Ankle Impingement Syndrome

ankle joint diagramThere are lots of soft tissues (muscle, tendon, capsules…) around the foot and ankle that have the potential to be pinched between bones. For example the Tibialis posterior has to travel between the ankle bone and the heel bone. Under normal circumstances this would not cause a problem. However, pinching can occur if there has been a previous trauma causing inflammation and joint stiffness. Or if there are any boney spurs or soft tissue restrictions.

Continued pinching of the soft tissues causes pain and inflammation around the area. There can be a feeling of pinching in certain positions or blocked feeling whilst trying to move the joint.

There are several factors which can predispose patients to developing ankle impingement. These need to be assessed and corrected with direction from a physiotherapist. Some of the factors which may contribute to the development of this condition include:

  • Bony spurs/anomalies
  • Joint stiffness or swelling
  • Poor foot mechanics / over pronation/ inappropriate footwear
  • Abnormal lower limb biomechanics
  • Core stability issues
  • Reduced proprioception or balance
  • Inadequate rehabilitation following an injury
  • Muscle tightness / hypertonicity
  • Poor technique or excessive training
  • Inadequate warm up


Treatment for Ankle Impingement Syndrome
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise: