Equinus is a condition in which, simply put, the ankle is unable to bend upward enough to allow the body to move and walk properly. The motion of the ankle is important, and if the ankle cannot bend upward enough the body becomes unable move as efficiently, and other joints and muscles need to work extra to make this motion possible.
There are several reasons why the ankle motion becomes restricted. The most common cause of this is tightness in the Achilles tendon or the tissue that attaches it to the calf muscles. Another reason for this tightness includes bone spurring on the front of the ankle that blocks the ankle from moving upward. Yet another reason for equinus is related to the presence of very high arches.
Equinus can lead to pain and foot injury indirectly, because the added pressure on the ball of the foot can contribute to joint damage and inflammation, nerve inflammation, as well as skin pressure leading to painful calluses and sores.
Equinus is treated either with aggressive stretching and physical therapy to relax the Achilles tendon, or surgery to lengthen or loosen the Achilles tendon or remove any bone spurring that is blocking the motion. Since equinus contributes indirectly to so many foot conditions, it is important to treat it appropriately and accurately to improve the ankle movement.