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Pei-Jiun Cheah

Pei-Jiun Cheah

Ankle Stability: The Lateral Ankle

This month we will be looking at the ankle stability and the role that ankle strength and alignment play. 

The ankle joint consists of the Tibia, Fibula, Calcaneus and Talus bones as well as muscles and ligaments.  The muscles are responsible for movement and control of the joint whilst the ligaments connect the bones together

The ankle is essential for all activities involving mobility or standing. When components of the ankle joint do not perform their role then these tasks become restricted or in more severe cases painful.  Dysfunction associated with the lateral ankle is usually associated with internal rotation of the foot or an outward rollout of the ankle joint, which is referred to as inversion.  This motion can commonly be associated with muscle strain as the muscles become over worked as they are constantly trying to correct foot position.  In cases of force or trauma, sprain can occur to the ATFL, PTFL or CFL ligaments.

How to check your ankle alignment and stability:

  • Stand as you naturally would
  • Compare the line of your calf to the line of your heel
  • The line of the ankle should be straight, if there is an angle present then the ankle is in either inversion or eversion
The image below presents 3 illustrations of an ankle. 
  • A: The ankle in inversion with an out-rolled ankle.
  • B: A neutral ankle.
  • C: An everted ankle with an in-rolled ankle.

If there is a significant angle present then exercises may be required to strengthen the ankle muscles and correct its position or you may need to consider some orthotics. If you have had many ankle strains or sprains, your ankle may now sit in one of these positions. Come into the clinic if you would like us to check your ankle alignment.

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