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How Does Bursitis Affect Your Ankles?

How Does Bursitis Affect Your Ankles?

When you roll your ankle, you know why it hurts. But some pain defies explanation — unless you know what to look for. Bursitis is that type of ankle pain, and it can sideline you for quite a while if you don’t seek treatment. 

As the former team physician for the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls, Dr. Neil Ghodadra has helped elite athletes recover from injuries. He can help you get back into the game, too, whether you’re an athlete or not. Although he regularly treats complex ankle sprains, fractures, and soft-tissue trauma, in this blog, Dr. Ghodadra explains one of the lesser-known but equally debilitating ankle problems: bursitis. 

Bursitis 101

You probably know about the cartilage in your joints that protects the ends of your bones and prevents them from rubbing against one another. But you may not know that your joints also contain small sacs of fluid called bursae that provide a cushion between your bones. Like cartilage, bursae reduce friction but have an added feature: They lubricate your joints with the synovial fluid that keeps things moving freely. 

Bursitis, or inflamed bursae, can occur for several reasons, including:

You can even develop ankle bursitis from wearing shoes that throw your body out of balance and apply too much pressure to your ankles. 

Anything that requires repetitive motions can lead to ankle bursitis, including sports and certain hobbies. Obesity can also contribute to or exacerbate the problem.

What bursitis does to your ankle

If injury or infection irritates your bursae, you could experience a range of symptoms, such as:

These symptoms can also point to other ankle problems, including sprains and fractures, so it’s crucial to seek Dr. Ghodadra’s help if you experience any of these problems. He runs imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI, to rule out other conditions and verify a bursitis diagnosis. He may also take a fluid sample from your bursa to check it for bacteria and other pathogens. 

What to do about ankle bursitis

There’s no single treatment for all cases of bursitis. First, Dr. Ghodadra determines the underlying cause and addresses it. Then, he recommends treatment based on the severity of your ankle bursitis, your age, medical history, and activity goals.

Possible treatments include:

If surgery becomes necessary, your ankle is in good hands with Dr. Ghodadra; he specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical techniques and can repair your ankle with minimal damage to healthy tissue and the best scenario for a speedy recovery. 

If you suspect ankle bursitis, contact NEIL GHODADRA, M.D., in West Los Angeles and Thousand Oaks, California, today. We can get you on the road to healing and help you avoid future complications. 

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