What is footballer's ankle?
Footballer's ankle, which is also called anterior ankle impingement syndrome, is a painful condition that affects the anterior aspect of the ankle; this is the front of the ankle joint.
The name footballer's ankle was given because footballers are prone to developing the condition due to the amount of kicking involved in the sport. The kicking action pinches the tissues between the tibia (shin bone) and the talus (ankle bone) and this produces pain at the front of the ankle joint.
What causes footballer's ankle?
Footballer's ankle is the result of excessive dorsiflexion of the ankle (moving the ankle so that the toes point towards the sky), therefore, footballer's are prone to the condition due to the amount of kicking involved.
Footballer's ankle can be either a soft tissue or a bony problem, or a combination of the two. Soft tissue footballer's ankle occurs when the tissues are pinched occurs when either tissues are pinched between the talus (ankle bone) and the tibia (leg bone). Bony footballer's ankle occurs when the talus (ankle bone) jars against the tibia (leg bone). When bone jars against other bone or is traumatised it reacts by trying to heal itself, which it does by producing extra bone; this is called a spur or an exostosis.
A previous history of ankle sprain may also lead to footballer's ankle due to scar tissue being pinched between the ankle joint.
What are the signs and symptoms of footballer's ankle?
The signs and symptoms of footballer's ankle include:
- Pain, particularly when weight bearing and worse when the ankle joint is dorsiflexed (toes pointing towards the sky)
- A bony lump may be felt at the front of the ankle joint
- Limited ankle dorsiflexion
Types of footballer's ankle
Soft tissue footballer's ankle is the result of soft tissues (ligaments) being pinched between the talus and the tibia when the ankle is dorsiflexed.
Bony footballer's ankle is the result of a bony 'spur' developing at the front of the ankle joint where the tibia and the talus jar against one another when the ankle is dorsiflexed.
How is footballer's ankle diagnosed?
One of our podiatrists here at Chiropody.co.uk will be able to diagnose footballer's ankle based on a thorough history, the signs and symptoms and an examination of the ankle joint.
Benefits of podiatry for footballer's ankle
The podiatric benefits that can be expected with podiatric intervention for footballer's ankle 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 footballer's ankle involve?
Podiatry for anterior ankle impingement would involve the following:
- Medical history
- An account of the problem
- An examination of the ankle
- A Biomechanical assessments
- An explanation of the problem, its cause, and the treatments available
- Stretching Programmes
- Advice and education
- Footwear review
- Anti-inflammatory advice
Footballer's ankle is another name for anterior ankle impingement syndrome.
Footballer's ankle produces pain at the front of the ankle joint and occurs when the ankle is dorsiflexed. When the ankle is dorsiflexed it can either pinch the soft tissue between the talus and the tibia, or it can traumatise the bone, which produces a bony spur at the front of the ankle joint; and this can inhibit movement.
The pain associated with footballer's ankle is typically worse when standing and when the ankle is dorsiflexed, often there is a history of previous ankle injury.
Podiatry can help ease the painful symptoms associated with footballer's ankle, as well as improve the function of the foot and ankle.
To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 4222.
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