Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Inferior Extensor Retinaculum and What is its Function?

To understand the location and function of Inferior Extensor Retinaculum it is important to understand what retinaculum actually means. The term retinaculum is given to any region of the body where tendons from different muscles pass under one connective tissue band. Now, coming to the Inferior Extensor Retinaculum, this is situated in the front part of the ankle. The inferior extensor retinaculum is located at the front of the ankle joint and is attached laterally to the heel bone. The Inferior Extensor Retinaculum is double layered with one layer passing behind and another payer passing above the tendons of the Extensor Digitorum Longus muscle. These two layers then join together and encase the tendons within them. Person can encounter Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain if there is excess amount of pressure put on the ankle. This is normally seen with athletes who sprint and run. Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain can also happen to any person if for any reason there is undue pressure put on the ankle such as with standing for long periods of time, a slip and fall off of a curb and hence twisting the ankle, or being hit on the ankle by an object. Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain is treated conservatively along with the use of wraps and support, ice and coolants etc.

Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain

Signs and Symptoms of Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain

The main symptoms of Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain are:

  • Moderate to severe pain in the ankle and foot with ambulating or running or in fact any movement of the foot.
  • Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain can also be accompanied with swelling and tenderness in the ankle region of the foot and the lower legs.
  • Person suffering from Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain may have symptoms of difficulty in wearing shoes and socks with experience of pain in the foot and ankle.

What Can Cause Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain?

Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or strain can be caused due to a variety of reasons spanning from excessive load put on the ankle and foot to simple slip and fall injury or forceful twisting of the ankle. It may also be caused due to certain medical conditions where the tendons and muscles get inflamed. To sum it up, some of the common causes Inferior Extensor Retinaculum pain or strain are simple sprains, fractures, twisting injury, or injuries which result in tear to ligament or tendons.

What is the Treatment for Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain?

First and foremost rest is recommended for an individual suffering from Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain so that healing takes place in an expedited fashion. Complete immobilization of the affected foot is necessary for which the physician may recommend casting as well. Use of NSAIDs is recommended to control swelling, pain, and inflammation associated with Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain. In very rare cases, surgery is required to treat an injured Inferior Extensor Retinaculum. After a period of about two weeks of immobilization, the patient will be put on partial weightbearing on the affected foot for a few days to a week followed by full weightbearing and then gradual return to activities after recuperating from Inferior Extensor Retinaculum Pain or Strain.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest