Nov 08, 2010

What is Footballer’s Ankle?

Leading orthopaedic surgeon Simon Moyes gives the lowdown on Anterior Impingement aka Footballer’s Ankle after a week of footballer injuries.

Leading orthopaedic surgeon Simon Moyes gives the lowdown on Anterior Impingement aka Footballer’s Ankle after a week of footballer injuries.

Last week, there were a number of ankle injuries reported in the press, from Wayne Rooney to Moto GP rider Ben Spies. So it seems appropriate to address the condition of Anterior Impingement, also known as Footballer’s Ankle.

footballers ankle

What is Footballer’s Ankle?

Anterior impingement is most common in athletes such as footballers and dancers and particularly anyone engaged in kicking sports.

This condition occurs when bony spurs and soft tissues at the front of the ankle form and enlarge, causing pain when the ankle is dorsiflexed/brought up. When one part of the ankle joint is caught against the other, this causes pain, swelling, inflammation and impingement or pinching.

How do I know if I have Footballer’s Ankle?

It is likely that if you suffer from Footballer’s Ankle, your ankle will feel weak and you may get pain at the front of it and question your ability to remain stable during certain activities. For more details about footballer’s ankle and ankle instability visit my ankle arthroscopy site.  

It is advised that you visit your surgeon for a full and accurate diagnosis, so he or she can look for tenderness and swelling on the front of your ankle. They will also check to see if the pain is exaggerated when you pull your toes upwards or attempt to squat. An X-ray or MRI scan will be taken to see if it is a bone spur that is causing your impingement.

Will I need surgery for my Footballer’s Ankle?

If you find yourself with Footballer’s Ankle, it is likely that you will need surgery. This will require day case arthroscopic surgery, followed by a short physiotherapy programme – but normally a full recovery is expected in four-six weeks time.

If you have ankle instability after being investigated, you will normally be referred to physiotherapy. Only if that were to fail would you require ankle reconstructive surgery.

This will require you to wear an ankle splint and walk on crutches for three weeks. However, it will take four to six weeks before you can return to your normal activities. 

Simon Moyes is an internationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon. His Capital Orthopaedics team works at Basinghall Clinic in London, with its state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment, and top sports medicine professionals. Contact Simon Moyes for an expert diagnosis and treatment of ankle injuries.

Book an Appointment with an Orthopaedic Specialist

The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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