Anterolateral impingement syndrome is defined by discomfort on the outer front of the foot. This discomfort is frequently exacerbated when the patient bends forward over their foot. This ailment is most usually caused by the accumulation of scar tissue in the soft tissues of the ankle as a result of a previous injury to the ankle (such as a sprain or fracture), or it can be the result of an inflammatory process that affects the ankle. When specific movements are performed, the available space is reduced, which results in the excess tissue becoming effectively compressed or “sandwiched” between the bones.
The discomfort is typically localized and can be reproduced by pressing on the area while rotating the ankle joint. The soft-tissue scar is often not visible on plain x-rays. An experienced physician who performs a thorough clinical exam and gathers relevant patient medical history is most suited to make a diagnosis of anterior-lateral ankle impingement.
Avoiding activities that make the condition worse, using ice, and/or immobilizing the ankle with a brace are often considered to be the cornerstones of non-operative treatment. Arthroscopic surgery, in which scar tissue near the ankle is removed, is an option for patients who do not improve with non-invasive treatments first.
Anterolateral Impingement Symptoms
Clinical examination is a fairly excellent prediction of how patients typically appear, with anterolateral ankle pain. This discomfort is frequently triggered when the affected leg is dorsiflexed.
The discomfort is localized to one specific spot and may be accompanied by a distinct feeling of fullness or swelling. In most cases, the symptoms can be re-created by applying pressure to the outer portion of the joint line of the ankle and bending the foot upwards.
Anterolateral Impingement Cause
Anterolateral impingement syndrome typically develops in the presence of preexisting ankle injury. This damage is caused by inflammation. Inflammation causes soft tissue to expand, lose suppleness, and become more susceptible to impingement. The second possible explanation is arthritis. When the body experiences arthritis, it reacts by constructing extra bone tissue, which is referred to as osteophytes.
Previous sprains raise the risk of Anterolateral impingement syndrome. When an ankle is sprained, the ligaments become overstretched and lose their capacity to send and receive signals from the brain. This leads to a loss in the ankle’s natural coordination as a result. It ultimately leads to more micro traumas and a higher likelihood of Anterolateral impingement syndrome. The risk of developing Anterolateral impingement syndrome is frequently higher in sports that demand frequent complete dorsiflexion. The two main sports are football and running.
Anterolateral Impingement Diagnosis
In most cases, anterolateral ankle impingement is not found on normal X-rays, and it is also possible that an MRI also sometimes fails to detect it. The axial view of an MRI scanner is typically used to detect anterolateral ankle impingement.
The history of the patient and the localized discomfort found during the physical examination are typically used as the basis for making the diagnosis. Diagnostic corticosteroid injections are also used to confirm the diagnosis and are often effective treatments as well. If the symptoms do not go away, the diagnosis can be made for sure during arthroscopic surgery, where the actual jamming is seen.
The diagnosis of this condition becomes easy for medical professionals, with the help of a complete patient’s subjective history. In addition to learning about any prior ankle injuries, the physiotherapist learns about the patient’s interests and employment, both of which have an impact on the progression of Anterolateral impingement.
Anterolateral Impingement Treatment
The initial treatment for Anterolateral Impingement is usually conservative, including rest, physical therapy, taping, shoe adjustments, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and local corticosteroid injections; failure is usually managed arthroscopically.
It is recommended for patients suffering from this condition to refrain from doing anything that causes discomfort. This speeds up the recovery process without causing any additional tissue damage and also reduces the likelihood of the problem getting worse or becoming chronic. Eventually, activity can progressively increase until reverting to its initial levels.