Chapter 6: The Ankle And Foot

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



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