Talar impingement (ankle joint pain)

Talar impingement is a painful condition of the ankle that manifests as stiffness and pain across the ankle joint, particularly in the mornings, after rest and as the day progresses.

The Talus sits neatly between the tibia and fibula, maintaining a joint space that should never close completely. The bones have a layer of tissue called the periostium that can become initially inflamed when the ankle joint comes under stress.

The common denominator with this type of condition is that all the feet have pronated up to and beyond their individual maximum ranges of motion, leading to excessive internal tibial rotation. This causes a closure of the joint space and a periosteal inflammation.

Treatment for ankle joint pain

In cases where this has occurred for a long time, osteoarthritic changes can occur in the ankle. When this occurs it makes treatment difficult, and the patient may not respond well to conservative therapy.

Treatment involves preventing the joint space from narrowing – reducing internal tibial rotation by controlling pronation.

This is accomplished once a biomechanical assessment has been done to determine the cause. Stretching, insoles or orthotics may be necessary to assist the foot to function better.

Soft tissue mobilisation and Compex (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) may be useful in reducing inflammation and increasing ankle joint range of motion.

The moulded orthotic will control the foot, reducing pronation and not allowing the ankle joint to close. This has shown to be highly successful in this condition.