Foot & Ankle
The foot and ankle is a relatively complex area of the body in terms of the number of different structures that make it up. The lower leg consists of two bones – the Tibia and Fibula and the foot and toes are made up of a further 26 bones. Alongside this are multiple soft tissues that include muscles, tendons and ligaments. Any of these structures could be involved in an injury or disease but the most frequently treated foot and ankle problems are:
- Lateral Ankle injury - The most commonly injured ligaments in the body are the lateral ligaments of the ankle that run from the bone on the outside of your ankle joint down to your foot.
- Calf Muscle Strain – The two muscles that make up the calf complex are responsible for generating large forces through the ankle, especially with running and jumping. It is common for them to get injured.
- Ankle Osteoarthritis – is less common than arthritis in the knees or hips but can cause stiffness, pain and difficulty with mobility.
- Achilles Tendinopathy – The Achilles tendon provides the attachment of the two calf muscles into the heel bone and as such has to withstand large forces. It can be prone to overuse and once injured can take some time to heal.
- Posterior Tibial Tendon dysfunction – involves the tendon that runs down the inside of the ankle, under the ankle bone and attaches onto your foot. As well as generating movement it also provides stability and helps form the arch of the foot.
- Plantar Heel Pain – is the most common cause of pain in the sole of the foot. Involving a thick band of tissue called fascia it can become irritated and painful and is often stubborn to treat.
Often ankle pain responds well to simple advice and self- management. Follow the links below for further information on how to manage these common problems.