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Os Trigonum syndrome

Os Trigonum Syndrome is a painful condition that affects the back of the ankle. Os Trigonum Syndrome is common among ballet dancers and those who participate in activities that require lots of plantarflexion of the foot an ankle, such as football.

What is Os Trigonum Syndrome?

Os Trigonum syndrome is a painful condition that affects the back of the ankle. An Os Trigonum is essentially a 'floating bone' called an accessory bone. An Os Trigonum is a part of the talus (ankle bone) that has not fused during development, as a result an Os Trigonum is present in only a few people. An Os Trigonum may be present and cause no symptoms, infact, a person may not be aware that they have one. If an Os Trigonum causes pain it is referred to as Os Trigonum syndrome.

What causes Os Trigonum syndrome?

Os Trigonum syndrome is caused through either injury or overuse. Injuries that can produce Os Trigonum Syndrome include ankle sprains.

Activities or sports that require the foot and ankle to plantarflex repeatedly (this is the position the foot is in when the toes point towards the ground), such as ballet and football can also produce Os Trigonum Syndrome. Activities that require lots of plantarflexion of the foot and ankle can cause the Os Trigonum (the floating bone) to become trapped and pinched in between the heel bone and the ankle bone, which then pulls and pinches the surrounding soft tissues and leads to inflammation and pain.

What are the signs and symptoms of Os Trigonum syndrome?

The signs and symptoms of Os Trigonum Syndrome include:

  • Pain at the back of the ankle that is worse when the foot and ankle are plantarflexed
  • Redness and swelling at the back of the ankle

How is Os Trigonum Syndrome diagnosed?

Os Trigonum Syndrome can present with the same symptoms as other conditions, it is therefore important to distinguish Os Trigonum Syndrome from fractures, tendinitis and sprains. Our podiatrists at are highly trained to diagnose and treat a variety of pathologies relating to the foot and lower limb, they will therefore base their diagnosis on:

  • A detailed history
  • Careful questioning
  • Signs and symptoms
  • An examination

To confirm the diagnosis an X-Ray may be requested.

What would podiatry for Os Trigonum syndrome involve?

Podiatry for Os Trigonum Syndrome would first involve an assessment, during which the podiatrist would obtain both a medical history and a history of the problem itself. The podiatrist would then examine the foot and ankle, using their findings to reach a diagnosis. If Os Trigonum Syndrome is diagnosed the following treatment options may be recommended:


An Os Trigonum is an accessory bone that is present in only a few people in the population. A person may have an Os Trigonum and not be aware that they have one until it becomes painful ' this is called Os Trigonum Syndrome.

Os Trigonum Syndrome is quite rare and is usually found in ballet dancers or those who participate in activities that require lots of plantarflexion of the foot and ankle, for example, football.

If you think you may have Os Trigonum Syndrome, then visit one of our podiatrists at Our podiatrists will correctly diagnose your condition and provide you with a treatment plan designed to reduce any pain and inflammation and improve the function of the foot and ankle.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

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