Ankle Equinus: Possible Causes, Complications, and Treatment

Ankle Equinus: Possible Causes, Complications, and Treatment

Dec 23 , 2020

Erandika Mohanathasan

Tags - Ankle equinus

Ankle equinus is a condition where it becomes challenging to bend the ankle joint upwards.

In terms of movability, this condition leads to inadequate flexibility to move the top foot towards the front of the leg.

Possible Causes

To provide some context, the main cause for ankle equinus is muscle tightening around the ankle or calf. 

In particular, ankle equinus is formed when:

  • You are in a cast or on crutches for too long
  • Wear inappropriate shoes regularly (high heel shoes usually)
  • Diabetes takes the wrong turn for you
  • You have had a previous ankle injury
  • Your one leg is shorter than the other
  • Suffering from calf muscle spasms.

However, the most common cause for ankle equinus is hereditary.

Usually equinus is diagnosed using X-ray scans. 

Further Issues

With Ankle equinus, as it becomes hard to move the ankle, the patient will compensate it by:

These compensation may lead to having foot, leg and back problems in the long run. For example issues such as

Treatments for Ankle Equinus

1. Physical therapy

Physiotherapists will advise you with specific exercises to stretch muscles.

2. Splinting/Orthotics

Splint is worn at night to stretch the foot and ankle. On the other hand, orthotics can be worn while walking for stability.

3. Heel Lifts

Heel lifts help with reducing pressure applied on the ankle. Also, you could wear shoes with slightly higher heels.

4. Leg Length Difference

If one leg is shorter than the other, wear appropriate customised shoes to manage the difference.

5. Achilles Tendon Extension (Lengthening) / Gastrocnemius Recession

Achilles tendonitis is the tissue that connects the heel bone and the calf muscle. So, lengthening it may reduce the pressure.

6. Bone Spurs

Bone spurs restrict the movement. So, surgically removing it may help with the movement and ease the pain.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

In the meantime, check our range of comfortable shoes.


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