Tuesday, 09 May 2023 00:00

What Causes the Ankle to Lock?

The ankle is a complex and hard-working joint that bears multiple times the weight of your body with each step. It also is tasked with swiveling and flexing in three directions, a combined effort of the talus bone in the ankle and the tibia bone in the leg. Sometimes an ankle sprain or other condition will stop the joint from doing its work, and the ankle joint seems to lock up. This might be the result of a chip of bone or fragment of cartilage that is caught between the two bones. It can feel like gravel is in the ankle joint, and it is common among younger athletes. In other cases, diminished blood flow to the joint may result in the cartilage drying out, which affects the motion of the joint. Symptoms include prolonged ankle pain, swelling, and instability of the ankle joint. If you are experiencing this type of ankle pain, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.  

Ankle pain can be caused by a number of problems and may be potentially serious. If you have ankle pain, consult with Afsha Naimat-Shahzad, DPM from Leander Foot & Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Ankle pain is any condition that causes pain in the ankle. Due to the fact that the ankle consists of tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments, ankle pain can come from a number of different conditions.


The most common causes of ankle pain include:

  • Types of arthritis (rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, and gout)
  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken ankles
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Achilles tendon rupture
  • Stress fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis


Symptoms of ankle injury vary based upon the condition. Pain may include general pain and discomfort, swelling, aching, redness, bruising, burning or stabbing sensations, and/or loss of sensation.


Due to the wide variety of potential causes of ankle pain, podiatrists will utilize a number of different methods to properly diagnose ankle pain. This can include asking for personal and family medical histories and of any recent injuries. Further diagnosis may include sensation tests, a physical examination, and potentially x-rays or other imaging tests.


Just as the range of causes varies widely, so do treatments. Some more common treatments are rest, ice packs, keeping pressure off the foot, orthotics and braces, medication for inflammation and pain, and surgery.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Leander, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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