Chronic lateral ankle pain is a recurring pain on the outer side of the ankle. It can be caused by a variety of injuries, such as sprains or fractures of the ankle. Other conditions may also be attributed to chronic lateral ankle pain, but the most common cause for chronic lateral ankle pain is incomplete healing after an ankle sprain. Without rest and rehabilitation, the affected ligament may remain weak after healing. This may result in recurrent instability and increase the risk of further injury. After a sprain, scar tissue may develop, taking up space in the joint and placing additional pressure on the ligaments of the ankle.
The most common symptom of chronic lateral ankle pain is discomfort on the outer side of the ankle when walking or during exercise. Other symptoms include difficulty walking, instability, swelling, tenderness and repeated ankle sprains. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, immobilization, steroid medication, ankle braces or other supports, and rest. If treatment is nonresponsive surgery may be required