Synergy Health Partners

Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain

Definition: Chronic lateral ankle pain is persistent pain on the outer side of the ankle that lasts for more than three months. It often results from previous ankle injuries that did not heal properly.


  • Repeated Ankle Sprains: Leading to weakened or damaged ligaments.
  • Ligament Injuries: Torn or stretched ligaments causing instability.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the ankle joint.
  • Tendon Injuries: Tears or inflammation of the tendons around the ankle.
  • Fractures: Undiagnosed or improperly healed bone fractures.
  • Scar Tissue: Formation from previous injuries causing irritation.
  • Nerve Compression: Entrapment of nerves in the ankle.


  • Persistent pain on the outer side of the ankle
  • Swelling
  • Instability or a feeling of the ankle “giving way”
  • Stiffness and restricted range of motion
  • Tenderness when touched


  • Physical Examination: Assessment of pain, swelling, and range of motion.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to identify structural issues.


  • Rest and Ice: To reduce pain and swelling.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen the ankle and improve stability.
  • Bracing or Orthotics: Support to prevent further injury.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Injections: Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, to repair damaged ligaments or remove scar tissue.

Prognosis: With appropriate treatment, many individuals experience significant improvement in pain and function. However, some cases may require ongoing management to prevent recurrence.