Ankle Tendonitis Information

Ankle tendonitis is an inflammatory condition that often effects active and flat-footed individuals. Ankle tendonitis effects the posterior tibialis tendon. The posterior tibialis tendon runs underneath the "bony knob" in your ankle (see diagram below). The role of this tendon is to raise the arch of the foot. Ankle tendonitis should not be confused with achilles tendonitis as they affect different tendons.

Ankle Anatomy

The diagram below shows the affected tendon (posterior tibialis)

Ankle Tendonitis Picture

Ankle Tendonitis Causes

Ankle tendonitis is caused by excess stress being placed on the posterior tibialis tendon. Those most at risk of developing the condition are people involved in sports that involve a lot of stopping, starting and sharp movements and those that are not properly conditioned to physical exercise. Sports like basketball, squash, baseball, tennis and football put a lot of strain on the ankles.

Individuals who are just beginning a new exercise program often develop ankle tendonitis. The tendons around the ankle are not conditioned for exercise and inflamation can easily occur. For steps you should take to prevent ankle tendonitis see the treatment section below.

In some very rare cases ankle tendonitis can develop from genetic abnormalities. The condition may also develop with age. As the human body ages the tendons lose their elasticity and become tight. This makes them more prone to injury and tendonitis.

Ankle Tendonitis Symptoms

As with all types of tendonitis, ankle tendonitis symptoms will start off very mild during or after an activity but may develop if left untreated. The main symptoms include:

  1. Pain and tenderness in the tendon with close proximity to the ankle
  2. The pain is often worse during or after activity or exercise.
  3. Pain in the area in the mornings and at night (advanced tendonitis)
  4. Swelling, tenderness, redness and hot feeling around the area where the tendon meets the ankle
  5. Stiffness during and after activity. When ankle tendonitis develops further, this stiffness may be felt throughout the entire day
  6. Inability to bend your ankle and tilt your foot inwards without pain

You may feel one or all of these symptoms if you have ankle tendonitis. In most cases, the pain will develop around activity and subside a short time afterwards. This does not mean the tendonitis is cured. This is a sign that it is developing and steps should be taken to prevent tendonitis developing further.

Ankle Tendonitis Treatment

Ankle tendonitis treatment involves relieving the pain and reducing the inflamation of the affected area. In most cases the condition can be successfully treated at home without the need to see a doctor or purchase any medicine. To treat your ankle tendonitis follow these simple steps:

  1. Stop the activity that is causing the pain
  2. Apply R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  3. Take anti-inflammatory medication (if needed)
  4. Ease back into the activity slowly

If you follow these steps and the tendonitis pain keeps occuring you should consult your doctor. Your doctor may suggest further treatment options like steriod injections. In extreme cases, when all other treatment options fail, surgery will be recommended.

Ankle Tendonitis Prevention

Prevention is better than treatment, and ankle tendonitis is very easy to prevent. Here are some simple steps you can take to help prevent ankle tendonitis:

  1. Warm up for at least 10 minutes before any strenuous activity
  2. Wear the correct footwear for the activity
  3. Check the ground surface (look for holes and uneven ground)
  4. Know your limits, don't put your body under stress it cannot handle
  5. If you're starting out, ease into the activity
  6. If you feel stiff in the tendon after exercise, rest and ease back into exercise

Most of the prevention measures mentioned above are simple common sense. If left untreated, ankle tendonitis may develop into a painful and permanent condition that will effect you in your every day life. As you get older the risk is greater, so if you're over 40 you must be especially careful.

Related Links & Info:

Tennis Elbow Treatment
Learn how to treat tennis elbow.
Tendonitis Website
All about tendonitis.
Achilles Tendonitis
The most common form of tendonitis.