Suffering from pain at the front of your ankle?
What is Footballers’ ankle?
Footballers’ ankle (anterior ankle impingement syndrome) is a condition characterised by pain on the anterior or front part of the ankle. It is believed to be due to the constant trauma to the connective tissue on the front of the ankle joint mainly caused by kicking, and more specifically because of the repetitive kicking trauma on the ankle joint.
The kicking action causes minor but repetitive trauma at the front of the ankle joint. This is due to the joint capsule being excessively stretched and from the bones at the front of the ankle being compressed. Pain is then caused when the foot is moved in the extremes of either direction up or down, known as plantar and dorsi-flexion movements. The plantar or downward movement pain is due to the tissue being overly stretched and the upward or dorsi-flexion movement pain is due to the thickening of the capsule at the front of the joint and the formation of osteophytes (extra growths of bone) in the area that cause an impingement syndrome or a squeezing or nipping of the joint capsule at the front of the ankle.
Symptoms of Footballers’ ankle:
Athletes with anterior ankle impingement usually experience pain in the front of their ankle when they bend it upwards. This pain may be particularly evident when squatting, kneeling, or walking up inclines or stairs. Common symptoms also include:
- Dull ache when resting
- Tenderness to touch
- Swelling in front of the ankle
- Locking of the ankle joint
Causes of Footballers’ ankle:
Anterior ankle impingement most commonly occurs as a result of:
- An Ankle Sprain
- Recurrent Ankle Sprains
- Activities that require repeated Dorsiflexion of the Ankle – such as landing and deep squatting
Moreover, recovery time after an anterior ankle impingement can vary widely depending on the extent of the injury. Typically, it takes four to six weeks before athletes can get back to their normal activities. Recovery time can take longer for severe cases.
Do you have pain or discomfort in your ankle? 🦶 One of our podiatrist can assist and give the right treatment for your condition. ✅
We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team