Hip, Knee & Ankle Pain

Ankle Pain

The ankle joint is the meeting of the bones of the leg and the foot and is responsible for the up and down motion of the foot.

In popular usage, the ankle is often considered to be the ankle joint plus the surrounding anatomic region, including the lower end of the leg and the start of the flat part of the foot.

Pain in the ankle can result from inflammation or injury to any of the structures in this region, including the bones, joint space, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.

Ankle pain can be associated with other symptoms including:

  • ankle swelling,
  • bruising,
  • redness,
  • numbness or tingling,
  • instability,
  • burning pain,
  • inability to bear weight on the affected ankle,
  • stiffness, and
  • weakness.

Common causes of ankle pain include sprains or injuries. Rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, and other types of arthritis can also cause ankle pain. Achilles tendonitis is another potential cause.

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Hip Pain

The hip joint is designed to withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. This ball-and-socket joint — the body’s largest – fits together in a way that allows for fluid movement. Whenever you use the hip (for example, by going for a run), a cushion of cartilage helps prevent friction as the hip bone moves in its socket.

Despite its durability, the hip joint isn’t indestructible. With age and use, the cartilage can wear down or become damaged. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused. The hip bone itself can be fractured during a fall or other injury. Any of these conditions can lead to hip pain.

Depending on the condition that’s causing your hip pain, you might feel the discomfort in your:

  • Thigh
  • Inside of the hip joint
  • Groin
  • Outside of the hip joint
  • Buttocks

​Sometimes pain from other areas of the body, such as the back or groin (from a hernia), can radiate to the hip.

You might notice that your pain gets worse with activity, especially if it’s caused by arthritis. Along with the pain, you might have reduced range of motion. Some people develop a limp from persistent hip pain.

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Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common problem that can occur suddenly or over a period of time.

There are a number of causes of knee pain, and generally treatment is readily available.

Knee pain may be due to a number of causes.

  • damage to knee structures, including bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons or muscles
  • bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid filled sacs that cushion the knee (known as bursae).
  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • gout
  • septic arthritis (infected knee).

Teenagers and adolescents might experiance pain in the knee which is as a result of “growing pains”, a common condition is Osgood Schlatters disease.

Other causes include:

  • patellofemoral pain syndrome: pain around the kneecap (patella) where it runs over the end of the thigh bone (femur), sometimes due to the kneecap being poorly aligned
  • pain referred from the hip or lower spine.
  • Exercise induced knee pain: which is essentially pain in the knee that occurs with physical exertion

You are more likely than others to develop knee pain if you:

  • are overweight
  • have weak or tight leg muscles
  • do certain sports, for example skiing and basketball have higher risk factors due to the physical demands placed on the knee compared to swimming.
  • have hurt your knee before
  • have uneven legs or other problems.

If you have knee pain, you may get other symptoms such as:

  • swelling, redness or heat in the knee
  • bruising around the knee
  • your knee ‘giving way’
  • locking or clicking
  • inability to straighten your knee.
  • inability to fully bend your knee.

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