The athlete's foot: the grey zone behind the ankle.

Nicolien van Giffen*, Romain Seil, Diederich Pape, Christian Nührenbörger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Posterior ankle and heel pain is common among athletes. The most common injury in this region is that of the Achilles tendon. However, besides the Achilles tendon, pain can originate from a retrocalcaneal bursitis, posterior impingement syndrome, os trigonum syndrome, or flexor hallucis longus tenosynovitis. These pathologies often caused by overuse, but can also occur after trauma. With careful examination, and the help of MRI imaging, the distinction can be made among these pathologies and the more common Achilles tendon problems. Like most overuse injuries, the majority of cases of retrocalcaneal bursitis, posterior impingement, flexor hallucis longus tenosynovitis respond to conservative treatment. However, when this fails, open or arthroscopic surgery can be proposed. Arthroscopy is less aggressive than open surgery, with the added advantage of less patient morbidity, less post-operative pain, and early functional rehabilitation. It is becoming the surgery of choice, especially among athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin de la Société des Sciences Médicales du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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