Symptoms A-Z

Spontaneous Ankle Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your spontaneous ankle pain symptoms, including 9 causes and common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: ankle hurts for no reason

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9 Possible Spontaneous Ankle Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced spontaneous ankle pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a set of chronic symptoms that include ongoing fatigue, diffuse tenderness to touch, musculoskeletal pain, and usually some degree of depression.

The cause is not known. When fibromyalgia appears, it is usually after a stressful physical or emotional event such as an automobile accident or a divorce. It may include a genetic component where the person experiences normal sensation as pain.

Almost 90% of fibromyalgia sufferers are women. Anyone with rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more prone to fibromyalgia.

Poor sleep is often a symptom, along with foggy thinking, headaches, painful menstrual periods, and increased sensitivity to heat, cold, bright lights, and loud noises.

There is no standard test for fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is usually made when the above symptoms go on for three months or more with no apparent cause.

Fibromyalgia does not go away on its own but does not get worse, either.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, arthralgias or myalgias, anxiety, depressed mood, headache

Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia: arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Acute 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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: moderate fever, constant ankle pain, spontaneous ankle pain, warm red ankle swelling, painful surgical site

Symptoms that always occur with acute ankle bone infection (osteomyelitis): spontaneous ankle pain, constant ankle pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Charcot arthropathy of the ankle

Charcot Arthropathy of the foot is a syndrome where patients with numbness of their feet, which can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions such as diabetes, develop weakening of the bones in the foot and ankle. Thus they may have fractures and dislocations of the bones and joints that occur with little trauma.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: joint pain, constant ankle swelling, pain in one ankle, swollen ankle, painful ankle swelling

Symptoms that always occur with charcot arthropathy of the ankle: warm red ankle swelling, constant ankle swelling

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Osteochondritis dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans, also called OCD, is a joint condition. It occurs when there is not enough blood flow within the end of a bone, under the protective cartilage. These bone layers begin to die and separate from the main bone, taking the cartilage with them.

The exact cause is not known. It may be due to overtraining a young person before the bone is entirely mature, which can interfere with blood supply.

Most susceptible are children and teenagers. The condition is found most often in only one joint, usually the ankle, knee, or elbow. However, any joint can be affected and there may be more than one.

Symptoms include swelling and pain in the joint during exercise, and sometimes "locking" of the joint. Osteochondritis dissecans may lead to osteoarthritis if not treated.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging.

Treatment first involves rest because in children who are still growing, the bone and cartilage may heal spontaneously. If there are loose pieces of bone within a joint, surgery may be necessary.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: pain in one knee, knee stiffness, knee instability, knee pain that gets worse during a run, pop in the knee

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Sever disease

Sever's Disease is inflammation of the heel in children due to overuse (typically due to sports). It's caused by the long bones growing faster than the muscles/tendons, creating tension in the Achilles tendon.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: heel pain, pain in both feet, spontaneous ankle pain, difficulty moving the ankle

Symptoms that always occur with sever disease: heel pain

Symptoms that never occur with sever disease: cut on the foot

Urgency: Self-treatment

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.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: spontaneous ankle pain, moderate fever, warm red ankle swelling, painful surgical site

Symptoms that always occur with chronic ankle bone infection (osteomyelitis): spontaneous ankle pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is also called infectious arthritis. "Arthritis" simply means inflammation of a joint. In septic arthritis, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The most common is Staphylococcus aureus or staph. These agents reach the joints either from ...

Posterior tibialis tendinopathy

The posterior tibialis tendon attaches the calf muscle to the bones on the underside of the foot. It provides stability and arch support. If this tendon is damaged, the result may be a flat, unstable foot.

Posterior tibialis tendinopathy is most often a sports injury, where the tendon becomes inflamed or torn through overuse or high impact.

Symptoms include pain down the ankle and into the foot, sometimes with swelling. The pain becomes worse with any activity, even standing or walking. When standing, the patient's arch will be collapsed and flat and the front of the foot will point outward. The patient will be unable to stand on the injured foot and raise the heel.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and imaging such as x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Treatment involves rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, orthotics (shoe pads,) braces, and sometimes steroid injections into the damaged tendon. Surgery can be tried, but tends to be complex and cannot always restore the tendon completely.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: swollen foot, pain in one foot, limping, pain in one ankle, spontaneous ankle pain

Symptoms that never occur with posterior tibialis tendinopathy: recent cutting accident

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Synovial chondromatosis

Synovial chondromatosis is a disease affecting the synovium, which is a thin flexible membrane around a joint. It can often be confused with tendinitis and/or arthritis.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: joint swelling, pain in one knee, pain in one hip, swollen knee, spontaneous knee pain

Symptoms that always occur with synovial chondromatosis: joint swelling

Symptoms that never occur with synovial chondromatosis: fever, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, warm red ankle swelling, warm red knee swelling, warm and red elbow swelling

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Spontaneous Ankle Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Do you have multiple joints that are stiff?
  • Is your ankle able to move in all directions like it used to?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

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Spontaneous Ankle Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced spontaneous ankle pain have also experienced:

  • 20% Swollen Ankle
  • 10% Fatigue
  • 10% Swelling Of One Foot

People who have experienced spontaneous ankle pain were most often matched with:

  • 50% Acute Ankle Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)
  • 25% Fibromyalgia
  • 25% Charcot Arthropathy Of The Ankle

People who have experienced spontaneous ankle pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 33% Over a month
  • 26% Less than a week
  • 21% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Spontaneous Ankle Pain Symptom Checker

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Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.