In case of foot pain, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis. Admittedly, the pain can disappear on its own with time (when it is due to a problem of temporary overload in particular). But if the pain persists, it is advisable to consult a doctor, especially if the ankle is swollen, inflamed and hot, or if the foot or ankle has been traumatized.
The doctor then tries to obtain a maximum of indications on the cause of this foot pain, in order to establish a diagnosis. He asks you to describe how accurate, since when and under what circumstances the pain is manifested: accident (sprain), intense physical activity ... It is also important to indicate any history (osteoarthritis) and pain that occurred at other places of the body.
Then, the doctor examines the foot and tests the mobility of the foot and joints. It checks whether the ankle is swollen, and whether a liquid has eventually accumulated inside (joint effusion). It is very important to know if the mobility of the foot is limited.
In some cases, an X-ray may help to make a diagnosis, for example to confirm that there is a possible bone fracture, to consider a ligament tear, or to diagnose localized osteoarthritis of the foot.
Depending on the presumed cause of the pain, further investigations may be necessary to support the diagnosis:
- A blood test (for example, to analyze inflammatory parameters),
- An ultrasound to visualize certain parts of the ankle or foot.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT scan.
- Electrophysiological examinations, for example EMG, with nerve conduction velocity, looking for neuropathy or damaged nerves,
- Joint puncture (in case of strong joint effusion).
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Sprain: causes to treatment
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