Ankle Equinus: Possible Causes, Complications, and Treatment
Dec 23 , 2020
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.
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.
With Ankle equinus, as it becomes hard to move the ankle, the patient will compensate it by:
- Raising the heel early when walking
- Adding more pressure on the foot ball (the joint)
- Toe walking
- Arch flattening
- Abnormally bending hip and knee
These compensation may lead to having foot, leg and back problems in the long run. For example issues such as
- Heel & ankle pain
- Cramps in the calf
- Swollen ankle
- Shin splints
Treatments for Ankle Equinus
1. Physical therapy
Physiotherapists will advise you with specific exercises to stretch muscles.
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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