Some people might regard the ankle and foot as a boring couple—maybe not as dull as the spleen and the intestine, but certainly not as glamorous as the eyes and lips. However, as a mechanical device, the ankle and the foot can boast of several extraordinary features: they are (1) so resilient and well constructed that they can withstand the repetitive pounding of heavy loads—often several times bodyweight—for years without apparent damage; (2) so sensitive that they can detect and identify a tiny pebble; (3) so dexterous that with training, they can replace the hand and fingers for many intricate functions; (4) so reliable that they function largely without conscious instruction.
But as talented as the ankle and foot are, sometimes sports call for the impossible, so it is not surprising that ankle injuries are among the most common injuries in athletes across all sports. Although these are usually minor, some result in extended athletic disability.
Table of Contents: What’s Normal 151 Bones 151 Joints 153 Motion 153 Gait Cycle 158 Injuries 160 Ankle Sprain 161 The Young Athlete’s Ankle 167 Chronic Lateral Ligament Instability 167 Achilles’s Tendon 168 Plantar Fasciitis 172 Stress Fractures 174 Turf Toe 178