Skip to Main Content

Dancer's Heel

Dancer's heel, also known as posterior impingement syndrome, occurs when the tissue at the back of the ankle becomes compressed due to a bony formation at the back of the ankle. The pain may be triggered by an ankle sprain or by the tissue being trapped between the ankle and heel bone. When the soft tissue at the back of the ankle is pinched, it becomes inflamed and painful. Posterior impingement syndrome is common among ballet dancers.

Our Approach to Dancer's Heel

To treat dancer's heel, we begin with nonsurgical treatments to reduce pain and swelling. We may also recommend working with a physical therapist who is familiar with dance injuries. If these options prove ineffective, UCSF offers surgical treatments for dancer's heel. The type of procedure we use depends on the source and location of the problem.

Our team includes highly trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in the ankle and foot, as well as podiatrists, physical therapists and pedorthists (specialists in modified footwear and supportive devices for the lower leg). Our goals are to relieve pain and restore mobility, so patients can return to their normal lives and the activities they enjoy. We offer doctor's appointments, medical imaging and physical therapy in one convenient location.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-orthopedics

    One of the nation's best for orthopedic care

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.