Treatment Orthopedics

Dancer's Heel
Treatments

You may be told to rest the ankle for a short time to reduce swelling and pain. A special walking boot or short-leg cast may be recommended to restrict ankle movement for up to four weeks. Mild pain medications and anti-inflammatory medicine may also be prescribed. An ice pack can also help alleviate swelling and may encourage a faster return of normal ankle movement.

Your doctor may recommend a steroid injection into the painful area, to help relieve irritation and swelling in the soft tissues that are being pinched, reducing their tendency to get pinched. Additionally, your doctor may suggest working with a physical therapist familiar with dance medicine to help you regain normal use of your ankle. Patients often progress in a series of exercises including stationary cycling, range of motion, and ankle strengthening. If nonsurgical treatments do not work, surgery may be recommended. The type of surgery will vary depending on the location and cause of ankle impingement.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

Tips for Preventing Foot and Ankle Injuries

Foot/ankle injuries are common in sports, especially running, tennis and soccer. But enthusiasts can decrease the risk of injury by taking these precautions.

Treating Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains are the most common ankle injury among regular athletes and weekend warriors, affecting an estimated 27,000 Americans per day. Learn more.

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