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Treatment Orthopedics

Dancer's Heel

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.

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