If you have over-tight calf muscles, you may be at increased risk for experiencing limited flexibility in your ankle, known as equinus. The podiatric team at the Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, and Mount Clemens, Michigan, locations of Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for equinus and related ankle issues. To find out more about treating and preventing equinus, schedule a consultation with the experts at Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers today.

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What is equinus?

Equinus is a condition where you experience limitations in your ability to bend your ankle joint upward. When you have equinus, you don’t have the flexibility to bring the top of your foot toward the front of your leg. In some cases, the lack of flexibility can affect just one ankle while others experience equinus in both.

To compensate for mobility limitations, you may change how you walk, opting to walk in your toes or flattening your arches. This can lead to chronic issues in your foot, leg, or back.

Overcompensating for equinus can also lead to other long-term foot conditions, such as:

  • Flatfoot
  • Tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis

You may also be prone to developing bunions, hammertoes, and arthritis, which can also lead to chronic pain and even more limitations in your mobility.

What causes equinus?

The root cause of equinus is often tightness in your calf muscles or your Achilles tendon, the fibrous band of tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel. This tightness may be an inherited trait you have since birth or develop from lifestyle habits, like wearing high-heeled shoes. You may also experience tendon damage from diabetes.

In some cases, your limited ankle range of motion occurs when you have a piece of bone blocking normal movement in the joint, following an ankle injury. If one leg is shorter than the other, you may experience equinus.

What is the treatment for equinus?

If your Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers provider confirms you have equinus during a physical exam and imaging tests, they create a treatment plan that focuses on your needs.

Nonsurgical treatment options may include the use of orthotic devices like:

  • Arch supports
  • Heel lifts
  • Night splints

You may also benefit from physical therapy to address overly tight muscles or tendons and prevent additional complications relating to equinus.

If equinus develops due to a chronically tight muscle or a broken or fractured bone that interferes with the range of motion in your ankle, you may need surgery to make necessary repairs and restore ankle flexibility.

To schedule a diagnostic evaluation of equinus symptoms, call the Hosey and Murphy Foot & Ankle Centers nearest you today or request an appointment through the online booking feature.