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Learn about your ankle clicking during movement, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your ankle clicking during movement from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Ankle Clicking During Movement May Also be Known as:
Ankle catching
Ankle locking
Ankle popping

Top 10 Ankle Clicking During Movement Causes

  1. 1.Ankle Arthritis

    Arthritis of the ankle is a degenerative joint disorder occurring in the ankle. It presents with joint pain and stiffness that is typically worse with activity.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own with over-the-counter drugs like capsaicin, methylsalicylate cream or topical NSAIDs. you may want to see your primary care physician if the pain persists or worsens.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    swollen ankle, joint stiffness, swollen foot, pain in one ankle, ankle stiffness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Non - Specific Ankle Pain

    Ankle pain not caused by injury or surgery that is a variation of normal.

    Your ankle pain is normal and unlikely to be caused by a serious illness. You can take over the counter pain medication like Tylenol to treat the pain symptomatically.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one ankle
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific ankle pain:
    pain in one ankle
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific ankle pain:
    ankle pain from an injury, severe ankle pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Achilles Tendonitis

    The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Together, they help push the heel off the ground and let a person go up on their toes. Achilles tendinitis occurs when that tendon becomes swollen and painful near the bottom of the foot.

    You should go to a retail clinic to be treated. Common treatments for this condition are rest, alternating applying heat and ice to the tendon, and wearing heel pads to raise the heel and shorten the calf muscles to reduce strain on the tendon.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    achilles-area pain, stiff achilles tendon, swollen achilles
    Symptoms that always occur with achilles tendonitis:
    achilles-area pain
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  4. 4.Kidney Stone

    A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. Most kidney stones pass out of the body without help from a doctor. But sometimes a stone will not go away. It may get stuck in the urinary tract, block the flow of urine and cause great pain.

    Kidney stones can be painful, so go to the nearest urgent care center or emergency room. The course of treatment depends on the size of the stone. Small stones can pass out of the body without any treatment, which can take two days to four weeks. You can help this process by drinking plenty of water to increase the flow of urine. Strong painkillers can also help with the pain. If a stone is stuck in a tube (ureter), your doctor might recommend a medication called an alpha-blocker, which can help make the tube bigger and thus help the stone to pass.Larger stones might not pass on their own, and thus surgery or shock wave therapy might be used. Shock wave therapy uses shock waves to break up stones into small pieces that can pass out of the body.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, abdominal pain that comes and goes, diarrhea, pelvis pain, vomiting
    Symptoms that always occur with kidney stone:
    hidden: abdomen or flank pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.Foot Weakness

    Any foot weakness is a sign of nerve damage, which is very worrisome and requires you to go see a doctor immediately!

    There may be several explanations for this symptom and its severity, but a healthcare professional should make an assessment as soon as possible because it may be serious.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    foot weakness, lower leg weakness, severe pelvis pain, arm weakness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

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  6. 6.Chronic Ankle Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the ankle is a bacterial or fungal infection of the ankle bones, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER, where diagnosis of osteomyelitis can be established through x-rays and culturing fluids. Treatment involves antibiotics and removing the infected tissue (by surgery).

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous ankle pain, warm red ankle swelling, moderate fever
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic ankle bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous ankle pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. RA is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it is caused by the immune system incorrectly attacking the joints when it shouldn't.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a specialist. RA is a complex disease, which can require prescription medication to help slow down the damage to your joints, as well as pain killers such as ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Anaprox and Naprosyn). Exercise, especially swimming, can also help with pain and stiffness.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, muscle aches, joint pain, daytime sleepiness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

    Impingement syndrome is a common shoulder condition seen in aging adults. The tendons of rotator cuff muscles, whose action is to rotate the arm such such as during a tennis swing, pass in a narrow space between two bones in the shoulder. When the space becomes too narrow, which can happen as a result of an overuse injury, pain may develop as the tendons rub against the bones.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a muscle and bone specialist (orthopedic surgeon). Treatments for impingement syndrome involve rest, over-the-counter pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, and surgery in rare, serious cases.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one shoulder, dull, achy shoulder pain, shoulder pain that gets worse at night, difficulty moving the shoulder, shoulder pain from overuse
    Symptoms that always occur with rotator cuff tendonitis:
    pain in one shoulder
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Osteochondritis Dissecans

    At joints where bones meet, bones are covered with a layer of cartilage which provides shock absorbance and lubrication. Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition where a piece of cartilage with a thin layer of bone detach from the larger bone, causing pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Conservative therapy is first considered, such as resting the joint, and physical therapy. Surgery is performed if the conservative treatment fails.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse during a run, knee stiffness, knee instability, spontaneous knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Ankle Clicking During Movement

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Is your ankle pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your ankle pain been going on?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our ankle clicking during movement symptom checker.

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Ankle Clicking During Movement Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced ankle clicking during movement have also experienced:

    • 12% Ankle Catching During Movement
    • 6% Pain in One Ankle
    • 5% Knee Locking
  • People who have experienced ankle clicking during movement were most often matched with:

    • 21% Ankle Arthritis
    • 7% Non - Specific Ankle Pain
    • 5% Achilles Tendonitis

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