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Ankle Impingement

Ankle Impingement is a condition where an individual experiences pain at either the front or the back of the ankle due to compression of the bone or soft tissue structures.

What is Ankle Impingement?

Ankle Impingement is characterized by the damage or destruction of soft tissues in the vicinity of ankle joint.

There are two clinical varieties depending upon the site of ankle involvement:

  • Anterior Ankle Impingement is associated with severe pain and discomfort with physical movements that involve ankle dorsiflexion. 
  • Posterior Ankle Impingement is associated with the compression of the soft tissues in response to ankle plantarflexion, producing pain and impaired motion. 

Ankle Impingement

Signs and Symptoms of Ankle Impingement

The hallmark sign and symptoms include severe pain that lead to limited movement and restricted rotation axis. Some individuals may also experience:

  • degenerative scarring
  • visible cosmetic deformity due to spur formation
  • tenderness of surrounding tissue

Causes of Ankle Impingement

Certain risk factors that may predispose to Ankle Impingement are:

  • Synovial or capsular irritation due to traumatic injuries of the ankle joint
  • Rheumatologic diseases
  • Bone deformities and degenerative disorders
  • Infections
  • Ankle sprains (post traumatic)
  • Osteoporosis and calcium-vitamin D malnutrition

Anterior Ankle Impingement can occur due to uphill running, high jumping and deep squatting. Posterior Ankle Impingement is more common in ballet dancers, cricket players (especially fast bowlers) and downhill runners.

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