What’s Behind Your Popping Ankles?

What’s Behind Your Popping Ankles?

If you find that your ankle pops often, you’re not alone. It’s common for your ankle to make popping and clicking noises, and it can happen for a number of reasons. It could be something simple and harmless, like gas releasing in your joints, or something a little more drastic, like a dislocated tendon.

Whatever is behind that popping sound in your ankles, our team at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado is ready to help you narrow down the cause and offer some tips on how to care for it, if necessary.

Common causes of popping ankles

If you don’t have any other symptoms besides popping noises, the most likely cause is bubbles of nitrogen being released in your joints. When you’re inactive for a period of time, these gas bubbles can build up and then release when you start to move around again, resulting in the popping sound.

Another possible culprit of popping ankles is tendons rubbing together. The tendons in your feet are called peroneal tendons, and these are what give your ankle the stability it needs. They sit in a groove around your ankle joint, and if they happen to pop out of place, they cause a snapping noise. 

In addition, your peroneal tendons are held in place by a band called your peroneal retinaculum. Should this band become damaged in some way, your tendons can start to slip out of place, which can also cause snapping or popping sounds. This is a condition called peroneal subluxation. 

Other foot conditions like osteochondritis dissecans and ankle osteoarthritis can also cause symptoms that include popping ankles.

Caring for your popping ankles

If you don’t have any pain associated with your ankle popping, you can try strengthening your ankles with at-home stretches and exercises. These can help minimize popping and snapping, along with helping to prevent any injuries in the future.

At the Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado, we also offer physical therapy to help out with any tendon problem that may occur. This is an important step after an ankle sprain, so it’s important to have our team help your ankle to heal properly and stop the popping and snapping to prevent your ankle from spraining again.

It’s normal for your ankle to pop from time to time, but if it’s happening a lot and causing you pain, it’s a good idea to have it checked out. If you’re dealing with peroneal subluxation, and it’s left untreated, it can start to cause damage to your tendons. Our team is able to examine your ankle and determine a treatment plan that’s best for you and your needs.

If you’d like to find out what’s causing your ankle popping, contact our team at our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to set up an appointment. Call us at 719-488-4664, or use our online booking tool today.

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Office CLOSED 3/14/24 for Winter Storm

Our office will be closed on 3/14/24 for the anticipated large impact winter storm that is approaching.  We will still be available by phone at 719-488-4664 during business hours to help you.