Joint Injury Series – The Ankle

So, yesterday I covered common knee injuries and the basics structure.  Today I wanted to cover the ankle.  This is another place to injuries to occur because of dabbing your foot or casing a jump.  Not only does the ankle have to be incredibly strong to withstand the forces applied to it, but it much must able to be flexible enough to absorb the forces when changing direction.  It can also be divided into 2 “joints”.  The ankle joint allows you to move your foot up and down, while the subtalar joint allows movement from side to side (i.e. letting you walk on the side on your foot).

The ligaments that hold your tibia, fibula, calcaneous (the heel), and foot together are a little more complicated than the knee.  The lateral (outside) portion of the ankle has about four ligaments attached to the bones.  On the medial (inside) and posterior (behind) portion of the ankle, there are another three ligaments.  Each one is named to the bone they are attached to and whether they are posterior or anterior.  So there is a little more to the ankle than most people think.

When someone says they have sprained their ankle, they are most likely talking about the anterior talofibular ligament, which is located on the front part of the foot, towards the lateral portion of the ankle.  Just like the knee, whenever the ankle is pushed too far past the normal degree of the ligaments, they are going to either get stretched, torn, or ruptured.  This is the same scenario for a major tendon, the Achilles Tendon.  Injuring this can be from having your feet too far back on the pegs and landing off of a jump.  This sends all of the downward force on your ankles and pulls the Achilles Tendon away from the insertion points.

The healing process should start as soon as possible.  To get this going, a great place to start is to use the RICE method; Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate.  Depending on the severity of the accident and condition of the ligaments, putting the ankle in a brace for a couple of weeks is pretty normal.  After a few weeks, close supervision of movement helps the joints from getting too stiff.  Like the knee, any tearing of the ligaments or tendons takes a lot of time to heal.  Tomorrow I will go over the shoulder girdle.

Posted on Aug 17 2011, under Training | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Joint Injury Series – The Ankle”

  1. I know exactly what you mean!!! I cased a triple @underground MX an my left foot happened to be to far back on the peg and when I G’d out my heel broke exactly where the achilles tendon attaches. Got a pretty gnarly scar if y’all accept pics haha.. Thanks for the extra info and anything regarding PT wouldbe great..

    Cbristopher “Chicken” McMurrey

  2. Chicken,

    Man that sounds painful. I used do the same thing when I was younger, but not nearly as bad as you. Send me the pics and I’ll put them up on the site. I’ll look some stuff up tonight get back to you tomorrow for some more PT info.


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