What Diseases Cause Ankle Pain?

Ankle pain diseases

Ankle pain that is not caused by injury can be a sign of an underlying condition that requires immediate care. Various diseases affecting the bones and muscles in the ankle area lead to swelling, irritation, and severe pain. At Horizon Foot and Ankle Institute, we offer comprehensive treatment for all foot and ankle diseases and make sure you live a pain-free life.

Our expertise in the field verifies that we use up-to-date surgical and conservative treatments to improve your quality of life. Here are some of the diseases that cause ankle pain:


Ankle arthritis is one of the more prominent causes of ankle pain. This condition causes your ankle to feel stiff and painful. There are various forms of arthritis that cause ankle pain. The most common is rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic condition resulting from your body mistakenly attacking and inflaming healthy tissues along your joints, about 70% of those with the condition experience foot and ankle pain.

The other form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which occurs slowly over time. This condition worsens gradually as you age, depending on various factors. Osteoarthritis causes the bones and cartilage in the ankle area to wear out, damaging it. This can lead to irritation and inflammation. Injury or trauma to the joints may make the condition worse.


Uric acid in the body typically leaves when you expel urine. Gout develops when there’s an excess buildup of uric acid in your body. If you have excess uric acid, it crystallizes and settles in your joints resulting in ankle pain. The pain is quite severe and unpredictable.

Most people go for quite some time without ever noticing gout symptoms in the ankle. The earliest onset of symptoms is burning pain in your ankle. Seek medical help if you experience pain like this. Other symptoms include:

  • A redness to the affected joint
  • An Intense swelling
  • An unnatural warmness to the affected joint
  • A shiny texture to the affected area

Flatfoot Condition

Flatfoot condition occurs when arches don’t develop during adolescence as they should. As these children grow older, the condition develops further. If you have no arch or a very low arch, you may experience swelling and discomfort in your ankle. Ankle pain occurs because the collapsed arch exerts more pressure on your ankle bone.

You may develop the condition during adulthood. With time, your condition worsens with various activities such as running, power walking, or standing for long periods. Various treatments for the condition include arch supports, physical therapy, and supportive shoes.


As rare as this autoimmune disease is, it causes ankle stiffness leading to pain. This form of systemic sclerosis occurs when your body produces an excess fibrous protein called collagen. Scleroderma leads to inflammation that damages your joints and tissues, causing pain in your foot and ankle. It affects the joints in your shoulders, ankles, wrists, and knees. If you suffer from this condition, you experience pressure and pain in most other parts of your body. This restricts joint movements and reduces the quality of your life.


At least two-thirds of people with lupus have arthritis on their feet and ankle. Swelling and pain in your muscles and joints, among other symptoms, characterize this autoimmune condition. Lupus can lead to inflammation and irritation.


Bursitis of the ankle occurs due to an injury, stress on your ankle, other conditions (gout and arthritis), or even overuse. This condition is an inflammation of the bursae, which cushions the bones in the ankle. You may notice the condition worsen if you stand in certain positions or participate in physical activity. Swelling is a common symptom.


You can develop tendonitis due to age, injury, or overuse. As you age, your tendons weaken and swell, leading to pain. Overuse can cause the tendons to tear and result in pain. Some of the activities that cause this include walking.


Infections are not diseases but can contribute to your ankle pain. Various infections cause ankle pain, including cellulitis, staph infection, and osteomyelitis.

Infections in one part of the body are more likely to cause reactive arthritis in your ankle. When you develop reactive arthritis, you experience arthritis symptoms in your feet, including the ankle area, the heels, knees, and toes. You may develop reactive arthritis without any previous symptoms because of these infections.

Contact Us to Get Started at Our Foot and Ankle Institute

You can get relief from ankle pain by seeking treatment for the conditions that cause it. At Horizon Foot & Ankle Institute, your care is our utmost priority. We offer less invasive, conservative, and surgical procedures that make sure you get back on your feet as soon as possible. Our expertise from years of experience helps us offer compassionate care for the issues you are dealing with. Schedule an appointment at Horizon Foot and Ankle Institute today.