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Shin, Calf and Ankle Injuries

Use the filters to narrow down your injury by location and type of pain. Click on the links below to view more detailed information on the more common causes of shin, calf and ankle pain.

A sudden onset or acute injury happens as a result of trauma or direct impact. A gradual onset injury comes on over time possibly without any specific incident which caused it. The most common cause of shin pain is known shin splints which is a general term for pain on the inside of the thin.

Achilles tendon
Ankle joint injury
Back of the ankle
Back of the heel
Calf
Fractures
Front of the ankle
Heel pain
Inside of the ankle
Inside of the foot
Midfoot pain
Outside of the ankle
Shin
Sole of the foot
Gradual onset
Numbness / tingling
Sudden onset
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Deep Vein Thrombosis

DVT is a blood clot in a vein. They commonly occur in the calf muscles, although can be found in other body parts and can move to the chest or brain which could be very serious.

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Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

Sinus tarsi syndrome usually develops following acute ankle injuries such as sprain. Symptoms include poorly localised pain just in front of the bone on the outer ankle. The patient may have pain or difficulty running on a curve.

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Achilles Bursitis

Achilles bursitis is a spongy swelling of the bursa or fluid sack causing pain at the back of the heel. Pain is worse when running uphill or on soft surfaces and when pressing or squeezing the back of the heel.

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Achilles Tendon Rupture

Symptoms of a total rupture of the Achilles tendon include sudden sharp Achilles tendon pain, often described as being struck on Achilles tendon. A loud snapping noise or bang may also be heard.

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Achilles Tendonitis

Also known as achilles tendinopathy is an overuse injury causing Achilles pain which comes on gradually. The Achilles tendon may be stiff or sore in the mornings but improve as it warms up.

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Achilles Tenosynovitis

Symptoms are similar to Achilles tendonitis with Achilles pain caused by inflammation of the sheath surrounding the Achilles tendon. Going on tip toes or stretching the calf muscle may be painful.

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Ankle Avulsion Fracture

An ankle avulsion fracture occurs when a ligament in the ankle tears pulling a small piece of bone away with it. It can occur after an ankle sprain with pain and rapid swelling of the ankle. Often not diagnosed until later.

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Ankle Impingement

An ankle impingement can cause ankle pain at the front of the ankle or back of the ankle. Pain is felt when the ankle is passively moved into either extreme dorsi flexion (pointing up) or plantar flexion (pointing down).

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Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle is one of the most common ankle injuries. The ankle is twisted or turned outwards causing instant ankle pain, swelling and often bruising. Immediate first aid followed by a full rehab program is essential.

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Anterior Compartment Syndrome

Anterior compartment syndrome causes pain on the outside of the shin and occurs when pressure builds up within the muscle. It can be acute shin pain following a direct trauma or gradual onset.

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Broken Ankle

A broken ankle can involve a fracture of any of the bones in the ankle. Usually caused by a severe sprain or traumatic impact. Sudden intense ankle pain will be felt with rapid swelling.

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Broken Leg

A broken leg is a fracture of either the tibia or fibula bones occurring usually through traumatic impact. Sudden severe shin pain will be felt along with swelling, bruising and possible deformity.

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Calf Strain

Calf strain is probably the most common cause of calf pain and is a tear to one of the calf muscles. Symptoms include pain at the back of the lower leg and can range from mild to severe.

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Contusion of the Lower Leg

Calf contusion is caused by an impact or direct trauma to the lower leg causing bruising and sometimes swelling and leg pain. A contusion can be very mild or can be so severe it causes loss of function.

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Cramp in the Calf Muscles

Cramp is an involuntary muscle contraction or spasm causing calf pain. It can occur in any muscle group, although the calf muscles are the back of the lower leg is a common place. Severe cramp may lead to a strain.

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Dislocated Ankle

A dislocated ankle is a severe cause of ankle pain, which usually happens in conjunction with a fracture or complete rupture of the lateral ankle ligaments. A dislocated ankle can be a posterior, anterior or superior dislocation.

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Eversion Ankle Sprain

An eversion ankle sprain happens when the foot is forcibly rolled inwards as opposed to outwards with a normal ankle sprain. If this happens then there is often a fracture of the fibula bone as well. Lots of pain and swelling.

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Fibula Fracture

A fibula fracture is a break in the fibula bone of the lower leg. It can be sudden onset through trauma or outside lower leg pain can come on gradually if it is a stress facture.

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Fibula Stress Fracture

A stress fracture of the fibula is a small hairline crack in the bone. Symptoms include gradual onset calf pain or pain at the outside lower leg at a point on the fibula bone. Pain usually gets worth with exercise.

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Footballers Ankle

Symptoms include ankle pain and tenderness over the front of the ankle joint. Pain may be felt when bending the foot up or down with a band of pain across the front of the ankle, especially when kicking a ball.

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Haglund's Syndrome

When retrocalcaneus bursitis exists at the same time as Achilles tendonitis in the same leg, this is known as Haglund's Syndrome. Symptoms include pain in the Achilles tendon as well as at the back of the heel.

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High Ankle Sprain

A high ankle sprain is an acute ankle injury involving the ligaments at the top of the ankle that hold the shinbones together. Symptoms include pain when pressing in on the top front of the ankle with swelling and bruising.

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Lateral Compartment Syndrome

Lateral compartment syndrome occurs when a muscle swells up too big for the sheath surrounding it causing calf pain. It can be acute from a direct impact which causes bleeding, or can come on gradually.

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Medial Malleolus Stress Fracture

The medial malleolus is the bony bit on the inside of the ankle. A stress fracture of the medial malleolus can occur but is very rare. Pain on the inside of the ankle comes on gradually and is made worse with exercise.

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Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus

Symptoms of an Osteochondral lesion of the talus or ankle bone include pain in the ankle with swelling. The ankle may catch or lock and is likely to be stiff. Bones scans or MRI may be needed for accurate diagnosis.

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Partial Rupture of Achilles Tendon

A sudden sharp pain in the achilles tendon may be felt, although sometimes if it is a mild strain then the athlete may not feel pain at the time of injury but will do later on or the next day as the tendon stiffens up.

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Peroneal Nerve Injury

Peroneal nerve injury, also known as peroneal neuropathy is caused by a blow to the outside of the knee, although symptoms or numbness and tingling are more likely to be felt in outside of the lower leg like ankle injuries would.

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Peroneal Tendon Dislocation

The peroneal tendon runs behind the lateral malleolus or the bony bit on the outer ankle. Repeated dislocation or slipping can mean the tendon rubs against the bone causing tenderness and pain on the outside of the ankle.

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Peroneal Tendonitis

Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include swelling and pain on the outside of the ankle just below the bony bit or lateral malleolus. One of the more common gradual onset ankle injuries caused by overuse or running across slopes.

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Posterior Deep Compartment Syndrome

Symptoms of an acute compartment syndrome are calf pain and restricted movement. If the injury has come on over time then a deep aching leg pain is more common which gets worse with exercise.

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Potts Fracture

A Potts fracture is a fracture to one of the bony parts of the ankle called the malleoli. Fractures can occur to the lateral malleoli on the outside or the medial malleoli on the inside.

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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is an unpleasant sensation in the legs at rest, which usually eases on movement. Symptoms are most frequently in the lower leg, although can appear in the thigh and foot or ankle.

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Shin Splints

Shin splints is the common name often given to any shin pain. Symptoms are usually pain on the inside of the lower shin which gets worse with activity and can ease with rest only to return again later.

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Stress Fracture of the Talus

Symptoms of a stress fracture of the talus include pain on the outside of the ankle, which will have come on gradually. The pain will get worse with exercise particularly running and ease with rest.

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Tennis Leg

A sudden onset of pain in the back of the knee or top of the calf muscle will be felt. The ability to move the ankle will be affected. Bruising and swelling at the back of the leg are common.

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Tibia Fracture

Is a break in the larger of the two shin bones caused by traumatic impact. Severe lower leg pain with swelling and bruising is likely. There are different types of tibia fracture, some requiring surgery.

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Tibia Osteochondral Fracture

Tibial osteochondral fracture is an injury to the cartilage which lines the end of the tibia bone where it meets the talus to form the ankle joint. Sudden pain when twisting or spraining the ankle will be felt with rapid swelling.

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Tibia Stress Fracture

Is a hairline fracture in larger shin bone. Symptoms include lower leg pain similar to shin splints, usually on the lower third of the tibia. There may be tenderness and swelling over the site of the fracture.

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Tibial Growth Plate Fracture

A distal tibial gowth plate fracture is a ankle fracture involving the larger of the two shin bones at the growth plate. A traumatic incident will cause acute ankle pain with rapid swelling and possibly deformity if severe enough.

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Tibialis Anterior Tendon Inflammation

Symptoms include pain when bending the foot and toes up. Swelling and redness over the front of the ankle

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Tibialis Posterior Syndrome (PTTD)

One of the main signs of PTTD is a fallen or flattened arch of the foot. The patient may also have a history of injury to the tibialis posterior muscle.

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Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis

The tibialis posterior tendon runs behind the inner ankle bone and then underneath the foot. Long-term injury to this muscle can cause Tibialis posterior syndrome.

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Tight Calf Muscles

The calf muscle group consists of the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. The symptoms are a gradual tightening in the calf muscles which can get worse

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Achilles tendon
Ankle joint injury
Back of the ankle
Back of the heel
Calf
Fractures
Front of the ankle
Heel pain
Inside of the ankle
Inside of the foot
Midfoot pain
Outside of the ankle
Shin
Sole of the foot
Gradual onset
Numbness / tingling
Sudden onset