1. Welcome to the Foot Health Forum community where you can ask about foot problems and get help, as well as be up-to-date with the latest foot health information. Only registered members can ask a question, but you do not need to register to respond and give help. Please become part of the community (here) and check out the shop.

Ankle Locks-Up

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by aperfectwar, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    My ankles have never flexed my then 90 degrees and this has caused many problems in my life. I am 23 years old now and was recently diagnosed by the VA to have an enlarged bone deformity in both legs. Supposedly this is what caused me to have flat feet as a child and knee, hip, and back problems as I got older. I was told this isnt changeable and very often misdiagnosed. Due to the stress of being a soldier and it not being diagnosed properly I have a lot of problems including my whole foot locking for extended periods of time.
    My advice, I walked into the office of the 7th podietrist I had to see in my life and he earned my respect in the first five minutes. He watched the way I walked to his office and as soon as I sat down he tried to bend my feet. He then with whatever confirmation he got from that told me the problem, how it was not changeable, my current problems, and what was going to happen. He didnt sugar coat anything, he wasnt rude, I just wasnt prepared for it. So I asked of course if this isnt changeable what can be done. He had high standards and ordered a orthodic from a company in NYC because he felt they were the only ones that could do it right for this condition to help me.
    If your podietrist doesnt impress you in ten minutes thank him for the time he wasted and leave. With your daughter's heath, and I have one now four I dont want to hear a pretty fantasy. Also dont see an orthopedic for a foot problem. He is a bone specialist but that covers to wide an area and there could be other problems. If it is a foot problem see a podietrist.
    Now this is the kicker. If someone had known what was wrong I wouldnt have had to go through this process and pain. He explained if my feet recover all I would have to do is where a shoe that the heel is lifted a little higher then the front. So try that with your daughter, they make many shoes in this fasion you just have to pay attention. I used to be a big flip flop and converse fan as a kid but I found out I shouldnt have worn either.
  2. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hi everyone. After reading through all of your posts I wonder if many of you may suffer from the same injury I have. The reason I think this is because many of you have posted that the pain started following a sprain and that is the first sign of having an OCD injury in the ankle. Basically you take a small chunk out of the bone/cartilage in the ankle joint and this causes locking and pain. It will show on an MRI but I don't think it shows on xray. If you have not had this ruled out I would ask your dr. Never hurts to ask!
  3. NBR

    NBR Guest

    Hello All

    Thank you for sharing your posts. I've been having sporadic problems with my ankle locking up as well and I went to see a top foot/ankle orthopedic surgeon in NYC who also happens to be the surgeon for the NY Nicks basketball team. Anyway, he believes it could either be the tendon on the outside of my ankle moving or a bone spur that has chipped and a floating piece may be finding its way in between my ankle joint causing it to lock up when I apply upward pressure. My ankle clicks when I move it around but I have never felt pain because of this. Anyway I'm scheduled for an MRI today and will know more after the results.

    In addition to the above, I've had intense pain in the ball of my foot due to bunion surgery which resulted in my big toe becoming shorter than my second toe. Although the bunion surgery occurred over 5 years ago the pain has built up gradually and now is unbearable. I can't stand or walk for more than 2 hours. According to my new surgeon - who also concurres with my podiatrist, the pain is caused from over-bearing weight to the second metatorsal. Orthodics and steriod injections over the years never helped so I'm going for surgery. My second toe has to be shortened. I hate having to be in a boot again and with little mobility but I see no other choice except to wear really ugly shoes for the rest of my life and still have to deal with the pain if standing more than 2 hours.

    The reason why I am including the above reference is to warn anyone who decides to go for bunion surgeon. Please make sure your surgeon measures the toe length of the 1st and 2nd toes. If it appears that the 1st toe will be shortened as a result of the corrective surgury then he/she might as well shorten the second toe along with it and you won't have to visit this problem in the future. For some people as it was for me, bunion surgery was the only option due to extreme pain and deformity.

    I'll keep you all posted on the MRI results and let you know what my surgeon says.
  4. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I am so happy I found this post. During the summer I was getting out of bed and when I went to put weight on my foot I had such intense pain it felt like my ankle was going to snap in two. This occured numerous times at all different times. When it happened I was unable to move the ankle until the pain subsided. Eventually the snapping feeling went away and the ankle just seems to lock. Saw a doctor who did xrays. Xrays showed that I had a spur on my ankle. I was sent for physical therapy which has lessened the number of times my ankle locks during the day. In the meantime I had an MRI and have just had my follow-up appointment with the doctor. MRI showed nothing that would be causing the pain. I do have a lipoma in ankle vicinity. The doctor suggested excision of the lipoma and arthroscopy of the ankle to shave off the spur. This might help. It is so frustrating. I am just glad I found this post and that I am not alone!
  5. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I am a 28yr old male and have been dealing with the 'locking sensation' for about 10 years, although it's got much more frequent in the last 8 months.

    Background: When I was younger I must have fractured/sprained my ankle pretty bad something like 6 times

    I go to the gym everyday and warm up with 5 minutes on the tread mill, and in the last half year, pretty much every other day the same ankle has a hard time bending and is painful enough to make me stop when I start (this also happens sometimes in the morning when I wake up just stretching).

    I have never asked a doc about it. What works for me is to stretch my ankle up down side to side. Sometimes it takes a few tries / minutes, but I just work through it.

    email: prokadima22@gmail.com
  6. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Does anybody else find that the ankle hurts more depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle?

    Mine certainly does, I feel as if my joints become "loose" when I ovulate and all the way up to the start of the period.

    My left ankle is hurting right now, I have to walk on the heel with the foot pointing to the left.
  7. bzzyGayle

    bzzyGayle Guest

    It Worked. Mine locked up for third time in 2 weeks. I just couldn't let it go for 3 or 4 hours again. This really worked. It hurt like **** when it popped (like the times before) but it worked.
    Thanks for this helpful advice.
  8. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have the solution.... This has happened to me 10-15 times and while reading through these responses... I figured out a quick solution... My pain always goes away within a few hours... But i cant just sit around if ya feel me... so here is what to do... Pull your toes up as far as u can without screaming.. then pull your foot out as u pull ur leg thebother way.. Or if soneone is with you have them pull your foot out quick and hard and it pops whatever is causing thebpain out of the socket... try it.. And thabk me later.. took me a few tries doing it by myself but heard a nice pop and all gone
  9. kazh68

    kazh68 Guest

    I've been experiencing ankle locking for the past year or so but it's becoming more frequent the last couple of months, in fact 3 times this week.

    The pain, when I massage the foot, is on top of the foot and the ankle ball socket (left foot). It radiates to the heel underneath the foot and into the calve and up to the knee.

    When it locks I can't move the ankle from a fixed 90 degree ankle and walk with it in a fixed postion. I find walking, even though in pain, eventually it will unlock. It can take from 20 minutes to 2 days. i'm getting better at managing the pain and dealing with it but wish I could ''unlock'' it quicker.

    It doesn't give any warning it's going to lock, I can be walking and it goes. Getting up from a resting postion or walk to the bathroom use the toilet, get up and it's locked.

    If I knew WHAT it was and HOW to reduce it happening I'd be happy.
  10. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I get that feeling in my left Ankle and for a while it was like I was always walking on the outer edge of the foot and could not make myself walk on my foot flat and properly
  11. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I also have this and have had it for 2.5 years on one foot after a small ankle sprain. I have also had it for 6 months on the other foot(just started happening). Hasn't been fun and handicapping at times, when you start thinking about walking on the outside of your foot and not locking up and also when it locks up at social gatherings etc.

    I have been to 7 doctors done MRI, xrays and ultra sounds, and all called it a 'mystery thing' until a foot and ankle surgeon told me that my foot has created an extra piece of bone, a bone spur, that probably came about after I hurt my ankle (play basketball). The tendon rolls over this and gets stuck (often at more relaxed stages of the foot or when in motion and turning). He has suggested he can go in and shave some of this off, but it isn't a fool proof operation, if the body has tendencies to create bone spurs when trauma has happened (or not), it can come back. My other foot has it now also, which is bad news, but my alignment, feet, knees, core etc has been an issue so when all of this is not aligned, stress is being put on joints and joints react with creating extra spurs.

    It took such a long time to find someone with a proper diagnosis(even if I fully don't understand it). Have looked all over on the web too, but not found much. This is not a common issue apparently said my doctor, but good to hear (well, not good:) other people have experienced it too and I am not imagining it. I taped it for the longest time and that wasn't a good thing either as scar tissue can form and foot looses its natural mobility.

    The things I have noticed helps in releasing the lock is standing with shoes, preferrably high heeled wedge or similar (guys sorry:) and rolling your foot outwards until the ankle bone almost hits the floor. Remember to relax your foot when you do it. Don't fight it. Or lying in bed with bent knees, also relaxing and rolling the foot outwards.

    I have also been to a chiropractor that had a little scar tissue massager machine that he used on the part where it feels like the stuck feeling is happening (upper/side part of foot, slightly in from of ankle bone) and also manipulated the foot. This all frees it up and notice I don't lock as often after I have been there.

    Footwear - heels, clogs etc has helped. Flat footwear makes it worse.

    I am going to a orthopedic podiatrist to get some insoles made to help me with the posture (have high arches) which I hope will help things a little.

    So I am trying to decide whether I should have surgery or not. The catching is like most of you says, very painful when it pops and sore after. A foot should not work in this way one would think:).

    Has anyone had an operation for this? Or if you have physio, what exercises help?
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I am 16 and a couple months ago my ankle would "lock-up" so I could move it a little but it was really painful so I would limp around. Normally it would go away after about 15 to 30 minutes but today it last 7 hrs. Normally right before it went away I would pop it by bending it (which really hurt) if i sit down to fast or was going downstairs. Today I stopped by the nurse and she said it was probably my ligaments. I am not quite sure what that means but that sounds alot like what you guys are saying so just thought I would share.
  13. 05/17/2013

    Hello all,
    I am a physical therapist, and I may be able to help some of you. After reading through the posts, I would estimate 10% of you have a bone spur, 10% have other issues, and 80% have the following condition:

    Read on if this sounds like you: You have sprained your ankle before. If your ankle is plantarflexed and inverted in an open chain position (point toes and twist ankle in to stretch the outside of your ankle) for longer then an instant, then it has a chance to "lock up" with symptoms such as no pain at rest but if you dorsiflex (pull toes towards you) your ankle then you experience intense lateral (outside) pain located just posterior and inferior to your lateral maleolus (just behind your outside ankle bone, the one that sticks out the most). Seeing as how we need to dorsiflex to ambulate (walk) properly, you will demonstrate antalgic gait pattern (limping). This symptom will spontaneously vanish after time or after specific stretching or activity, with seemingly no lasting effects (until it happens again). If this sounds like you, continue reading.

    What is happening: We have a muscle in our calf called the Peroneus longus muscle. As its name suggest, its a very long muscle which crosses many small joints in our foot and ankle. Any muscle tendon that is very long, has more of a risk of being displaced then a shorter muscle tendon. These long muscle tendons require "seat belts" called retinaculum which keep the long tendons secure as the muscle pulls on them to create joint movement. If the seat belt fails, the tendon is displaced when the muscle pulls on it.
    Now, the peroneus longus muscle starts at the back of our leg under our calf muscle. Its tendon travels inferior (towards the floor) behind our lateral maleolous (that outside bone that sticks out), under it, and to the bottom of our foot. The few seat belts (retinaculum) that hold this tendon in place are located along the outside of our ankle. The most common ankle sprain is an inversion ankle sprain which will damage and compromise the outside ligaments including these retinaculum. If damaged, they have trouble holding that tendon in place.
    When this tendon is tight (normal positions of the ankle) it has enough resting pressure to stay in place. If you plantarflex and invert your ankle (point your toes and bring them inwards to stretch the outside and front of your ankle) you are shortening that muscle and creating enough slack in the tendon for it to fall out of place. If it falls out of place and gets caught on another structure, it will send pain signals, and if you put more pressure on it by stretching peroneous longus (which is done by pulling your toes towards you and stretching your calf) then you experience very intense pain and discomfort.

    TREATMENT: The treatment is complicated, and you should consult an orthopeadic physician or a physical therapist who has experience with this [not all doctors and physical therapist are created equal ;) ] before attempting any self treatment. But I can not resist throwing out some free education ***ATTEMPT AT YOUR OWN RISK*** (please find a good PT to do it for you. if they dont have experience with this, just show them my post and they will figure it out). Ok, the quick fix is hard to do. When your ankle locks, first you want to create some slack in the tendon so it can be easily moved around. So you will put your ankle in the position that started the whole problem, which is plantar flexed and inverted in open chain (point your toes away from you and in to stretch the outside and front of your ankle) you must do this passively, that is with your hands so that your ankle muscles are completely relaxed. If you dont relax your muscles, you will not be able to re-position your tendons. In this position you will then keep downward pressure into plantarflexion (keep your toes pointed away from you the whole time) and roll your ankle outward. You may feel a "pop" or adjustment. Gentile oscillations or shakes or rolls or traction while you do this may help. You will know you have the tendon in the right place when you can dorsiflex (pull toes towards you) without pain. It may take several tries, but DO NOT force your toes towards you if you have pain. Just keep with the rolling in and out with your toes pointing away and frequently trying to lightly pull your toes towards you every 5 seconds or so. If this does not work after 5 minutes, stop trying and "RICE" your ankle. If this doesn't work, most of the time the tendon will correct itself with normal activity, however the symptoms may last a few days sometimes.

    NON SURGICAL TREATMENT: Stop spraining your ankle! the more times you sprain your ankle the more likely it is to happen again. Anytime you stretch tissue, it becomes more flexible. Too much flexibility leads to instabilities, which leads to sprains. Every time you sprain your ankle (or cause it to lock up) you are stretching and stressing the tissues there and they become more unstable. Its a downward spiral. The treatment is to not stretch the outside of your ankle to allow the tissues to "tighten up",... and they will, but with time... lots of time. No quick fixes in physical therapy! Other treatment is to correct for muscle imbalances (flat foot vs high arches is only the tip of the iceberg. Foot mechanics are VERY complicated and there is not enough space in this blog to cover that subject. Again, just find a good physical therapist ;))
    SURGICAL TREATMENT: Currently I find no surgical treatment in the literature for this condition, but I am sure it exists if your surgeon is familiar with the condition. It must involve either securing the tendon in place, or if it is really depressing your quality of life, you would have a higher success rate with complete release (cut it) of the tendon. I would not suggest that unless you can not function AT ALL due to the condition, because after that procedure you would be guarunteed to required orthotic arch support in your shoe for life to prevent any other mis-alignments.

    Hope this helps somebody out there!
    Michigan Physical Therapist.
  14. robertharris750

    robertharris750 New Member

    It must be injured, so get support for it. Ask a doctor for ankle/ankle lock ups support. Ligaments are tissues that connects bones to other bones , when it gets inflamed it starts hurting.
  15. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I've read most of the stories on here. I too have had serious ankle problems after dislocating it. I've read some of the stories on here where the doctor hasn't done much or keeps putting people in air casts and saying the spurs and floating tissue aren't a problem. Please remember, the majority of doctors are in it to make money. And lots of it. And a healthy individual isn't a cash cow for them. I learned this while watching my moms cancer doctor bleed her and her insurance company for every cent. And my Ortho doc did the same to me. I have maybe 2 degrees and upward motion and 15 degrees in downward motion. I was suppose to do 16 weeks of PT and after 5 he made me quit. I have a ton of pain daily and swelling constantly. I've been trying to work out but sometimes the pain is too much. Even with my pain pills. :(
  16. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Well I am def. not alone in the ankle pain world here is what I do know When I was 8 I started gymnastics after the first day I felt I sprained my ankle my mother took me to the ER they said yup minor sprain they wrapped it( it was never a sprain) I went home rested a few days till my next gymnastics practice after about 5 mins doing warm ups again my ankle locked up and felt like a sprain coach sent me home said I obviously had not healed enough long story short every two weeks coach kept sending me home so I finally just had to quit but my mom was worried so she took me to a foot specialist He examined me and put me in a soft cast after another few weeks I returned to him and his ultimate finding was this he said at my age it was hard to tell if this could be the answer but what he believed was that during my growth my achelies tendon was shorter than it was supposed to be and basically its like a rubber band and cause mine was under developed it was getting locked in a stretched out position but cause i was only 8 i still had more growing to do but he was about 80% sure that once i finished growing my tendon would still remain short and stunted in growth so as a now 33 year old i still have it lock up on me all the time sometimes lasting 30 seconds to up to 3 days I usually can relax my foot and get it unlocked but it is annoying and I really want the surgery where they can stretch it out or add tendon from my leg to help lengthen it anyway maybe this is some of your all's issue too ask ur docs if its possible that ur achellies tendon is short and thats why it locks up. best of luck ya'll
  17. Someone

    Someone Guest

    I just tried this and it seemed to release the ankle. Thank you very much for this tip.
  18. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    I am a 29 year old female with no history of any ankle injuries. I also experience this Lock up feeling in BOTH of my ankles (different times) randomly. It happens out of nowhere, I'll be sitting or walking with no pain or discomfort and I'll go to move my foot and the pain hits me. It feels like it needs to crack but won't. When this happens I have tried stretching my calf muscles, doing passive Range of motion in all ways with my foot, massage my ankle and surrounding areas - and nothing helps. I have even tried to tough out the pain and just walk regularly but it is truly impossible and I end up limping looking silly. These episodes have lasted anywhere from just a few minutes to DAYS. And for some unknown reason my ankle will feel perfectly normal out of nowhere. I have had X-rays which were negative but after reading the thread I will ask for an MRI. This does affect my daily life and it's terrible when the episodes flare up. I'll post an update when I know!
  19. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I have this same exact problem and I'm 16 years old and I play soccer but I didn't roll it or anything. It just happened about two days ago and it's annoying because it comes and goes. I want to crack/pop it but idk how and I feel like that's a bad idea..there is also no swelling or bruising, just very stiff and it hurts to go upstairs. If anyone knows how to solve this predicament please tell me!!
  20. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I'm just experiencing from yesterday, which got worse today. It feels locked and i can't move certain way and can't stand on it. I went to the doctor and they said that it may be a muscle strain but it doesn't feel like it at all. I can really feel the ankle just in pain. I need some help!!!

Share This Page