What is Anterior Ankle Impingement?
Anterior impingement of the ankle is a common cause of ankle pain. Stiffness and tightness are common associated symptoms. Patients complain of not being able to get into certain positions, frequently because of feeling of a block or pain when bringing the knee in front of the ankle, such as when squatting.
There are two main types of impingement, boney or soft tissue. Bone impingement can result from an ankle fracture, secondary to instability, or from repetitive loading in a position of ankle dorsiflexion (noted especially in athletes). Soft tissue impingement can occur without a previous injury, or more commonly in the setting of previous ankle sprains and fractures.
Non-operative Treatments for Anterior Ankle Impingement
The non-operative treatment includes injections, NSAIDS, and activity modification.
Surgical Treatment for Anterior Ankle Impingement
Surgical treatment is best performed with arthroscopy, and includes removal of bone and soft tissues causing impingement. During the procedure, the ankle can be tested to simulate normal motion and to ensure the extent of decompression. The success rate with arthroscopic treatment is high, and other injuries within the joint can be diagnosed and treated at the same time.