Bursitis is an inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac, called a bursa, that help reduce friction between tendons, and between tendons and bone. The major bursa located in the ankle region are the Achilles bursa, retrocalcaneal bursa and the bursa of the medial malleolus.
Bursa can become inflamed due to a direct blow, a fall, overuse or repeated stress, an infection, and from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or gout. An inflamed bursa causes pain and the inability to comfortably move the ankle.
Pain from an injury to the Achilles bursa will occur along the back of the ankle near the heel. Pain from an injury to the retrocalcaneal bursa is also concentrated at the back of the ankle by the heel. Pain from an injury to the bursa of the medial malleolus is focused along the outside of the ankle.
Treatment for ankle bursitis from the foot and ankle team at Lancaster Orthopedic Group may include resting the ankle, ice therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, or corticosteroid injections to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. If non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief, surgery may become necessary.