Ankle and Foot Conditions

Types of Ankle and Foot Condition

Types of Pain

Achilles Tendinopathy

The achilles tendon attaches to the calcaneous bone at the heel and divides into the calf muscles, allowing us to point our toes and is particularly important in walking or climbing stairs. The achilles can become overloaded with a sudden change in activity causing a reactive tendinopathy or degenerative. The location of irritation can either be at the insertion of the tendon to bone or in the middle of the tendon, depending on this the treatment varies slightly.

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Ankle Impingement

Ankle impingement can occur for multiple reasons, often this is either bony (e.g. due to osteoarthritis) or soft tissue (e.g muscular imbalance). It is more common in footballers, dancers and those who repetitively load their ankles. It can be at the front (anterior) or back (posterior) of the ankle.

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Ankle Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is one of the leading causes of pain and disability. It referrers to a clinical syndrome of joint pain accompanied by varying degrees of functional limitation and subsequent reduced quality of life. There is often a poor link between changes visible on an x-ray and symptoms of osteoarthritis; minimal changes can be associated with a lot of pain, or modest structural changes to joints can occur with minimal accompanying symptoms. Osteoarthritis is a condition that results from a loss of cartilage with subsequent remodelling of adjacent bone and subsequent inflammation. It is some of these changes in the joint structure that can then be seen on x-ray. It is a dynamic process that involves all joint tissues: the bones, cartilage, joint capsule, lubricating fluid and surrounding muscles. Sometimes the altered joint structure compensates for the changes and does not cause pain. It’s when the natural repair process cannot compensate enough that the joint starts to become painful.

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Heel Pain (Plantarfasciitis)

The Plantar Fascia runs underneath each foot, stretching from the bone at the back of the ankle to out towards the toes. Plantar Fascia pain occurs in both athletic and non-athletic populations and although it is seen in all ages, is more common between 20-34 years old.

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Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are injuries involving the ligaments of the ankle. The most common mechanism of injury is an inversion injury where the ankle rolls inwards and the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are affected. However, the ligaments on the inside of the ankle can also be affected through other mechanisms of injury. The ligaments can be sprained to varying degrees and most commonly present with swelling and bruising following the injury. Most ankle sprains will resolve naturally within a few days. If you are unable to weightbear on your ankle following an ankle sprain is is important to see a heath professional. You can self-refer for physiotherapy.

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