Ankle pain may occur in one or both of the ankle joints. Ankle joints actually serve two functions – weight-bearing for the body during standing and walking, and moving the foot in two primary directions: away from the body (plantar flexion) and toward the body (dorsiflexion).
Many diseases and conditions, such as ankle sprains and fractures during walking or sport, tendonitis, arthritis and tarsal tunnel syndrome, etc., can cause ankle pain. Although infections of the ankle joint are rare, they can still occur as a result of bacteria being introduced into the ankle joint through puncture wounds or trauma or due to a breakdown of the skin over the ankle as a result of ulcerations or abrasions. These patients with diabetes or those who take cortisone medications have an increased risk for bacterial infections of the joints.
According to TCM theory it is caused mainly by invasion of External factors, accumulation of Phlegm and stagnation of Qi and Blood, deficiency of the Liver and Kidney. Ankle pain may be attributed to any of the following disorders in Western medicine: ankle sprain; dislocation of the long and short peroneal muscles; tarsal tunnel syndrome; dislocation of the ankle joint; traumatic bursal synovitis; rheumatic fever; rheumatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; gout; and hyperosteogeny of the ankle joint.