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Complaints over ankle bone pain are often just written off as too much walking, wearing the wrong shoes or over exertion. But there is a condition, known as OS Trigonum Syndrome, which is specifically recognised as pain in the back of your ankles. This is caused by soft tissues in the ankle being pressured by bones in the back of the joint, resulting in swelling and pain.
This syndrome is fairly common, with around five per cent of the population believed to suffer from it. With ankle injuries particularly predominant in sports people, footballers are at an increased risk with around 20 per cent suffering from it.
If you think you have OS Trigonum Syndrome then your first port of call should be your GP or physiotherapist, who can diagnose the condition. They may refer you for an x-ray or an ultrasound, which will confirm this diagnosis.
You will need to rest as much as possible, so this means taking a complete break from anything which has caused or contributed to the condition for around six weeks, helping to prevent further ankle injuries. You can also try applying regular ice packs - about 20 minutes every few hours - as a localised treatment to reduce any inflammation or swelling.
If you are in a lot of pain then you can take painkillers such as anti-inflammatory tablets - these often come in cream or gel form too, so you can apply directed to the affected area. Your GP might prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatory tablets for you. Alternatively you can ask for a corticosteroid injection, which will help to alleviate the swelling in your soft tissues.
These methods are usually successful in treating the problem and you should be able to resume your activities as normal once your ankle is healed. In a few cases, however, the symptoms are persistent, and you may need to have the bony prominence removed altogether by an orthopaedic consultant. If this is necessary, you will need up to eight weeks to recover before taking up any sports again, and you will be seen by a physiotherapist for rehabilitation exercises.
Any types of ankle injuries are preventable by taking due care when exercising, especially if you know you are prone to problems in this area. Make sure you warm up properly before undertaking any type of exercise, and cool down afterwards too. This helps to prevent sprains and tears, warming your muscles up gradually and carefully and preventing ankle injuries.