Whilst in clinic this week, I observed a young man being treated for neck and shoulder pain, alongside which he had a suspected Footballer's Ankle.
What is Footballer's Ankle?
This is a pinching or impingement of the ligaments or tendons of the ankle between the bones, particularly the talus and tibia. This results in pain, inflammation and swelling.
A common cause of anterior impingement is a bone spur on anklebone (talus) or the shinbone (tibia). Repeated kicking actions can cause the anklebone to hit the bottom of the shinbone, which can lead to a lump of bone (or bone spur) developing. This bone spur may then begin to impact on the soft tissue at the front of the ankle, causing inflammation and swelling.
The condition is most common in athletes who repeatedly bend the ankle upward (dorsiflexion), such as footballers, hence the name.
What are the symptoms?
- pain and tenderness over anterior ankle joint
- pain on dorsiflexion and plantar flexion
- band of pain across anterior ankle when kicking a ball
- palpable bony lump on distal tibia or superior talus
How can it be treated?
- soft tissue techniques to stretch muscles crossing the ankle to relieve tension
- mobilisation of ankle joint
- steroid injection to tackle inflammation
- surgery to remove bony spurs
Ref: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/front/ankle/footballersankle.htm & http://www.simonmoyes.com/trt_ankle_football.php