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Ankle Pain and Ankle Weakness

Experiencing pain around or inside the ankle can be debilitating for a patient. Each step forward requires a sequence of foot movements: dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion and eversion.  Lower limb motion is complex; we need to recognise that the ankle is bi-planar in motion but the foot itself is tri-planar in movement. Proper assessment of the human ankle will highlight underlying pathological conditions which can and will lead to chronic pain in patients.


There are many structures present at the ankle which are highly susceptible to injury. These injuries may be due to soft tissue or osseous (bony) pathologies.


These intricate formations around the ankle are the major supporting structures for the foot. Insufficient support within these structures allow the foot to sag or become prone to injury. Injuries around the ankle joint often become chronic because the area is hypovascular (has reduced blood flow).


Soft Tissue Ankle Problems:

  • Inflammation of joint synovium, commonly seen in athletes or persons with prior trauma that extends into the ankle joint.
  • Tendonitis or Rupture due to overuse, degeneration or trauma.
  • Ankle Equinus due to contracture of the surrounding tissues.
  • Ganglion cyst or soft tissue masses which may cause compression and space limitation.
  • Accessory muscles may be present.
  • Reduced range of mobility due to swelling and/or bruising which restricts range of available motion.

Osseous (Bony) Ankle Problems:

  • Ankle impingement due to bone spurs impinging on the talus, which can cause chronic ankle pain and limitation of ankle motion.
  • Fixed deformity of the hindfoot (clubfoot etc).
  • Repetitive stress or blunt trauma can cause an ankle fracture.

There are 3 general types of Ankle Sprains

  1. Inversion ankle sprains are the most common, whereby the outer border of the foot rolls under.
  2. Eversion ankle sprains, whereby the inner side of the foot rolls under.
  3. High ankle sprains, medically termed syndesmotic injuries, usually due to a compressive force tearing the tibia and fibula bones apart.

Ankle pain may originate from the ankle, or it could be referred pain from elsewhere on the body. Clinical examination by East Coast Podiatry Centre will help to determine if your ankle pain requires conservative or surgical management.

Ankle pain is commonly subcategorized into the following:


  • Anterior ankle pain

Anterolateral Impingement
Ankle Joint Spurring
Talar Dome Injury
Tibialis Anterior Tendinopathy
Extensor Hallucis Longus Tendinopathy
Anterior Tibial Artery
Deep Peroneal Nerve
Superior and Inferior Extensor Retinaculum
Syndesmotic Injury
Osteochondritis Dessicans of the talus
Tarsal Coalition
Avascular Necrosis



  • Posterior ankle pain

Achilles Tendinopathy
Achilles Tendon Rupture
Haglund’s Deformity
Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
Calf Tightness

Os Trigonum / Stieda Process
Avascular Necrosis
Sural Nerve
Small Saphenous Vein
Posterior Tibial Artery
Posterior Tibial Vein
Tibial Nerve
Flexor Hallucus Longus Tendon

  • Lateral ankle pain
  • Peroneal Tendinopathy (peroneus longus and brevis)
    Achilles Tendonopathy
    Achilles Rupture
    Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
    Superior & Inferior peroneal retinacula
    Sural Nerve
    Synovium (inflammation of the joint lining)
    Lateral Collateral Ligament
    Ankle Inversion Sprain
    Avascular Necrosis
    Anterior and posterior tibiofibular ligaments
    Anterior and posterior talofiular ligaments
    Calcaneofibular Ligament
    Os Peroneum






Learn More…

  • Medial ankle pain
  • Posterior Tibial TendinopathyFlexor Retinaculum
    Posterior Tibial Artery blockage
    Posterior Tibial Nerve compression
    Tibialis Posterior Tendinopathy
    Flexor Digitorum Longus Tendinopathy
    Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendinopathy
    Deltoid Ligament
    Ankle Eversion Sprain
    Achilles Tendon
    Avascular Necrosis
    Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Ankle pain from Chronic Conditions
  • Arthritis
    Autoimmune Conditions
    Club Foot
    Charcot Foot
    High Arch (pes cavus)
    Low Arch (pes planus)