Your therapist will often diagnose an FHL Tendinopathy by assessing your foot with manual tests, but they may also send you for an MRI to get confirmation of the diagnosis.
Initially treatment consists of rest from the aggravating activity, while developing a comprehensive program (such as our "Will I Ever Dance Again"program) to keep the rest of your body in shape. This is extremely important to prevent other injuries when you return to dance. Depending on the severity of the damage to the tendon the period of rest may be anything from a couple of days to several weeks.
Anti-inflammatory medications may be used to help reduce any inflammation, but often the damage to the tendon is actually degradation rather than inflammation, so this may not result in full resolution of the symptoms.
One of the most important aspects of treatment is retraining the bio-mechanics of the foot and ankle to prevent the injury from reoccurring. This involves not only the muscles in the feet, but also your core and turnout muscles to make sure that correct alignment of the leg can be maintained at all times. Often a Floor Barre is used to continue to maintain and improve your technique while retraining the muscle memory in your brain.
If the damage to the tendon is severe, or a large thickened lump has developed in the tendon, you may require surgical intervention to "clean up" the tendon. This allows the tendon to slide smoothly once again and can make a huge difference to the pain and clicking. However, all surgery has it's risks, and the decision to operate should never be taken lightly, and should always be a last resort, after all of the other treatments have been tried.
If you think that you may have a FHL Tendionopathy then please contact us for a professional diagnosis, treatment and a comprehensive rehab plan.