If you’re experiencing stiff, sore ankles after a traumatic incident, you may have a condition called ankle capsulitis. It’s recommended to have any injuries assessed and diagnosed by your doctor. Contact us today at 1-800-824-5416 and we’ll help you take the steps needed to bring those responsible to justice, cover expensive medical treatments, and make sure your rights are protected.

What is Ankle Capsulitis?

Literally meaning “swollen joint”, capsulitis affects the soft tissues and ligaments that surrounding the joints, most commonly in your toes, ankles, and shoulders. It affects people of all ages, and if not treated properly, can worsen over time, possibly resulting in dislocation syndrome. When the soft connective tissue is damaged and swells, your range of motion will be diminished, your mobility will be limited, and you may feel moderate to severe discomfort.

What Causes Ankle Capsulitis?

Some forms of ankle capsulitis are idiopathic, meaning they are related to other existing conditions, or possibly originating from an unknown cause. Medical conditions often related to ankle capsulitis are:

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  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Heart Disease
  • Auto Immune Disease
  • Connective Tissue Disease

More commonly, however, ankle capsulitis is caused by a traumatic injury, such as a car accident, fall, assault, or sports injury. It can be the result of one very serious injury, like a broken ankle, or several lesser injuries over time, such as repeated sprains. In either case, it may take several weeks for the condition to develop enough for symptoms to become identifiable.

Symptoms of Ankle Capsulitis.

The symptoms for ankle capsulitis are often consistent, and typically easy to detect. Severity will depend on the individual circumstances, and will vary from person to person. They may also remain steady over a long period of time, possibly years, or that may worse very rapidly from the time of onset to complete ankle immobility. The symptoms include:

  • Pain associated with movement or walking.
  • Stiffness, or frozen ankle.
  • Swelling around the ankle.
  • Loss in strength around the ankle.

Diagnosis of Ankle Capsulitis.

Speak with your doctor if you feel you may have symptoms pointing towards ankle capsulitis. He or she will perform a few tests, and discuss with you any incidents in your past that may have contributed to your condition. It’s not unusual for capsulitis to begin developing once braces, casts, or wrapping have been removed after an injury, and then not show symptoms for several weeks, perhaps months afterwards. Past accidents and events may be more relevant that you might think. During the exam, your doctor will measure the range in motion of your ankle, assess any signs of swelling, and look for muscle atrophy in your calf and around your ankle.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend arthrography, which is the process of injecting a radioactive contrast fluid into your joint and taking x-ray images, allowing the soft tissue between your bones to be seen more clearly.

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI can potentially be used as well. but this process is still relatively new, and may not become common until the procedure is more finely developed.

Treatment of Ankle Capsulitis.

A majority of people with ankle capsulitis will see improved flexibility and decreased pain after a course of physical therapy. Specific exercises can be used to mobilize and stabilize joints, and increase lubricating fluid flow throughout. In many cases, two to three months of physical therapy may fully restore all functionality and eliminate all pain.

In situations where physical therapy proves less than effective, surgical methods are available. Arthroscopic debridement, for example, involved removing any damaged and interfering scar tissue from within the joint. Additionally, corticosteroid injections may be prescribed in addition to other forms of treatment, but do little to help by themselves.

If you or a loved one has suffered Ankle Capsulitis as a result of someone else’s negligence and would like to discuss your legal options with an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.


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