The ankle is surrounded by synovial membrane – this soft tissue lines the ankle joint and its job is to secrete fluid into the joint capsule keeping it lubricated and allowing movement. Synovitis is the term used to describe inflammation of this soft tissue, which typically occurs after an ankle injury, repetitive stress or trauma where the synovium (soft tissue) have not heeled and continued to be placed under stress. The ankle is generally swollen, stiff and painful to move or touch, and may appear swollen for years after an initial injury, with patients complaining that it feels ‘weak’ or achy.
Ankle injuries: Symptoms may develop following an injury, or most commonly after an ankle injury that does not fully recover and causes ongoing pain, swelling and stiffness. Weight bearing too early following an ankle sprain can also lead to synovitis.
Repetitive stress: from pronation (rolling in) or supination (rolling out), especially if walking or running excessively.
Chronic ankle instability: from recurrent ankle sprains.
Putting on a brave face and pushing through an ankle injury despite prolonged discomfort can lead to chronic ankle synovitis and a decrease in recovery times. Receiving the appropriate treatment is paramount in ensuring you’re back to peak performance and decreases the likelihood of re-injury. You can also visit our store locator to find a practitioner who may be able to help you with some of the treatments listed above by clicking here.
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