‘Ankle Pain & Swelling with Walking – Symptoms & Treatment’
July 19, 2016
Last week I wrote about Anterior Ankle Impingment syndrome which describes pain at the front of the ankle joint. This week I will talk about the symptoms of Anterior Ankle Impingment Syndrome and its treatment.
Symptoms & Signs of Anterior Ankle Impingement
Pain when pushing-off from your toes or front sole of the foot. This occurs with walking briskly, running or jumping activity. It can also occur during a squat like motion of the legs where the knee bends towards the ankle such as when bending downwards to pick an object off the floor. Similiarly a footballer may feel a pinch of pain when bending the ankle towards the shin bone when kicking a football.
Pain felt on the front and towards the midline of ankle joint can be identified as a bone osteopyte impingement, whereas pain felt at the front and toward outer line of the ankle can be diagnosed as a scar tissue impingement.
Ankle Instability, this is seen with the ease and frequency that a person may sprain there outside ankle ligaments on rough or uneven terrain.
Management & Treatment
The size of the impingement between the tibia and talus will dictate if surgery is required. Arthroscopic surgery post rehabilitation involves the foot being placed in an artificial boot for up to 2 weeks and return to sporting activities allowed after 6-8 weeks post surgery. Surgery helps to remove the boney or soft tissue impingement and restriction and thus allows the ankle joint to bend more freely thus helping to improve the kinetic chain where the efficient use of one joint is dependent on the efficiency of the joint below. A restriction in the ankle joint will bring lead to compensatory actions of the knee and hip joints followed by abnormal joint motion, muscle tightness and fatigue.
Non-surgery treatment includes strengthening the peroneal tendons of the outside of the ankle joint and balance exercises. Impingement syndrome causes ankle restriction and altering the efficiency of the kinetic chain and thus causing further ankle sprains, calf tears, lower back and hamstring issues, hence the importance of reducing the impingement by surgery or non-surgical treatment if possible.
Tomás Ryan is a Registered Physical Therapist with The Irish Association of Physical Therapy and is based in Clonmel & Thurles.
Contact Number: 0504 26672
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