An individual is said to have anterior ankle impingement when pain occurs at the front of the ankle, especially when performing activities that require dorsiflexion, that is, the movement which involves bringing the foot closer to the shin. This pain occurs due to the compression of either bony or soft tissue components in the area. It is also commonly known as:
- Ankle impingement
- Footballer’s ankle
- Anterior Impingement Syndrome
During dorsiflexion of the ankle joint, the tibia and talus move towards each other causing compressive forces to occur to the structures at the front of the ankle. When these forces are extreme, it then causes inflammation and damage to the structures in the area, such as the joint capsule and synovial tissue.
In some cases a bony prominence known as an osteophyte may form. It is said to form as a protection to the area from repeated pulling of the joint capsule. It does not necessarily have to be associated with arthritis.
Some causes of ankle sprains can include but aren’t limited to:
- Ankle sprains, including repeated ankle sprains
- Increase in activity which causes repeated dorsiflexion (squatting)
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle tightness
- Inappropriate training
- Poor biomechanics of the foot/lower limbs
- Poor proprioception or balance
- Poor rehabilitation from a previous ankle sprain
- Dull ache at the front of the ankle, which can eventually turn sharp
- Tenderness when palpating at the area
- Clicking may present at the joint
- Pain may be present when:
- Landing from a jump
- Performing calf stretches
- Weight bearing activities
Diagnositic imaging may be recommended to aid with confirming diagnosis.
Treatment methods include but are not limited to:
- Muscle strengthening
- Possible consumption of NSAIDs
If these symptoms appear familiar please do come in to meet your friendly podiatrist for further discussion.