarding ankle pain, they will probably order imaging and laboratory tests to diagnose the problem. They will also take your medical history and ask when you first started feeling pain in your ankle. If you hurt your ankle while playing sports, you may need to go to an emergency room to have the ankle tended to, especially if you felt something snap in the ankle, and it is swollen and putting weight on it causes pain.
A doctor will order either an x-ray of the ankle to check for bone fractures or a MRI if the doctor suspects tissue damage, such as torn ligaments. If the orthopaedist suspects a stress fracture, he may order a CAT scan rather than an x-ray, as CAT scans show both bone and soft tissues. The type of testing you undergo will depend on the symptoms accompanying your ankle pain and the type of activities in which you take part.
If your pain isn’t the result of an injury, then lab tests of your blood and fluid from around the ankle joint may be ordered. Since the most common cause of ankle pain is arthritis, these tests can help diagnosis the problem and determine the type of arthritis you have. When blood is drawn and tested, the presence of an antibody in the blood known as anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide, or anti-CCP, can indicate rheumatoid arthritis.
The presence of high levels of antinuclear antibodies, or ANAs, could indicate an anti-inflammatory disease such as lupus. Another issue could be gout, which is a type of arthritis, and is diagnosed if there is a presence of crystalline uric acid in the fluid around the ankle. Pseudogout, which is indicated by the presence of a bacterium, would be caused by an infection in the joint.
Treating the Ankle
It is important to go to an orthopaedic clinic to cure ankle pain in Singapore once the cause of the pain is diagnosed. If the imagining tests show a fracture or torn ligament, in some cases, surgery may be needed, but usually the foot will be wrapped or braced and you will be ordered to take it easy for awhile.
A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or an anti-inflammatory disease will require further treatment from a rheumatologist or another specialist, as you can experience pain in other joints as you get older. If your ankle is causing you pain but you haven’t injured it, and the pain is accompanied by swelling and stiffness and the joint feels hot or appears red, you need to have the problem diagnosed so it can be correctly treated.