Ankle Treatment

The ankle is the area where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint.

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The ankle joint provides up-and-down movement of the foot. The subtalar joint sits beneath the ankle joint and provides side-to-side motion of the foot. A diverse set of ligaments (made of tough, moveable tissue) surround the actual ankle and subtalar joints, binding the bones of the leg to one another and those of the foot.

Three important bones that make up the ankle are the following:

  • Tibia - The shin bone
  • Fibula - The thinner bone running next to the shin bone
  • Talus - A foot bone that sits above the heel bone

The other important structures found in the ankle are:

  • The medial malleolus - on the inside of your ankle, is part of the tibia's base
  • The posterior malleolus - on the back of your ankle, is also part of the tibia's base
  • The lateral malleolus - on the outside of your ankle, is the low end of the fibula
  • Sprained Ankle - Injury to one of the ligaments in the ankle, typically from an accidental twist or turn of the foot.
  • High Ankle Sprain - Injury of the ligament joining the two bones of the lower leg (tibia and fibula) called the syndesmotic ligament. A high ankle sprain has similar pain and swelling to a true ankle sprain but can take longer to heal.
  • Ankle Fracture - An injury to any of the three bones in the ankle. Most commonly, the bones of the lower leg (tibia or fibula) are fractured.
  • Ankle Arthritis - While not common, osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, can affect the ankle.
  • Ankle Surgery - Surgery may be required for many severe ankle conditions. In general, ankle surgery is implemented to help make the ankle more stable.
  • Syndesmotic Screw - A screw is placed joining the lower leg bones, keeping the bones together and giving a high ankle sprain time to heal. Once healed, the screw is removed.
  • Ankle Arthroscopic Surgery - A minimally invasive ankle surgery using tools inserted through small incisions in the ankle. An endoscope allows a surgeon to view the inside of the ankle joint on a video screen helping treat the affected area.
  • Ankle Fusion Surgery - A surgical procedure used to fuse the bones of the ankle, limiting movement in the ankle. Ankle fusion is done to relieve the pain of severe ankle arthritis.

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