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Ankle Pain Treatment: Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2019

What is Ankle Pain?

The ankle joints are known as ‘hinged joints’. The pain caused to the ankle can be because of a disease or injury. Ankle pain’s severity usually ranges from mild to severe. Ankle tendinitis can either be caused by inflammatory diseases or trauma from an injury. Ankle pain is usually caused by injuries such as strain from sport events or sprains. This condition is also caused by diseases such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Acute ankle pain is firstly treated with a little bit of rest, ice application on the affected area and limiting the amount of walk to prevent degradation of the condition. The leg should be placed at an elevated level to reduce swelling. The doctors recommend crutches to avoid injury to the ligaments or further trauma to the ankle.

A podiatrist is a doctor who is specialized in the examination and treatment of diseases associated to the foot. Firstly, he will start from a proper physical inspection and will keep asking a few pertinent questions from the patient related to his condition. He will then ask him about him/her about his medical history, the type of footwear he wears on a daily basis and many more questions to fully know about his situation. The diagnosis is then followed by an imaging scan and blood tests. The treatment methods comprise of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, orthotics, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, physiotherapy and night splints. In case of severe ankle pain the doctor may recommend a surgery.

How is the treatment done?

The vast majority of individuals tend to recover with conservative treatment methods which are designed to avoid any kind of operative or radical medical therapeutic measures of treatment. Owing to the reason that ankle pain is usually associated with inflammation, the doctor recommends non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are commonly referred to as NSAIDs to treat this condition. An anti-inflammatory drug called ibuprofen needs to be taken at 600-800 mg/day for three times as per the prescription. This treatment has to go on for about 10 days to 2 weeks for relieving the pain. This medication only acts like a pain reliever and not a healer as it only reduces the inflammation of the affected area.

Another treatment method for gout arthritis which is a cause of ankle pain is corticosteroids like prednisone, prednisolone and methylprednisolone. These are used during acute gout attacks so as to lower the pain and inflammation. These medications can also be injected in an inflamed joint to get relief from the pain and inflammation if the medicines are not working. These medications, however, start working within 24 hours of their consumption. In some cases surgery may be required to treat the gout if the joint has been significantly harmed due to insufficient treatment in the initial stage.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Pain is itself a symptom that occurs mainly due to injury of bodily tissues. However, some of the signs that are associated with pain might give an idea whether he/she is eligible for treatment. These include depression, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, numbness, muscle spasms, inability to concentrate, sleep disturbances and unexpected weight loss. When a person experiences ankle pain together with some other symptoms, it may be indicative of a life-threatening ailment. Pregnant women are eligible for the medications as instructed by the doctor for specific doses. A person should consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment. The doctor will take the final call on whether a person is eligible for treatment or not.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Pain can be experienced due to a variety of causes. A person can wrongly diagnose a pain arising out of any serious complication to be a random ankle pain. Some serious diseases which are commonly undiagnosed can be nerve diseases like diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy and chronic disorders like fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine and chronic pain syndromes. Thus it is of paramount significance to visit a doctor and get the proper diagnosis. People suffering from severe diseases or underlying conditions and experiencing pain due to that are not eligible for the treatment.

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Are there any side effects?

Some of the side-effects of ankle pain relief are: fatigue, soreness, muscle twitching, lightheadedness, emotional distress and bruising. Some medications relieve pain and their side effects include indigestion and other gut problems, headaches, dizziness and drowsiness. Prolonged usage of medications can affect kidneys, liver, heart and blood circulation and can also cause fluid retention. Furthermore, some of the side-effects of analgesics are constipation, drowsiness, skin rashes, dry mouth, and upset stomach.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The recovery period of a patient who has undergone ankle surgery depends on several factors including the condition of the patient before the surgery, the experience and skill of a surgeon and the extensiveness of the surgery. Using analgesics to relieve pain for a long period of time can lead you to addiction. When a person is on analgesics, he/she should avoid performing tasks that require a lot of awareness like driving a car. When a person is on analgesics, he/she should not consume alcohol. An acupuncture session makes you feel relaxed and so a person should not go for any intense workout session afterwards. There are some changes in body energy and a doctor normally advises people to bring some changes in their diet. Physical therapies are typically prescribed to encourage healing and rebuilt the range of motion, flexibility and strength.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes approximately 2-3 weeks to recover from this condition. You also need to take various measures of prevention. In case of acute or chronic pain the timing may be longer. It all narrows down to the lifestyle measures adoption and maintained.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of surgical treatment for ankle pain is Rs. 2,25,000 to Rs. 4,20,000. The cost of medication ranges from Rs. 315 to Rs. 500.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No medication is known to heal or cure the pain permanently. There are different aspects that need to be covered in order to gain a permanent treatment. Ankle pain is most likely to reoccur if the lifestyle of a patient remains the same. Dietary measures along with regular exercise are needed in order to avoid the problem.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are several alternative treatment methods for healing ankle pain. These include heat therapy (application of a warm cloth on the affected area to provide relief), acupuncture (inserting a needle gently on the affected area to release pain), and massage therapy (pressure applied to the affected area for pain reduction).

Key Highlights

Safety: Medium

Effectiveness: High

Timeliness: Low

Relative Risk: Low

Side Effects: High

Time For Recovery: Low

Price Range: Rs. 315 - Rs. 500

References

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Written ByDr. Rohit Chakor Fellowship in Joint Replacement & Arthroscopy,Fellowship in Knee and Hip Replacement,MBBS,Fellowship in Trauma and Arthroplasty,Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Joint Replacement Surgery,DNB (Orthopedics),DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic SurgeryOrthopaedics
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