Ankle locking: Why it occurs while walking?

11 October 2017
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11 October 2017, Comments: 0

Ankle locking that occurs while walking can be debilitating and painful. This makes daily activities and tasks difficult. It is important to note that ankle locking might be an indication of various conditions such as ankle instability, ligament tear, bone spurs, arthritis and osteochondritis dissecans. If the individual experiences ankle locking while walking, a doctor should be consulted for a diagnosis.

Ankle ligament tears and instability

Sustaining repeated ankle sprains or serious injuries can take its toll on the ankle. Once the ankle is turned or twisted outside its normal range of movement, a ligament tear occurs.


Ankle arthritis can develop due to a traumatic injury to the ankle or normal wear and tear that occurs as one starts to age.

After some time, the condition can become chronic and result to ankle instability. A tear on the ligament and instability can result to discomfort, swelling, ankle locking, cracking and sensation of instability while walking and other weight-bearing activities.

The condition can be managed with adequate rest, immobilization, ankle brace, physical therapy and even surgery as the last option.

Can ankle arthritis cause ankle locking?

Ankle arthritis can develop due to a traumatic injury to the ankle or normal wear and tear that occurs as one starts to age.

Arthritis develops once the cartilage cushioning the joints wear out. Once the ankle bones start to rub against each other, various symptoms might arise such as swelling, pain, ankle locking and reduced range of motion.

Bone spurs

Bone spurs can form on the edges of the bones where the tendons and ligaments link to the bones. The formation of bone spurs can occur in the ankle and heal which leads to ankle locking.

What is osteochondritis dissecans?

Osteochondritis dissecans is characterized by the diminished flow of blood to the end region of a bone including the ankle. The flow of blood is reduced due to a loose piece of cartilage at the end of the bone. The condition is likely to arise after ankle injuries.

Disclaimer / More Information

The information posted on this page on ankle locking is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn more about the causes of this joint issue, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

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