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Top 5 Causes of Ankle Pain – A Palmetto Bone & Joint Guide

We’ve all seen it happen to an elderly relative: at a certain point in their later years, a loved one sits down and doesn’t get back up again. A natural decline in health follows, widely known as the “Sitting Disease.” 

Ankle pain is one of the primary causes of a harmful, sedentary lifestyle. But it affects more than just our senior citizens. Chronic ankle pain can put people of any age in a chair and keep them there for years. 

To keep active and give yourself the best chance of remaining healthy for the rest of your days, you should address ankle pain sooner rather than later. At Palmetto Bone & Joint in Chapin, SC, we’re ready to help.

Diagnosing & Treating Ankle Pain: Keeping South Carolina Moving

At our three locations in Chapin, Newberry, and Clinton, SC, our expert orthopedic doctors and surgeons regularly diagnose and treat ankle pain. We keep South Carolinians moving well into their golden years by using the latest orthopedic imaging technology and the most advanced surgical and non-surgical treatments.

To solve your ankle pain, give us a call at (864) 833-3046 or contact us online. In the meantime, here are the top 5 most common causes of ankle pain.

Top 5 Most Common Causes of Ankle Pain in South Carolina

As always, a final diagnosis should be made by a medical professional. While the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) may improve some forms of ankle pain, other causes may require medical attention.


According to the Arthritis Foundation, gout affects upwards of 4% of US adults. When uric acid builds up in your bloodstream, urate crystals form on your joints, causing:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Inflammation
  • A limited range of motion

Those of us with diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease are at a higher risk of developing gout, but our diets and weight can also contribute.

Normally, we associate gout with pain in the big toe. Unfortunately, urate crystals can form on other joints, including the ankle. A combination of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, reduction in alcohol intake) can help patients get moving again!

Rheumatoid Arthritis

As many as 1.3 million Americans need no introduction to rheumatoid arthritis—a common autoimmune disease that attacks healthy joint tissues among other organs and systems. Thought to be caused by a genetic or hereditary component, rheumatoid arthritis presents with numerous symptoms, including:

  • Joint pain & stiffness (especially in the morning)
  • Weakness
  • Cysts
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Often associated with the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of all ages, making a healthy lifestyle difficult to maintain. While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, topical treatments, antirheumatic drugs, and diet modification can make a stunning difference. 

To learn what you can do about your joint pain, schedule an appointment with Palmetto Bone & Joint today!

Ankle Bursitis

Each of our joints is a marvel of engineering. To manage loads, avoid damage, and soften impacts, your joints are supported by small, fluid-filled sacs called bursae (burr-say)

Under normal conditions, these bursae keep your joints healthy and allow you to move freely and without pain. But overuse, injury, and other underlying conditions (such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis) can cause inflammation, leading to:

  • Ankle pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Aches

Thankfully, ankle bursitis can be managed with a combination of the RICE method, NSAIDs, and by switching to more appropriate footwear. In certain cases, an orthopedic doctor can guide your recovery for optimal results.


As the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis affects just over 10% of Americans. As you age, move, play, and work, the cartilage that cushions your joints breaks down. 

Your weight, genetics, age, and even gender play a role in the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms. Those symptoms include:

  • Aches & pains
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Swelling

While osteoarthritis affects numerous joints, when it strikes your ankles it runs a risk of keeping you down for good. At Palmetto Bone & Joint, we take a multimodal approach to reducing pain so that our patients stay active.

We may suggest low-impact exercises while managing your symptoms with medication. When osteoarthritis affects knees or hips, we may recommend anterior hip replacement surgery or knee replacement surgery at our outpatient Chapin Surgical Center

Achilles Tendonitis

In keeping with its mythical origins, the Achilles tendon is well-known, respected, and feared throughout the sports world. Achilles tendons are frequently treated in the world of sports medicine, but when the same injury strikes everyday people, it can lead to long-term pain and discomfort. 

Intense exercise is the most common cause of Achilles tendonitis, but even everyday use can result in:

  • Ankle/heel pain when walking or running
  • Ankle stiffness (especially in the morning)
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion in the toes & ankle

The pain and stiffness caused by Achilles tendonitis can be shocking. But stretching, medication, and orthopedic braces can help you manage the symptoms and heal effectively.

Solve Your Ankle Pain at Palmetto Bone & Joint in Chapin, SC!

At Palmetto Bone & Joint, we understand that surgery isn’t your first choice. That’s why we use the latest orthopedic imaging technology, medications, and physical therapy to treat your ankle pain long before suggesting more involved solutions.

Don’t let your ankle pain keep you down. If you’ve experienced pain, a limited range of motion, or persistent swelling in your ankle, schedule your appointment at Palmetto Bone & Joint today. The sooner you get it taken care of, the sooner you get back to an active lifestyle! Keep moving, South Carolina!

Find a Solution for Your Ankle Pain in Chapin, Newberry, & Clinton

At Palmetto Bone & Joint, we use the latest technology and treatments to keep South Carolina moving—one ankle at a time! If you’ve put up with stubborn ankle pain for too long, give us a call at (864) 833-3046 or contact us online. Don’t let ankle pain keep you down. Get back to life and back to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle by seeking care today!

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