Anterior Ankle Impingement
Anterior ankle impingement describes the compression or wedging of the structures at the front of the ankle that results in painful symptoms.
Anterior ankle impingement is caused by either trauma/injury or repetitive compressive forces on the structures at the front of the ankle. This compression occurs on movements that dorsiflex the foot, or point the foot upwards on the ankle. It may be an irregular bony shape at the anterior ankle that can make you prone to ankle impingement, a bony protrusion (called an osteophyte) at the anterior ankle or improper healing following an injury such as an ankle sprain.
The resulting pinching and compression irritates the joint capsule and tissues and results in swelling and pain. This means that activities and sports that regularly point the foot upwards can lead to anterior ankle impingement, as well as one-off injuries. Contributing factors may include:
Symptoms can include:
Treatment begins by minimising the painful symptoms by following the PRICE principles (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation). The next step is to allow the damaged structures to heal and then to reduce the risk of re-injury. This may include: