Ouch! What is that burning sensation in my ankle after a sprain?

Podiatrist bandaging a sprained ankle after patient feels burning sensation

We rarely have to think about our ankles, so when we end up with a sprained ankle, it can really catch us off guard. It may hurt for quite a while, cause tenderness, and even swell. You probably expect all of these things the moment your ankle rolls or twists in just the wrong way, but what you may not see coming is a strange burning sensation after a sprain.

If you’re noticing a burning sensation in your ankle after a sprain, you’re probably pretty concerned. We have got your questions covered, we will discuss exactly what a sprain is, why these injuries sometimes cause a burning sensation or pain, and what you can do about it.

If you suspect you’re suffering from a sprained ankle, contact the foot care specialists at Arizona Foot Doctors for diagnosis and help. Our podiatry office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona and we provide same-day appointments.

What is a sprained ankle?

A sprained ankle is an injury in which the ligaments within the ankle stretch or tear. These ligaments are the tissue that connect the bones to one another, support the ankle joint, and allow the ankle to move. An overstretching, inward, or unnatural movement of your ankle can cause those ligaments to stretch too far and even tear.

Sprained ankles are common injuries that can happen if you trip, fall, play sports, or misstep. Most people hear a loud pop or feel a popping sensation when the initial injury occurs. Common symptoms of a sprained ankle include:

  • Ankle pain that worsens when you bear weight on that foot
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Difficulty moving the ankle
  • Bruising
  • Feeling unsteady on the foot

Typically, treatment for a sprained ankle involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you suspect you have sprained your ankle, it’s important to see a doctor for confirmation and diagnosis. Together, you and your physician can create a treatment plan to heal and prevent further injury.

Why might a sprain cause a burning sensation in the ankle?

While a burning sensation isn’t one of the most common symptoms of a sprained ankle, it can happen. A burning sensation after a sprained ankle typically arises from nerve damage. The injury can cause damage to the peroneal nerve, which may lead to symptoms like these:

  • A burning sensation or pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Radiating or shooting pain
  • Weakness

If you’re struggling with these symptoms after a sprained ankle, you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated 15% of grade 2 and 3 ankle sprains result in peroneal nerve damage.

Treatment options for burning sensations in the ankle after a sprain

Sometimes, the symptoms of nerve damage can persist even after the swelling, bruising, and tenderness of a sprained ankle have faded. While these prolonged symptoms can be frustrating, there is hope for recovery.

Treatment options for peroneal nerve damage include:

  • Immobilization to allow the body to heal
  • Topical medications
  • Oral medications
  • Corticosteroid injection
  • Physical therapy

In some rare cases, a patient may require surgery. However, the podiatrists at Arizona Foot Doctors in Scottsdale, AZ prioritize less invasive treatments when possible. For ankle sprains, often rest, ice, stretches, and foot braces are utilized to ensure proper healing. In cases of recurrent pain, speak with your podiatrist to determine if laser therapy could provide relief.

If you’re struggling with a burning sensation after a sprained ankle, contact us today. We can properly diagnose your issue, talk through treatment options, and create a care plan just for you.