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If you suffer from deteriorative arthritis, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is Equinus?

Equinus is a term used to describe a condition where the ankle joint has limited or restricted dorsiflexion, which is the movement that allows the foot to be flexed upward toward the shin. In simpler terms, equinus refers to a reduced ability to bring the foot upward or to bend the ankle joint in the direction of the shin.

What Are The Two Types of Equinus?

  1. Structural equinus: This occurs when there is a physical limitation in the structures of the ankle joint, such as tightness or shortening of the Achilles tendon or calf muscles. Structural equinus can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired due to conditions like muscular dystrophy, clubfoot, or previous injuries/surgeries that resulted in scarring or contractures.
  2. Functional equinus: In this case, the ankle joint has a normal or near-normal range of motion, but there are compensatory factors that restrict dorsiflexion during movement. These factors can include muscle imbalances, neurological conditions, or gait abnormalities.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Equinus?

    Treatment for equinus depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Non-surgical interventions may include:

    • Stretching exercises: Specific stretching routines targeting the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can help improve ankle dorsiflexion.
    • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can provide guidance on stretching techniques, strengthening exercises, and gait training.
    • Orthotic devices: Heel lifts or shoe inserts can help compensate for the limited ankle motion and improve foot alignment and function.
    • Night splints: Wearing a splint or brace at night can help maintain a prolonged stretch on the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
    • Footwear modifications: Using shoes with a heel lift or shoe modifications to accommodate the equinus can be beneficial.

    In cases where conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief or when there is a significant structural limitation, surgical intervention, such as tendon lengthening or other corrective procedures, may be considered.

    It is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for equinus. They can assess the underlying cause, provide personalized recommendations, and monitor progress to improve ankle range of motion and prevent complications.


    If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.