Ankle Watch! Anterior Ankle Impingement Becoming More Common

A the game of soccer continues to grow in popularity year after year, an injury that is seen more often in the UK is being seen in the United States on a more frequent basis. It’s called “Footballer’s Ankle” in the UK and in the United States it is still known as “Anterior Ankle Impingement”. In short, it’s simply when the foot and ankle has been used to the point that a bony growth has formed in reaction to the constant irritation from overuse.

Symptoms of Anterior Ankle Impingement:

* Pain and tenderness when pressing in with the fingers over the front of the ankle joint.
* Pain when you bend your foot up or down.
* A band of pain across the front of the ankle joint when kicking a ball.
* A bony lump at the front of the ankle.

Remedies for Anterior Ankle Impingement:

* If the bony growth is large enough to be seen through the skin, surgery may be required to remove it.
* If the injury is more recent then it may respond to an exercise program consisting of mobility, stretching and strengthening exercises to slow the bone growth.
* Heat can relieve the feeling of irritation.

What are some methods a sports injury specialist will use?

* Apply sports massage techniques.
* Give you a steroid injection to relieve inflammation and recommend rest of the ankle.
* Operate to remove the growth if it is so large it is impeding movement of the foot.
* X-ray the ankle to confirm diagnosis.

Those are the basics for this type of ankle injury. It was almost never seen 20 years ago, however with the boom of popularity in soccer more individuals are experiencing this type of injury. If you have the above symptoms or you feel a bony growth that you never felt before on the front part of your foot, have it checked out – with early intervention – it can be slowed and even healed before it becomes a problem.