• Due to injury, ligaments and tendons can become impinged at the front of the ankle.

  • Anterior ankle impingement is also referred to as ‘footballer’s ankle’.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain felt in a band at the front of the ankle

  • Swelling

  • Tenderness on palpation of the front of the ankle

  • Pain on moving the foot up and down

  • Possible a bony lump or growth palpable at the front of the ankle

  • Weakness

  • Clicking

What Causes It?

  • Repetitive ankle sprains

  • Thickened ligaments and tendons

  • Repeated kicking can cause the talus to bang against the tibia, resulting in a bone spur, which can irritate and impinge soft tissue.

  • Bony growths which can adhere to the capsule causing restriction and impingement

  • Common in sports which involve repetitive dorsiflexion (football, dancing, cricket wicket keepers, baseball catchers)

How to Self Manage

  • Rest from aggravating activities involving forced dorsiflexion

  • Anti-inflammatory medication (if not contraindicated)


General anterior ankle impingement should improve with conservative physiotherapy management.

If pain persists, a cortisone injection to the area is an option.

If there is a bone spur, x-ray can confirm it.

Arthroscopic removal is an option. Crutches may be required post-surgery for 1-2 weeks.  Return to sport should be possible within 4-6 weeks.

How Physio Helps

  • Joint mobilisation of the ankle, subtalar and foot joints

  • Electrotherapy

  • Massage and deep transverse frictions

  • Acupuncture

  • Ankle mobility exercises

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Proprioceptive exercises

  • Review of activity, modification of, and then progressive return to sport

  • Referral for x-ray or orthopaedic investigation if necessary

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Monday-Friday: 8:00am - 8:00pm

​Saturday: 8:00am - 12:00pm

Sunday: By Appointment​



Sammy Margo Physiotherapy

444 Finchley Road



Email: physiophysio@hotmail.com

Tel: ​020 7435 4910​​​
Fax: 020 7435 0461

Web: sammymargophysiotherapy.com


Disclaimer: Information made available by AskPhysio (Sammy Margo Physiotherapy) is provided for guidance only and should not be considered as medical recommendations or advice.  AskPhysio is not responsible for errors or omissions in the information. Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your condition. Please consult a GP or Healthcare Specialist to discuss any specific concerns that exist prior to using the information provided.