Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
Orthoses for ankle pain
Orthotics can play an important role in reducing the pain caused by many ankle problems, including ankle instability, arthritis and tendonitis.
Orthotics for ankle pain and instability
Several studies have demonstrated the role that orthotics can play in improving stability (and decreasing pain) in patients with chronic ankle instability. In fact, chronic ankle instability, which is often caused by an improperly treated sprain, is the most common cause of ankle pain. At least 4 different studies have shown that in patients with a history of an ankle sprain that caused instability, the use of an orthotic device improved ankle stability. In this case, the orthosis will be prescribed to stabilize the ankle. The exact prescription will depend on your specific biomechanics, but in general, orthotics for ankle pain and instability will include shims that will prevent the ankle from rotating.
Orthotics for ankle arthritis
Another ankle problem for which orthotics are useful is ankle arthritis. In this case, the goal is to use orthotics to prevent excessive pronation of the foot, which can cause abnormal compression in the ankle joint and cause pain in patients with arthritis. Orthoses to treat this problem are designed to provide maximum support, so they are slightly wider than regular orthoses. It is also important that they closely follow the arch of the foot (total contact orthosis).
Orthotics for ankle tendonitis
There are two types of tendonitis that can cause ankle pain :
- Tendinitis inside (medial) the ankle – usually tendinitis of the posterior tendon of the tibia
- Tendinitis on the outside (lateral) of the ankle – usually peroneal tendinitis.
These tendons have very different functions. The tendons on the inside of the ankle pull your foot inward and the tendons on the outside pull it outward. Because these tendons have very different functions, the orthotics that fit each one are designed differently.
How should orthotics for ankle pain be prescribed?
As you can see, many ankle problems can be treated with orthotics. The important thing to remember is that each of these orthoses is prescribed differently from the others. For example, if you suffer from peroneal tendinitis, the goal is to reduce the pressure on the peroneal tendons. If you suffer from arthritis, the goal is to use the orthosis to align the ankle joint so as to reduce pressure and movement in the damaged part of the joint.
The secret to getting the best brace for your needs is to consult a podiatrist who specializes in biomechanics and podiatry. If you are in the Montreal area, call us today to make an appointment. If you’re out of town, find a podiatrist who specializes in podiatry. If you would like to try a home treatment first, you can consult our suggestions by clicking here. However, if you do not see improvement after 3 weeks, go see a Podiatrist.
Surgery for ankle pain is almost never necessary
Surgery should be your last resort to treat ankle pain, instability or arthritis. Careful care includes a program of physiotherapy and strengthening. Orthotics designed specifically for your condition will provide relief in most cases.2021