T Nation

Ankle Clicking?


The ligament or tendon that I have highlighted in the picture "snaps" over the bone when ever my calf is contracted(toes pointed).It literly snaps/cliks(loud enough so people walking with me hear it) at the end of every step. It started after a session of plyometrics about 3 months ago. There is no pain but once or twice while doing things such as basketball/frisbee it has somewhat "locked" mometarily like the ligament didn't want to slide over the bone, this didn't even really hurt but felt very strange. I'm assuming that a doctor wouldn't really know much about this and have to refer me to a specialist?

Does anybody have any ideas? I have been taking it easy(no calf work) but it has not improved. I will be seeing a doctor shortly.


I am not diagnosing this online, since the ankle is fairly complex, but since you are going to have it looked at (preferably by a podiatrist or an orthopod), ask about peroneal tendon subluxation. Peroneal tendon subluxation occurs when you tear the retinaculum (which is a supportive structure designed to hold your tendon in place). It usually happens with sudden (plyometric) movements. Clicking an popping are almost always present. Your symptoms sound consistent with it...get it checked out.


Is there any treatment for it?

I have this on and off in my ankle, knee and hip. I always put it down to cumulative wear and tear.


Exactly what this guy said. If you have torn the peroneal retinaculum, they will mostly likely have to go in surgically and repair it.


Hey man the same exact thing happens to me every once in a while. I have horrible ankles and the clicks bothers me at most. The only downside to athletic performance is the fact that when I am on my tip toes, it feels as if that "achillies heel" area is gonna pop over itself and my ankles feel really really weak.


I have this ankle click thing. I guess I can never be a ninja.


If it is a complete tear, you either live with it or have it repaired surgically. Basically they suture the torn retinaculum back to where it attached. If you look at the photo, you can see an image of a tear, this is where the sutures would go. I don't have a lot of information on latest techniques, but I would imagine it is a fairly straight forward arthroscopic surgery, or at the least a fairly small incision.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that is the injury that Curt Schilling had when the Red Sox won the World Series (seems like it was just yesterday).


Peroneal Subluxation


My ankles click too, can't really offer much help though


I have the same problem. My ankle click when I walk. I don't feel any pain, discomfort, nothing. Got use it.


There is a difference between ankle "clicking" and "snapping" (not real technical there). A lot of people that have ever sprained an ankle complain of clicking without pain. This is pretty meaningless.

When you have a snapping, you feel a sensation of a tendon snapping back and forth over the bone. Many times the snap is associated with pain, and if the pain is severe enough, you will have a sensation of the ankle "giving out".


I too have the problem with ankle clicking. I am trying to get into Karate and it sounds like a breaking twig whenever I try to twist on ball of my foot. I asked a pediatrist about it and he wasn't concerned as long as it didn't cause me pain. He said surgery was an iffy course of action (ie live with it). This may not be the same thing you're talking about though.


Heh heh heh...

"grasshopper is that you, noisy bastard grasshopper?"


I tore the fascia that holds the peroneal tendon in place in a skiing accident. I would suggest that you see a specialist on your options.

I went to Dr. Pierce Scranton in Seattle. In my case, he said that the snapping causes 'wear and tear' on that tendon and over time.... and cause further injury to that tendon.

The surgery I had was fairly simple. He opened up the site, 'scored' the bone, and used a couple of surgical 'cork' screws to hold the torn fascia back in place.

Recovery wasn't too bad... a couple weeks in a removable cast, and then some PT.

I'd suggest you find a doctor that has performed the procedure before. In my case, Dr. Scranton has written articles on the subject. I'd gone to another doctor that didn't know much about it, so finding Dr. Scranton was a godsend.

I also found the snapping caused some instability in my ankle and was annoying! It'd snap over even when I did things like applying the brakes on a car.


How's your ankle now? Any instability/weakness? What did you do for PT?


It's great. No really instability or weakness. I think I went to 6 or 7 PT visits. Worked on regaining strength and balance.


Mine have been clicking ever since my teenage years, it used to be deafening when I was trying to sneak up the steps in the middle of the night past curfew. I never had any pain whatsoever in them, but yeah, they click.


That's great to hear.


Ankle clicking is very common in athletes. If it doesn't produce pain, it shouldn't be a concern...welcome to the club.

Funny note: I was in Greece 4 or 5 years ago, and there is a castle on a hillside which has 999 steps to the top (yes we counted), my ankle clicked from the first step to the last. It went from amusing to annoying and back to amusing by the time we got all the way up.


My ankles click also. When I was in the Army, and wearing boots and under a load (ruck sack, load bearing equipment (LBE), etc) and road marching or hicking through the woods -- there was no clicking of my ankles. I was even OK on parachute jumps. However, when I used to run in formation, my ankles would click and my platoon often used the clicking for cadence. Go figure!