The ankle joint acts like a hinge. But it’s much more than a simple hinge joint. The ankle is actually made up of several important structures. The unique design of the ankle makes it a very stable joint. This joint has to be stable in order to withstand 1.5 times your body weight when you walk and up to eight times your body weight when you run.
Normal ankle function is needed to walk with a smooth and nearly effortless gait. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the ankle joint work together to propel the body. Conditions that disturb the normal way the ankle works can make it difficult to do your activities without pain or problems.
Our feet are constantly under stress. It’s no wonder that 80 percent of us will have some sort of problem with our feet at some time or another. Many things affect the condition of our feet: activity level, occupation, other health conditions, and perhaps most importantly, shoes. Many of the problems that arise in the foot are directly related to shoes, so it is very important to choose shoes that are good for your feet.
Precision Orthopedics & Sports Medicine’s Approach to Treatment for Foot and Ankle Injuries:
Plantar fasciitis is an irritation of the plantar fascia. It supports the foot’s natural arch and stretches mildly whenever the foot bears weight. It becomes irritated when it sustains repetitive stress or excessive tension.
Heel Spurs often develop as a result of chronic plantar fasciitis. They occur when calcium deposits form where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. Heel spurs may or may not cause pain. Treatment will be determined by our physicians and may include rest, application of ice, anti-inflammatory medication, strengthening exercise and surgery.
The ankle joint is supported by nearby tendons. The large Achilles tendon is the most important tendon for walking, running, and jumping. It attaches the calf muscles to the calcaneus (heelbone) and allows us to raise up on our toes. Treatment will be determined by your physician and may include rest, application of ice, over-the-counter pain relievers and physical therapy. Heel lifts can diminish stress on the Achilles tendon and are often helpful. Occasionally immobilization in a walking boot or cast is recommended. Ruptures are treated either with surgery, a cast or both.
Ankle sprains occur when one or more ligaments are stretched or torn during sports, stepping on an uneven surface or a blow to the ankle. Acute ankle sprains should be treated with RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Early rehabilitation with home exercise or formal physical therapy can improve range of motion and speed healing.
The anatomy of both the foot and ankle is very complex. When everything works together, they function correctly. When one part becomes damaged, it can affect every other part of the ankle and foot, leading to problems.