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Anterior impingement syndrome


Anterior ankle impingement syndrome is a condition that produces pain at the front of the ankle. Anterior ankle impingement syndrome is caused by the formation of either bony spurs, which are bony growths that project from a bones edges, or, irritated and thickened soft tissues (e.g. ligaments), or, both of these together.

Our podiatrists at Chiropody.co.uk are highly trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a variety of biomechanical pathologies relating to the ankle, foot, and leg. Podiatry can help to alleviate any painful symptoms resulting from anterior ankle impingement syndrome, as well as improve the function of the foot and ankle.

What is Anterior Ankle Impingement syndrome?


Anterior ankle impingement syndrome, also known as 'footballer's ankle' and 'athlete's ankle' is a painful condition that affects the front of the ankle. When a person has anterior ankle impingement the soft tissue and/or bone of the ankle impinge on one another when the ankle is dorsiflexed (toes pointing upwards towards the same leg), this means that they collide against one another causing irritation and pain.

What causes anterior ankle impingement syndrome?


Anterior ankle impingement results from irritation to either the bone or soft tissue of the ankle joint. Irritation causes the soft tissue and bone to thicken, and when this happens the tissues and/or bone impinge on one another. A person who must repeatedly dorsiflex their ankle (this is the position of the ankle when the toes point upwards) is more at risk of anterior ankle impingement syndrome than others, as are those who have previously injured or sprained their ankle.

An irritated anterior inferior tibio-fibular ligament (this connects the two leg bones to one another) can become impinged between the tibia (the larger of the two leg bones) and the talus (ankle bone) when the foot is dorsiflexed.

A sprained ankle can also cause anterior ankle impingement syndrome as the ankle produces too much scar tissue, which can impinge as soft tissue is pinched between the ankle joint.

What are the signs and symptoms of anterior ankle impingement syndrome?


A person who has anterior ankle impingement syndrome will feel pain at the front of the ankle. The pain associated with anterior ankle impingement is worse when the ankle is dorsiflexed (toes pointing upwards) and when weight-bearing. If you have anterior ankle impingement syndrome a bony lump or 'spur', can sometimes be felt at the front of the ankle joint.

Types of anterior ankle impingement


Anterior ankle impingement syndrome may be either:

Bony
Bony anterior ankle impingement is caused by bony spurs that form either on the bottom of the tibia or the top of the talus (ankle bone), or both.

Soft tissue
Soft tissue anterior ankle impingement is the result of 'pinching' of the soft tissues of the ankle, which can thicken and become irritated.

How is anterior ankle impingement syndrome diagnosed?


Anterior ankle impingement syndrome is diagnosed based on a thorough history, the signs and symptoms and an examination. The history is an extremely important part of the diagnosis, as typically, the person who presents with anterior ankle impingement syndrome will have a history of ankle injury. Often the pain associated with anterior ankle impingement syndrome is on either the inside or outside of the front of the ankle joint line (where the tibia meets the talus), which during the examination this may feel tender, particularly when symptoms are re-created.

Benefits of podiatry for anterior ankle impingement syndrome


Podiatric benefits that can be achieved with podiatric intervention include:

  • Decrease in inflammation
  • Decrease in pain
  • Decrease in muscle tightness
  • Increase in ankle range of motion
  • Improvement in lower limb and foot mechanics
  • Improvement in gait

What would podiatry for anterior ankle impingement syndrome involve?


A visit to Chiropody.co.uk for anterior ankle impingement would involve the following:

  • Medical history
  • An account of the problem
  • An examination of the ankle to assess quality and range of motion
  • A Biomechanical assessments An explanation of the problem, its cause and the treatments available
If your podiatrist diagnoses anterior ankle impingement syndrome then the following treatments may be recommended:

If you require physiotherapy we have excellent links with physiotherapists here at the clinic.

Summary


Anterior ankle impingement syndrome is a painful condition that affects the front of the ankle, particularly when the ankle is dorsiflexed (toes pointing upwards).

Anterior ankle impingement syndrome is associated with previous injury to the ankle and more often than not those with the condition will have previously injured or sprained the ankle.

Anterior ankle impingement syndrome can be either a bony or a soft tissue problem. Soft tissue anterior ankle impingement syndrome is caused by irritated and thickened ankle soft tissue that gets 'pinched', whereas bony anterior ankle syndrome is the result of bony spurs.

Our podiatrists here at Chiropody.co.uk can help you if you have anterior ankle impingement syndrome by relieving you of your painful symptoms and improving the function of your foot and ankle.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email office@chiropody.co.uk or call 0330 088 4222.

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