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What is anterior impingement syndrome?



Anterior impingement syndrome occurs when the structures in the front of the ankle joint are compressed. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for anterior impingement syndrome.


How does anterior impingement syndrome happen?



Anterior impingement syndrome is caused by the compression of structures between the bottom of the shin bone (tibia) and the bone that makes up the lower half of the ankle joint (talus). When the foot is brought back towards the head (reducing the angle between the foot and the shin), the structures at the front of the ankle can become compressed between the front of the foot bone and the front of the shin bone. This compression can cause inflammation and swelling within these structures. Once these structures are swollen they can get compressed whenever you bring the foot back towards your head. This can occur in activities that require this movement to be performed repeatedly such in kicking sports and plié in ballet. Anterior impingement can also be caused by bony growths on the bottom of the shin bone.


What are the symptoms of anterior impingement syndrome?



Anterior impingement syndrome causes pain at the front of the ankle joint when you bring your foot back towards your head. You may also notice stiffness and a reduced amount of movement in the affected ankle joint compared to the other side. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have anterior impingement syndrome?



If you have or suspect you have anterior impingement syndrome, you should arrange a physiotherapy appointment as soon as possible.


What shouldn’t I do if I have anterior impingement syndrome?



If you suspect that you have anterior impingement syndrome, you should not ignore the problem and continue to exercise or perform activities that aggravate your pain. Doing so may worsen your injury and prolong your recovery.


Physiotherapy treatment for anterior impingement syndrome.



The assistance of a sports medicine professional is important in the treatment of anterior impingement syndrome. Initially, they can assist in diagnosing the problem and its severity. This may require the use of an X-ray. From this the sports medicine professional will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan. This may involve activity modification, the taking of anti-inflammatory medications, and electrotherapy treatment. In some cases, an anti-inflammatory may be injected directly into the sore region to stimulate healing, or surgery performed to remove the cause of the impingement. Other treatments include:

Could there be any long-term effects from anterior impingement syndrome?



Anterior impingement syndrome does not cause long-term effects if it is accurately diagnosed and treated appropriately. In some cases, treatment surgery may be required to remove the cause of the impingement.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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