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Ankle Pain On Outside Of Ankle

Reasons For Outer Ankle Pain

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome (Outer Ankle Pain)

by Dr. Robert J. Spencer | Jul 6, 2016 | Uncategorized

One of the fun things to do in Orange County in the summer is to head to Huntington Beach for movies displayed on a huge, inflatable, outdoor movie screen with the latest in picture and sound technology. On July 16, you could take a picnic supper , watch the sunset, and then enjoy Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just be careful when you are stumbling back to your car lateryou dont want to end up with an ankle sprain or other injury!

Sprains are just one of the possible reasons for outer ankle pain. Twisting your ankle stretches the ligaments too far and can even tear them. If the sprain doesnt heal well, pain can become chronic, and weak tissues can make the ankle unstable and prone to future injuries. Besides ligament damage, here are some other common causes of ankle pain on the outside of your foot:

So take care this summer! If you are out and about and start feeling pain at the outside of your ankle, call Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists and let us take a look at it. Treating the problem in the early stages may save you a lot of grief in the months and years to come. You can reach our office in Ladera Ranch at 364-9255 , or schedule your visit online, and head off disabling ankle pain before it takes hold.


Our practice treats all foot and ankle problems in infants, children, and adults. It is conveniently located in Ladera Ranch, CA.


How Can I Prevent Ankle Pain

You may not always be able to prevent ankle pain. But you can keep your bones, ligaments and tendons strong by maintaining good health. To prevent ankle pain caused by injuries, you should:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying extra weight puts excess pressure on your joints, including your ankles.
  • Strengthen other muscles: By keeping other muscles strong, youll support your ankles and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Stop if you feel pain: Dont ignore pain. If a movement or activity is uncomfortable, take a break. See your provider if the pain doesnt get better. Continuing to exercise through pain can make injuries worse.
  • Warm up properly: Stretch before exercising. Muscles and soft tissues are less likely to be damaged when theyre warm.

What Muscle Is On The Outside Of Your Ankle

The peroneals on the outside edge of the ankle and foot bend the ankle down and out. The calcaneus is connected to the calf muscles by a series of muscles. The tibialis anterior and the fibularis posterior are the two major muscles that support the foot and ankle.

The foot is made up of four bones: the metatarsal bones , the phalanges , and ulnar collateral ligament ), the femur , torsion bar ), and ligaments ). The foot bones are connected to each other and to other bones in the body by the tautology system.

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Shooting Pain On Outside Of Ankle

Anyone who experiences shooting pain on outside of ankle can benefit from this information. The ankle is a susceptible joint in the foot that makes it difficult to walk.

Persons who have ankle injuries may spend a lot of time resting or doing therapy to bring relief and heal the joint. That is why it is important to know what to do if you suffer from ankle pain.

Seeing the doctor is always the first option, especially with serious injuries. However, those who need to know beforehand what could be the issue and are accustomed to searching the internet for information that we will share can help.

We will explain the best way to evaluate your condition.

Before you can treat a condition, you must know what it is. The best method to figure this out would be to check the symptoms. Symptoms are related to various diseases and can differ or be similar.

Figure out which signs belong to what illness, and you are on your way.

Once this is known, you can choose the correct treatment for that specific condition. Here are the diseases you need to know about that can cause shooting pain on the outside of the ankle.


Caring For Ankle Pain At Home

Capsular Impingement

For immediate at-home treatment of ankle pain, the RICE method is recommended. This includes:

  • Rest. Avoid putting weight on your ankle. Try to move as little as possible for the first few days. Use crutches or a cane if you have to walk or move.
  • Ice. Begin by putting a bag of ice on your ankle for at least 20 minutes at a time, with 90 minutes between icing sessions. Do this three to five times a day for 3 days after the injury. This helps reduce swelling and numb pain.
  • Compression. Wrap your injured ankle with an elastic bandage, like an ACE bandage. Dont wrap it so tightly that your ankle becomes numb or that your toes turn blue.
  • Elevation. Whenever possible, keep your ankle raised above heart level on a stack of pillows or other type of support structure.

You can take over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve pain and swelling. Once your pain subsides, gently exercise your ankle by rotating it in circles. Rotate in both directions, and stop if it begins to hurt.

You can also use your hands to gently flex the ankle up and down. These exercises will return your range of motion, help reduce swelling, and speed up the recovery process.

If your ankle pain is a result of arthritis, you wont be able to completely heal the injury. However, there are ways you can manage it. It may help to:

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Ankle Pain Treatment Options

If lifestyle modifications and OTC treatments just arent cutting the pain, it might be time to look into other options.

An orthopedic shoe insert or foot or ankle brace is a great nonsurgical way to help realign your joints and keep pain and discomfort at bay. Available in different sizes and degrees of stiffness, inserts support different parts of the foot and redistribute body weight, thereby providing pain relief.

An ankle brace works much in the same way. These braces are available in different sizes and levels of support. Some can be worn with regular shoes, while others are a bit more all encompassing, resembling a cast that covers both the ankle as well as the foot.

While a few varieties might be available at the drugstore or pharmacy, its best to consult with a doctor to be fitted properly.

Steroid injections may be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Injections contain a medicine called corticosteroid, which reduce swelling stiffness and pain in the afflicted area.

Most injections take just a few minutes and provide relief within a few hours, while the effects are said to last from 3 to 6 months. The best part is, this is a noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure that can have you home resting on the same day.

Common Causes Of Ankle Pain

If you are experiencing ankle pain, there is a good chance it may be due to one of these common causes.


An ankle sprain is an injury of one or more ligaments . Ankle sprains may happen from stepping off a curb, walking on an uneven surface, falling, or playing a sport like tennis or basketball where a rapid change in direction causes the ankle to roll or twist inward.

Most commonly, ankle sprains happen in the anterior talofibular ligament , which is on the outside of the ankle. Symptoms include throbbing pain on the outside of the ankle, along with swelling, bruising, and/or a feeling that the joint may give out.

Medial sprains, involving the ligaments on the inside of the ankle, occur much less frequently. Medial ankle sprains cause throbbing pain on the inside of the ankle and result from the ankle rolling outward.

High ankle sprains are also unusual. They cause pain above the ankle, where ligaments connect the two lower leg bones. They are most common in people who play impact sports like hockey or football.


Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, which attach muscle to bone, become irritated and inflamed. There are three types of tendonitis that can happen in the ankle: peroneal tedonitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, and Achilles tendonitis.

Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of the peroneal longus or peroneal brevis tendons. These two tendons run along the outside of the ankle joint.


Bone Breaks

Bone Bruises

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Waukesha Area Foot Specialists Explain Outer Ankle Pain Causes And Treatment Options

he most common thing our Waukesha area foot specialists hear from patients are:

  • Outer ankle pain while running
  • Outer ankle pain after walking
  • Outer ankle pain after cycling
  • Outer ankle pain when flexing or pointing toes
  • Outer ankle pain at night or in the morning
  • Outer ankle pain going down stairs

Outside ankle pain is also common after an injury, like a sprained ankle. However, there can be many other causes for outer ankle pain, including:

Rare Causes Of Ankle Pain

Peroneal Tendonitis: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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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Do You Have Peroneal Tendonitis Here Is How To Fix It

John Davis

As runners, we accept that there is a certain amount of risk involved with our sport. When we are well into our , Hooked On Trail Running, or a first 5k, we hear about the high injury rates. And know that there is a good chance we will end up as one of the many injured runners.

We expect that maybe we will end up with Runners Knee or Achilles Tendonitis. But what if your pain does not seem to fit into any of the usual categories. And when you search for running injuries, the sore spot and tender area just does not seem to match anything.

Peroneal tendonitis, also referred to as peroneal tendinopathy, is a rare but aggravating injury. It can cause pain in the outside of your foot. And up the outside of your lower leg when you run.

What Causes Peroneal Tendon Tear

Peroneal tendonitis is often seen in athletes who play sports requiring them to run and jump. The injury can result from a sudden twisting motion or lateral ankle sprain that stretches the ankles outer ligaments too far. This can result in tearing of the tendons. Overuse of the tendons is another common cause, usually occurring due to running on uneven surfaces, wearing poor running shoes, or chronic ankle instability from an ankle sprain or other injury.

Peroneal tendonitis or tears are most common in these sports:

  • Warmth and tenderness to the touch on the outer side of the ankle
  • Weakness and/or instability of the foot

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Ankle Sprain/tear

  • Pain with swelling on the outside of the ankle
  • Bruising on the outside of the ankle
  • Inability to bear weight on the ankle
  • Feeling like the ankle is going to give away when trying to walk
  • Restricted range of motion when trying to move the ankle up and down
  • Hearing a snap or pop notice during injury

What Does Pain On The Outside Of The Ankle Mean


Ankle tendonitis occurs when the tendons, the attachments of muscle to bone, become irritated and inflamed. Peroneal tendonitis refers to the injury of the peroneal longus or the peroneal brevis tendons. The tibia and fibula bones are attached to the outside of the ankle with two tendons. Peroneals tend to be tender and swollen, and they can be painful to walk on.

They can also cause pain in the foot and ankle, especially when walking on hard surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, or gravel. In some cases, a person may experience pain on one side of his or her body and numbness or tingling on the other side. The pain may be severe enough to cause the person to stop walking. If the pain is severe and lasts for more than a few days, call your doctor or visit your local emergency room.

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How Do You Diagnose Peroneal Tendon Injuries

If you suspect you have an injury to the peroneal tendons, you should see your local foot doctor. Your doctor will obtain a history and physical exam. Your doctor will feel your tendons and check where exactly the tendon may be inflamed, torn, or subluxed.

Your doctor will order an x-ray of your foot and ankle. Although soft tissue structures cannot be visualized on an x-ray, the x-ray allows your doctor to rule out any anatomical abnormalities like bone spurs and abnormalities in the shape of your ankle bone that could be causing your peroneal tendons to have issues during activities.

Not only that, x-rays allow visualization of your foot structure. It can help your doctor understand if your foot structure is causing these injuries.

If your doctor suspects that you may have torn or subluxed your peroneal tendon, he/she may order an MRI. An MRI allows visualization of the peroneal tendons in detail and can help identify a partial tear, a full tear/rupture, and whether the tendons are subluxed.

Since peroneal tendon injuries often occur with ankle sprains, the MRI will help identify any damage to your ankle ligaments. This becomes important for surgical planning.

How Is Sinus Tarsi Syndrome Treated

In most cases, sinus tarsi syndrome pain can be treated conservatively with immobilization. Your doctor may suggest you wear an ankle brace to help reduce ankle motion.

Steroid injections can be beneficial in reducing pain.

If you have severely flat feet, your doctor may suggest custom orthotics to help elevate the arch of the foot and alleviate pressure along the sinus tarsi.

You should start RICE therapy and reduce activities for a few weeks. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy to help reduce pain and improve balance.

In rare cases, surgery may be needed for sinus tarsi syndrome. Surgery would be done in the operating room under anesthesia.

Your doctor would remove inflammatory tissue that is present in the sinus tarsi that is causing your pain. You will need to be immobilized in a cast boot after surgery for 4-6 weeks with minimal weight bearing, followed by physical therapy for a month.

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What Are The Risks Of Peroneal Tendonitis Surgery

Like all surgeries, ankle surgery for peroneal tendonitis does carry some risks such as:

  • Allow for rest between workouts, games or other physical activity.
  • Stretch to warm up your feet and ankles before physical activity.
  • Use ankle braces, supportive shoes or other appropriate protective equipment.
  • Wear orthotics if you have high arches, but only if recommended by your healthcare provider.

What Conditions Are Like Peroneal Tendonitis

Outer Foot Pain with Plantar Fasciitis

Tendonitis is just one of several conditions affecting the peroneal tendon. Others are:

  • Acute tears. If the tissues of the tendon tear, you may experience weakness and instability of the ankle, as well as pain.
  • Tendinosis. Sometimes, the tendon degenerates due to overuse, resulting in pain that comes and goes. The ankle may consequently be weak and unstable.
  • Subluxation. This condition occurs when one or both of the peroneal tendons slip out of position. Besides the usual pain, swelling, and instability, you may feel a popping sensation as the tendon moves around the ankle bone.

Because pain in the foot and lower leg can have many causes, it’s important to see a doctor if you experience the symptoms described above.

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What Does A Peroneal Tendon Tear Feel Like

The injury can be acute, meaning it happened suddenly, or chronic, meaning it happened over time. Pain and swelling, weakness in the foot or ankle, warmth to the touch, and a popping sound are some of the symptoms of peroneal tendon injuries.

Peroneals tend to be painful, but they dont usually cause you to lose your balance or fall down. They can also cause numbness or tingling in your feet, which can make it difficult to walk or run. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

How Long Is Peroneal Tendonitis Recovery Time

Recovery from peroneal tendonitis usually takes around a month. Your doctor can tell you when it is safe to resume your normal activities, including running or playing sports. If you have surgery, your recovery will take longer. You’ll be in a cast for 4 to 6 weeks, probably followed by physical therapy.

If you have physical therapy as part of your treatment, with or without surgery, your physical therapist will probably give you exercises to do at home. Peroneal tendonitis exercises usually include stretching, resistance training, and range-of-motion exercises. You can use flexible tubing or a towel to provide resistance. A wobble board is also good for rehabilitation.

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