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I have pain behind my left ankle. There is a

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Posted on Fri, 22 Feb 2019
Question: I have pain behind my left ankle. There is a small knot and it hurts. What is it and how do I treat it?
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Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Achilles tendonitis

Detailed Answer:
Hello, I'm Dr. Branch, thanks for using Ask a Doctor. Based on the location that you described, I would suspect you have achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the achilles tendon that inserts into the back of your heel. This can happen with a change or increase in activity for young people, or from degeneration in older people. Another possibility is a bursitis over the back of the heel, which is inflammation of a pocket of fluid that cushions the tendon. One way to tell the difference is that activity usually makes achilles tendonitis worse, while pressing on the spot usually makes bursitis worse.

For either condition, you should avoid anything that makes the pain worse. You can use ice on that area, and take anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen to help with the pain. If you have either tendinopathy or bursitis you may need special shoes with a heel lift to support the achilles tendon, or taping it can help as well.

If after a few weeks you still are having significant pain after doing the above, I would suggest seeing your doctor, and depending on the diagnosis, they may be able to do a steroid injection that can help with the pain.

I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any questions about that and I would be glad to discuss it further with you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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Answered by
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Dr. Aaron Branch

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 917 Questions

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I have pain behind my left ankle. There is a

Brief Answer: Achilles tendonitis Detailed Answer: Hello, I'm Dr. Branch, thanks for using Ask a Doctor. Based on the location that you described, I would suspect you have achilles tendonitis, which is inflammation of the achilles tendon that inserts into the back of your heel. This can happen with a change or increase in activity for young people, or from degeneration in older people. Another possibility is a bursitis over the back of the heel, which is inflammation of a pocket of fluid that cushions the tendon. One way to tell the difference is that activity usually makes achilles tendonitis worse, while pressing on the spot usually makes bursitis worse. For either condition, you should avoid anything that makes the pain worse. You can use ice on that area, and take anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen to help with the pain. If you have either tendinopathy or bursitis you may need special shoes with a heel lift to support the achilles tendon, or taping it can help as well. If after a few weeks you still are having significant pain after doing the above, I would suggest seeing your doctor, and depending on the diagnosis, they may be able to do a steroid injection that can help with the pain. I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any questions about that and I would be glad to discuss it further with you.