Injuries & Broken Bones
The ankle joint comprises three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. The ends of the fibula and tibia (lower leg bones) form the lateral (outer) and medial (inner) malleolus respectively, and together they form a mortise under which the talus sits. The joint is protected by a fibrous membrane called a joint capsule, and filled with lubricating synovial fluid to enable smooth movement.
Lisfranc (Midfoot) Injuries
The tarsometatarsal joints, or Lisfranc joints, are the midfoot joints where the long metatarsals meet the midfoot (tarsal) bones. Lisfranc fractures and fracture-dislocations describe a broad spectrum of injuries where the Lisfranc complex is disrupted by either tearing of soft tissues, fractured bones, or both. Injuries range from mild cases with partial sprains of the Lisfranc ligaments, through to severe fractures with dislocation of the midfoot joints.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in society, and occur when you suddenly fall or twist the joint, or land in an awkward position after a jump. They result in pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, stiffness, and an inability to bear full weight through the ankle.
Stress Fractures of the Foot & Ankle
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone which occurs due to overuse. They most commonly occur in the weight bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. When the bones are subjected to abnormal stress, such as an increase in activity or a new exercise regime, they may not be well adapted to the new forces, and they can crack under the new stresses.
The talus is the small bone that forms the lower part of the ankle joint, and allows for flexion and extension of the ankle. It essentially connects the leg to the foot, and sits between the ankle mortise formed by the ends of the tibia and fibula. Underneath the talus is the calcaneus (heel bone), and the joint they form (the subtalar joint) is responsible for side-to-side movement of the foot.
Toe & Forefoot Fractures
The forefoot is the front of the foot that includes the toes. Fractures occurring in this part of the foot are painful but not often disabling. There are two main types of foot fractures: traumatic fractures and stress fractures. Stress fractures are tiny hair line cracks in the bone, most commonly caused due to repeated stress from overuse. Traumatic fractures can occur when there is a direct impact to your foot, such as dropping a heavy weight on it, or an indirect force such as catching your foot in a pothole and twisting.
Turf toe is an injury to the soft tissues at the base of the big toe. It is a painful condition which usually results from jamming of the toe into the ground or excessive backward bending (extension) of the toe. As it is more common in athletes playing on artificial turf, especially those involved in field sports such as football, baseball and soccer, it is known as turf toe.
Fracture of the Calcaneus
The calcaneus or heel bone is the largest bone in the foot and is situated at the lower back part of the foot. The calcaneus forms the subtalar joint with the talus, which helps provide side-to-side movement of the foot. Fractures of the calcaneus reduce or prevent movement of the subtalar joint. Calcaneus fractures may lead to deformity of the heel and foot, irregularity of the subtalar joint, post-traumatic arthritis, and affect the surrounding tendons and nerves of the heel.
Achilles Tendon Rupture
An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden acceleration with running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. Recreational sports that may cause Achilles rupture include tennis, football, basketball and gymnastics.
Ankle Sprains & Instability
An ankle sprain means a partial or complete tear of the ligaments of the ankle. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral (outside) part of the ankle. This is an extremely common injury which affects many people during a wide variety of activities. Ankle sprains most commonly occur in isolation, but can also occur in the setting of an ankle fracture (i.e. a broken ankle).
High Ankle Sprains
The high ankle ligaments are located above the ankle, as opposed to the more commonly injured ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The high ankle ligaments are called the anterior inferior tibiofibular (AITFL) and posterior inferior tibiofibular (PITFL) ligaments. These ligaments connect the two bones of the leg, the tibia and fibula, just above the ankle joint – this area is called the syndesmosis. It is critical to have stability between these two bones as they form the top and sides of the ankle joint and are subject to high forces when walking and running.