Footballer’s Ankle

November 18, 2017 | By | Reply

Anterior ankle impingement, also known as Footballer’s ankle, is a condition of the ankle wherein there is pinching of the ligaments and tendons of the ankle between the ankle joint bones (the talus and tibia).

Footballer's Ankle


Footballer's Ankle

  • The condition typically occurs due to formation of bony spurs which are extra bony outgrowths that form in front of the ankle leading to pinching of the soft tissues around the ankle.
  • This can happen due to excessive bending, kicking or stretching of the foot. Despite the name, it can occur in various sports like soccer, basketball or even in dancers.


  • Pinching sensation in front of the ankle especially on bending it upwards.
  • Tenderness and inflammation.
  • Decrease in the overall range of motion of the ankle.
  • Occasionally a ‘click’ on flexing the foot.
  • Instability due to inflammation of the ligaments.


  • A meticulous clinical examination and X-Ray images can confirm the diagnosis of this condition.
  • The patient must seek the help of an orthopaedic. Rest should be taken and an ankle support may be used for immobilization.
  • After complete healing the patient must undergo a rehab program comprising of stretching and strengthening exercises to regain the mobility and flexibility of the ankle.

Footballer's Ankle
Ankle strengthening with resistance band

  • Orthotics: Patients with a pronated foot might require an additional insole which would correct the foot position.
    Footballer's Ankle
  • Proprioception: Exercises to improve the proprioception and balance are also incorporated.
  • Agility and Plyometrics: Patients who wish to return to sports must undergo agility training which helps improve your performance and minimize injury.
    Footballer's Ankle
  • Surgery: If conservative management fails, an arthroscopic surgery might be required to remove the bony spurs, followed by physiotherapy.

So if you have any concerns regarding your ankle, visit an orthopedic or physiotherapist and achieve a fully functional ankle.

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