Ankle impingement is a condition where the bones and cartilage of the tibia repetitively contact the bones in the foot at the end ranges of motion. It can occur from a traumatic event, such as an ankle sprain, or sports that require extreme range of ankle motion, such as dancing. Often irritation of the lining of the ankle joint can occur. Scar tissue or bone spurs can develop as well.

Mechanism of injury and signs and symptoms

Ankle impingement can occur after traumatic ankle sprains or even fractures. The capsule and synovial lining of the ankle joint can become inflamed and develop scar tissue in either the gutters between the ankle bones. This irritation of the tissue can cause pain with ankle dorsiflexion (bringing the foot toward the head) and subsequently symptoms with athletic activities.

Ankle impingement can occur after a sprained ankle.

Treatment of ankle impingement

Steroid injections into the joint and arthroscopic surgery are occasionally needed for treatment if activity modification and other treatments do not provide pain relief. Treatment often involves arthroscopically debriding the area of impingement. Return to sports and exercise is usually successful.

Also read:
Ankle injury: 7 common injuries suffered by athletes and active people
Common ankle injuries in sports and exercise

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