Ankle Equinus is a condition in which the upward bending motion of the ankle joint is limited. Someone with equinus lacks the flexibility to bring the top of the foot toward the front of the leg.
Why is this an issue?
Patients with equinus develop ways to compensate for their limited ankle motion, and this often leads to other foot, leg or back problems. The most common methods of compensation are flattening of the arch or picking up the heel early when walking, placing increased pressure on the ball of the foot.
Common Foot problems associated with Equinus:
Plantar fasciitis: Equinus causes the heel to lift too soon while walking this creates a sudden tug or pull on the plantar fascia causes inflammation and pain where it attaches to the bottom of the heel.
Ankle sprains: Having equinus means you have limited ankle motion, a sudden shift in body weight or unevenness in the walking surface can result in an ankle sprain. These patients are also more likely to have repeated ankle sprains during recovery of their original sprain if the equinus is not treated.
Flat Feet: A common way the body compensates for equinus is for the arch to lower in height. This results in a lowering of the arch and an internal twisting of the leg with every step.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome: In some cases, the flat feet caused by equinus results in a pinched nerve just below the ankle. Treating the equinus helps remove the pinching forces.
Bunions/Hammertoes: Equinus causes the tendons which move and stabilize the toes to pull abnormally and the toes begin to drift out of their normal alignment. Over time the misalignment becomes stiff, painful and permanent.
Hallux Rigidus: This condition is a painful degeneration of the big toe joint. Equinus can shift the body weight forward toward the toes while walking and standing, which increases the pain and stiffness felt by these patients.
The podiatrists at Innovative Foot and Ankle are all well educated in Equinus and how to treat this issue. We have offices located throughout the northern New Jersey area in Little Ferry, Bayonne, Montclair and Kenilworth.