Anterior Ankle Impingement Syndrome is a condition where structures in the ankle joint may be crowding upon each other, meaning they don’t have much room to move around. It’s a little bit like a full train carriage in peak hours!
It usually occurs after recovering from a single major injury to the ankle or repeated ankle sprains. When the ligaments around the ankle joint are injured, it can cause scarring or bony growths where these ligaments attach. This leads to stiffness and crowding within the ankle joint, causing ankle impingement syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Ankle Impingement Syndrome?
A patient with this condition may experience stiffness or pain on the area in front of their ankle- either on the inner or outer aspect or both! It can also lead to a feeling of “awkwardness” in the ankle when standing, walking or playing sports. Movements that can make it worse include walking, running, jumping, and bending the foot back (ankle dorsiflexion), especially in standing.
These symptoms can worsen over time, appearing in lower-level activities (eg. Walking) rather than higher-impact ones (eg. Running). We depend on our feet and because of this, the condition can heavily impact someone’s ability to walk and do their regular sports and exercises.
How can a physiotherapist and exercise physiologist help?
Pain in the ankle could be caused by many pathologies that can be hard to differentiate
Symptoms that could present as ankle impingement may be from injury to the muscles or tendons surrounding the ankle joint or an ongoing issue with the joint cartilage instead- which require different interventions.
A physiotherapist can diagnose the cause of the issues in your ankle and provide timely and appropriate treatment. This is to prevent it from worsening and restore your function so that you can get back to the activities you love as early as possible!
After your symptoms reduce significantly with a physiotherapist, exercise physiologists can help you return to sports and higher-level activities!