WHAT IS IT? ANKLE PAIN
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
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
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
Massage and deep transverse frictions
Ankle mobility exercises
Review of activity, modification of, and then progressive return to sport
Referral for x-ray or orthopaedic investigation if necessary