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Clin Anat. 2018 Nov;31(8):1144-1150. doi: 10.1002/ca.23216. Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Prevalence and location of bone spurs in anterior ankle impingement: A cadaveric investigation.

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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.


Anterior ankle impingement (AAI) results from repetitive microtrauma leading to pain and decreased dorsiflexion due to spur formation and synovial hypertrophy. Information about the prevalence of anterior spur formation in a large population, and the individual contributions of the talus and tibia to osseous impingement, is limited. A total of 670 ankle specimens from 344 individuals (n = 111 females, n = 233 males) aged 20 to 40 years at the time of death were examined. Matching tibia and talus were opposed and any spurring causing impingement was recorded. Spur locations were measured and ratios calculated to allow for inter-specimen comparison between: (1) medial-to-lateral and anterior-to-posterior spur location versus dimensions of talar neck width, and (2) medial-to-lateral spur location to dimensions of distal anterior tibial width. Differences in spur prevalence in relation to sex, race, height and age were identified by univariant and multivariable statistical analyses. Bony impingement was observed in 21% (n = 72) of specimens, with bilateral involvement in 8% (n = 27). For ankles with AAI, spurs were seen on the talus only in 61%, on the tibia only in 14%, and on both the tibia and talus in 26%. Spurs were significantly more prevalent in males (P = 0.001) and with increasing specimen age (P = 0.002). There were no significant differences related to specimen height or race. Spurs were predominately located on the anterolateral talus (78%) and the anterolateral portion of the distal tibial margin (80%). AAI was present in 21% of young osseous specimens and was significantly more prevalent in males and with increasing specimen age. Clin. Anat. 31:1144-1150, 2018.


ankle; arthritis; impingement; talus; tibia

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