Is It Achilles Tendinitis or Arthritis?

Is It Achilles Tendinitis or Arthritis?

If one or both of your ankles hurt, getting through your day turns into a challenge. Walking on a painful ankle isn’t easy, and you might even be distracted by painful aches when sitting down.

Your ankle joints take a lot of wear-and-tear, because your ankles have to bear the full weight of your body. Overuse injuries like Achilles tendinitis and degenerative chronic conditions like arthritis can cause pain and dysfunction in your ankle joints. 

So if you’re dealing with persistent ankle pain, is it more likely the result of an injury or an early sign of a chronic condition?

At Town Center Foot & Ankle of Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, our team of podiatry experts, led by Dr. Stephen T. Eichelsdorfer, can help you determine the root cause of your ankle pain.

Ankle pain and Achilles tendinitis

Your Achilles tendon is a flexible cord that runs along the back of your foot and ankle, connecting your leg muscles to your foot bones. Overuse injury can cause inflammation in your Achilles tendon, a condition known as Achilles tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis can cause pain and swelling in or around your ankle joint. 

Rest and icing therapy to bring down swelling and inflammation can help with symptoms, and physical therapy can help your tendons heal correctly. In severe cases, you may need surgical treatment to repair your Achilles tendon and remove scar tissue.

Ankle pain and arthritis

If you have arthritis, your affected joints suffer from swelling and inflammation. With arthritis, unlike Achilles tendinitis, the problem isn’t located in the tendon, but the ankle joint itself.

Several types of arthritis can cause ankle pain as a result of harmful inflammation. Osteoarthritis due to wear-and-tear often affects the knees and can be a problem with ankles. Types of inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis can also cause ankle pain and swelling.

Depending on the type of arthritis, you could find relief with anti-inflammatory medications or injections, or benefit from regenerative medical treatments using stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Diagnosing and treating your ankle pain

Distinguishing between ankle pain due to Achilles tendinitis and ankle pain due to arthritis isn’t easy. Both conditions can cause pain that gets worse with use, redness, and swelling.

That’s where we at Town Center Foot & Ankle come into the picture. With the right medical attention, we can determine the cause of your ankle pain and get you started with treatments to improve your condition and relieve your symptoms.

To get the right diagnosis for your ankle pain, get in touch with us at Town Center Foot & Ankle today. Request your evaluation online, or call now to schedule.

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