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Lateral Malleolus Spurs : Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

About Lateral Malleolus Spurs

Lateral malleolus spurs are bony growths that develop on the outside of the ankle, specifically on the lateral malleolus bone. These spurs can cause pain, discomfort, and limited mobility. Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for lateral malleolus spurs is essential in effectively managing this condition. This article provides a comprehensive overview of lateral malleolus spurs and aims to shed light on various aspects related to this condition.

Causes of Lateral Malleolus Spurs

Causes of Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

Lateral malleolus spurs often develop due to repetitive stress or trauma to the ankle joint. Some common causes include:

Ankle Sprains: A history of ankle sprains, particularly repeated sprains, can lead to the formation of spurs on the lateral malleolus.

Chronic Instability: Ankle instability, which may result from ligamentous laxity or previous injuries, can contribute to the development of spurs over time.

Arthritis: Conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis affecting the ankle joint can increase the risk of lateral malleolus spurs.

Symptoms of Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

Individuals with lateral malleolus spurs may experience various symptoms, including:

Pain and Discomfort: Persistent pain on the outer side of the ankle, particularly during weight-bearing activities or when moving the ankle joint.

Swelling and Inflammation: The presence of swelling, tenderness, or redness around the lateral malleolus area.

Restricted Range of Motion: Difficulty moving the ankle joint fully, often accompanied by stiffness or a feeling of tightness.

Diagnosis of Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

To diagnose lateral malleolus spurs, a healthcare professional will typically perform a comprehensive evaluation that may include:

Medical History: A discussion of the individual’s symptoms, medical history, and any previous ankle injuries.

Physical Examination: A thorough examination of the ankle joint, checking for tenderness, swelling, and range of motion limitations.

Imaging Studies: X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans may be ordered to visualize the lateral malleolus and assess the presence and severity of the spurs.

Treatment Options for Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

The treatment approach for lateral malleolus spurs may vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s specific circumstances. The following treatment options may be considered:

Conservative Measures for Treating Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Limiting activities that exacerbate symptoms and allowing the ankle to rest and heal.
  2. Physical Therapy: Specific exercises and stretches to improve ankle strength, flexibility, and stability.
  3. Orthotic Devices: Customized shoe inserts or ankle braces to provide support and reduce stress on the lateral malleolus.
  4. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

 Corticosteroid Injections for Treating Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be administered to reduce pain and inflammation around the lateral malleolus spur.

Surgical Intervention for Treating Lateral Malleolus Spurs:

If conservative measures fail to provide relief, surgical options may be considered. These can include removing the spur, addressing any underlying ankle instability, or repairing damaged ligaments.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on individual needs and preferences.


Lateral malleolus spurs can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life by causing pain, discomfort, and functional limitations. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and obtaining an accurate diagnosis are crucial steps in developing an appropriate treatment strategy. With a combination of conservative measures, such as rest, physical therapy, and orthotic devices, along with targeted interventions like corticosteroid injections or surgery when necessary, individuals with lateral malleolus spurs can experience symptom relief, improved mobility, and a better overall quality of life.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.


  1. American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. (n.d.). Ankle Sprains. Retrieved from https://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-ankle/Pages/Ankle-Sprains.aspx
  2. Saltzman, C. L., Salamon, M. L., Blanchard, G. M., & Huff, T. (2006). Epidemiology of ankle arthritis: report of a consecutive series of 639 patients from a tertiary orthopaedic center. Iowa Orthopaedic Journal, 26, 44–46. PMID: 16961249
  3. Soomekh, D. J., & LeBoff, M. S. (2007). Managing lateral ankle pain in athletes. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 18(2), 331–349. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2007.02.004
  4. Weber, E. W., Levens, A. S., & Moore, T. A. (2019). Ankle Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507883/
  5. Zelikov, N., & Walker, M. (2022). Ankle Osteoarthritis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556010/
  6. Manoli A 2nd. Medial impingement of the ankle in athletes. Sports Health. 2010 Nov;2(6):495-502. doi: 10.1177/1941738110384570. PMID: 23015980; PMCID: PMC3438865.
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 27, 2023

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