Chronic Heel Pain & Ankle Sprains

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Chronic heel pain usually occurs when the initial or underlying cause of the heel pain was not properly treated or managed, severely impacting daily activities like walking and exercising.

Chronic ankle sprains, on the other hand, are a result of suffering from repeated ankle sprains that have not yet fully been healed. The ligaments in the ankle have been stretched or torn beyond their limits.

What Causes Chronic Heel Pain?

  • Plantar fasciitis – The most common cause of heel pain, this is when the connective tissue (plantar fascia) on your heel becomes inflamed.
  • Heel bursitis – This occurs when the bursa (fluid-filled sac located in the back of the ankle) is overused and becomes inflamed and swollen.
  • Achilles tendinitis – This is when the Achilles tendon (tendon connecting the calf and heel bone) becomes swollen and painful.
  • Heel spurs – This refers to a bony growth that develops on the heel bone. Sometimes this could be a result of plantar fasciitis.
  • Stress fractures – These are tiny cracks in the bone caused by overuse due to repetitive activity (running or jumping)
  • Problems with foot arch – Patient could have flat feet or high-arch feet

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of a chronic heel pain is characterised by continuous or worsening pain and discomfort felt on the heel of the foot, or behind the heel. Symptoms of a chronic ankle sprain, on the other hand, can consist of:

  • Pain when trying to walk on the sprained ankle
  • Tenderness of the ankle when you touch it
  • Persistent swelling of the ankle
  • Persistent instability or weakness in the ankle even when doing simple daily activities

Dr Yung is an experienced subspecialist in the field of foot and ankle surgery.

For an accurate diagnosis, make an appointment at 62355225 today.

How are They Treated?

Chronic heel pain and chronic ankle sprain share some similar treatments:

Chronic Heel Pain

  • Resting and icing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Orthotics
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Surgery, if deemed necessary.

Chronic Ankle Sprain

  • Resting and icing
  • Physiotherapy
  • Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Wearing an ankle brace or splint
  • Surgery, if deemed necessary.

When treating chronic heel pain, the root cause of the pain needs to be identified. If the pain persists despite conservative treatment, then orthopaedic surgery might be recommended. This may include open surgery or endoscopy, such as endoscopic release of the plantar fascia, loosening tight calves, or correction of the flat foot with the use of an implant.

Surgery for chronic ankle sprain, on the other hand, entails repairing the ligament (e.g. arthroscopic ligament surgery) or reconstructing the ligament (using a graft to replace the torn tissue).

Get your chronic heel pain or ankle sprain promptly treated for a more effective and speedy recovery.

Contact our foot and ankle subspecialist at 62355225 today.

3 Mount Elizabeth#05-07 Mount Elizabeth Medical CentreSingapore 228510

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