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Ankle Discussion

Ankle Discussion

One of the hardest working joints within the human body. The ankle provides stability and support, allowing us to move on various types of surfaces and can navigate rocky terrane.

With standing huge amounts of pressure supporting our body weight, the ankle is a complex structure made up of a multitude of ligaments, tendons, bones and muscular structures surrounding it.

In many differing publications the ankle is reported to have a contrasting number of joints. If we are being specific it actually consists of three with numerous bones that articulate at certain points. Within this blog we are going to look in depth at all three and their different makeup. With each joint also consisting of a number of tendons and ligaments to ensure stability.

The ankle provides a platform for us to move in a number of directions and hold our body weight. Add to this contact sport and the pressures of everyday life, then it’s quite easy to understand why it’s one of the most commonly injury’s in sport.

Bones and Joints of the ankle.

The main and most referred to and prominate bones in the ankle joint are the tibia, fibula, talus and calcaneus. All articulate at certain joints within the ankle.

Talocrural Joint: - A synovial hinge joint (the one we all think of) formed by the distal ends of the fibula and tibia that join the upper part of the talus. the joint allows for dorsiflexion (toes up) and plantarflexion (toes down, like a ballet dancer!).

Inferior tibiofibular Joint: - One of the lesser know parts of the ankle! It is very strong and located between the lower surfaces of the tibia and fibula. This is supported by the inferior tibiofibular ligament.

Subtalar Joint: - Bring together the surfaces of the talus bone and the calcaneus (heel bone). It provides to be a great shock absorber and the aids the movements of both inversion (inwards/towards body) and eversion (outwards/away front he body) movements of the ankle. So when we move across the rocker terrain it comes in handy!

Ligaments within the ankle Joint:

The ankle has numerous ligaments. In make-up they are extremely strong and are able to take a lot of pressure from both intrinsic and extrinsic forces. Ligaments have a poor blood supply however so are often slower to heal than our skeletal muscles. These dense fibrous pieces of connective tissue provide us with stability and strength. Aiding us in our everyday movements.

Lateral Collateral Ligament: - The lateral collateral ligament prevents of excessive inversion, the toes coming into the midline. It is considerably weaker than the larger medial ligament and thus sprains to the lateral ligament are much more common. It is made up of 3 individual bands:

  • Anterior talofibular ligament: - passes from the anterior aspect of the fibula to the front of the talus bone.
  • Calcaneofibular ligament:  - Connects the calcaneus and the fibula
  • Posterior talofibular Ligament: – passes from the back of the fibula to the rear surface of the calcaneus.

Medial Collateral Ligament: - also known as the deltoid ligament is considerably thicker than the lateral ligament and spreads out in a fan shape to cover the distal (bottom) end of the tibia and the inner surfaces of the talus, navicular, and calcaneus. Named due to its similarity of the deltoid muscle group found in the shoulder.

During your studies the anatomy and function of the ankle joint is just one of the areas you will look at in depth, when becoming a personal trainer or a sports massage therapist. Why not have a look at the differing study options available for each course at http://www.bodyaidsolutions.co.uk/courses/sports-massage/

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