Ankle injuries are a common occurrence that affect both athletes and everyday people.

The joint is able to heal without medical intervention; however, in some cases, casts, medications or surgeries are necessary to restore normal function and eliminate pain.

ANKLE PT - First Health Physical Therapy

The ankle joint is an area of the body where three bones converge – the talus (above the heel), the fibula (thin bone outside of leg), and tibia (shin). Passively stabilized by ligaments, the ankle joint is controlled by a series of muscles that both move the foot and prevent the joint from over-stretching ligaments. It is unfortunate that loss of muscle control can sometimes leave ligaments unprotected, resulting in over-stretching. This can cause a sprain or rupture. In some cases, foot and lower leg injuries can also indirectly impact ankle function, resulting in walking difficulties and compensation injuries.

Erin – Collegiate Volleyball Player

Erin was sidelined because of a rolled ankle and ligament tear. She spent a few weeks at FHPT and got back to her game.

Months later she needed more rehab after a similar accident on the court.

Once again she was fixed at FHTP and how follows a careful stretching regimen prior to game.

Erin now maintains her strength to avoid future injury with tools provided to her by our PT team.

Mark – Business Professional

Mark solved two problems with Noah Hyman and First Health PT. First a Peloton-induced Achilles Tendonitis. And then a very common problem for so many, Tech Nick.

And Mark talks about his mom’s avoidance of hip surgery thanks to First Health Physcial Therapy.

Ankle Physical Therapy

Ankle Questions & Answers

Ankle Osteoarthritis

Most cases of ankle osteoarthritis are related to a previous ankle injury. The injury may have occurred years before there is evidence of osteoarthritis in the ankle. Injury can damage the cartilage directly, or it can alter the mechanics of the ankle joint.


  • Pain in walking, moving, climbing stairs, etc.
  • Joint stiffness
  • Lost flexibility
  • Difficulty walking
  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced range-of-motion

Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are common in patients who have a history of foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. In the setting of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs are most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but can be found in all age groups. The heel spur itself is not thought to be the primary cause of pain, rather inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia is thought to be the primary problem.


  • Painful
  • Tenderness
  • Immobility
  • Pain increases from movement

Pronated Foot/Flat feet

A pronated foot is one that rolls inward when walking or running and does not properly pass the weight over the foot. This creates a biomechanical problem that stresses the foot and lower leg. The knee and hip are affected as well because of the inward rotation of the leg.

People with pronated feet are at risk for developing overuse injuries, such as ankle and Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, heel and kneecap pain, and heel spurs. People who have excessive pronation are said to have flat feet. They are particularly sensitive to overuse, injuries such as stress fractures and tendonitis. The problem of pronation or ‘flat feet’ will not go away for you were, most likely, born with it.

Ankle Three


  • Imbalance
  • Pain
  • Wear and tear in other parts of your body
  • Arch pain
  • Heel pain
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Knee Pain

Pes Cavis/High Arch

Pes Cavis/ High Arch are caused by a bone or nerve condition. Highly arched feet tend to be painful because more stress is placed on the section of the foot between the ankle and toes. This condition can make it difficult to fit into shoes. People who have high arches usually need foot support. A high arch may cause disability.


  • Shortened foot length
  • Difficulty fitting shoes
  • Foot pain with walking, standing, and running

Fractures / 5th Metatarsal (TRAUMATIC)

Ankle fractures happen when one or more of the bones that make up the ankle joint are separated into pieces. There may be ligaments damaged in the process as well. The ankle becomes more unstable when more bones are broken. That can range from a simple break in one bone, that can stop you from moving, to many fractures, which will eventually push your ankle out of place. It would then be advised that you do not put any weight on your ankle for three months.

Types of Ankle Fractures

Lateral malleolus: the bump on the outer part of the ankle

Medial malleolus: the bump on the inside of the ankle

Posterior malleolus: the bony distinction of the tibia; rarely injured on its own.

Lateral and Medial malleolus are the more common injuries.

Bimalleolar fractures: two of the malleoli bones are broken.

Trimalleolar fractures: all three malleoli bones of the ankle are broken.

These fractures derive from a large amount of force, disruption of the ligaments, or a dislocation, and causes instability.


  • Cannot bear weight on the ankle.
  • Pain
  • Numbness in the foot or ankle.
  • Bone pieces visible outside the skin
  • Inability to move toes
  • Inability to move ankle
  • Cold foot
  • Color of foot changes to blue

Dislocations/Talar (TRAUMATIC)

Ankle dislocation occurs when a bone in the ankle joint is out of place. Ankle dislocations are uncommon and generally occur with ankle fractures.


  • Intense pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Visible deformity of the ankle
  • Soreness and pain
  • Foot immobility

**Talar** (TRAUMATIC)

Talar is a small bone that sits between the heel bone and two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. It is an important attachment between the foot, leg and body. It helps transfer weight and pressure across the ankle joint.


  • Acute pain
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Swelling and tenderness

Sprain (High and Low Ankle - TRAUMATIC)

Ankle sprains happen when the foot twists, rolls, or turns past its normal range of motion. Your ankles sprain when the foot lands unevenly on a surface with force. The motion causes the ligaments to stretch beyond the normal range.

Ankle First Health PT


  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Cold and numbness
  • Inability to walk
  • Incapable of bearing weight on foot
  • Bruising

Syndesmotic Injury (TRAUMATIC)

Syndesmotic injury (also known as high ankle sprain) occurs as a result of an ankle eversion. When the ankle joint twist outwards, the ligaments that surround the ankle joint are stretched or torn.

Ankle Tendinitis (REPETITIVE)

Ankle tendinitis can be caused by trauma or inflammatory arthritis. It is an inflammatory condition that affects active individuals with flat-feet. It often affects the posterior tibialis tendon. The posterior tibialis tendon runs underneath the knob in your ankle, and its role is to raise the arch of the foot.


  • Pain and tenderness in the tendon
  • Swelling
  • Redness and heated feeling around the tendon
  • Pain in the area in the morning and at night
  • Pain worsens during or after activity or exercise.
  • Pain in the area in the mornings and at night (advanced tendonitis)
  • Stiffness
  • Incapability to bend your ankle

Achilles Tendonitis (REPETITIVE)

Achilles tendonitis, is also referred to as Achilles tendinopathy. Sometimes it occurs over a period of a few days. If it turns out to be chronic, it will occur over a longer period of time. This condition can be either at the attachment point to the heel or in the mid-portion of the tendon. Healing of the Achilles tendon is often slow, due to its poor blood supply caused by an overuse injury. When you do too many activities with not enough recovery time, it can cause Achilles tendonitis. For example, increasing activity, giving yourself less recovery time, changing footwear, running uphill or over-pronating can all be causes of Achilles tendonitis.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendon bursitis (REPETITIVE)

Achilles tendon bursitis is a common foot pain in athletes, predominantly in runners. A bursa is a small sack of fluid that sits between a tendon and a bone to help the tendon move smoothly over the bone. In this condition, the bursa is inflamed due to constant impact and trauma to the area.


  • Tenderness and swelling
  • Pain in the back of the heels, when running uphill or on soft surfaces.
  • Spongy resistance when pressing on both sides of the heel.

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