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Wiki Revision Date - 01 Jul 2015 14:56
Talocrural Region (Combined Ankle Joint)
Bones: The Tibia is in contact with the Fibula. The Tibia in contact with the Talus (refereed to as the main ankle bone) and sits just beneath the Tibia. The Talus is in contact with the Calcaneus which makes the bone of the heel.
Cartilage: Here there is a decent layer of cartilage mainly between the Tibia and the Talus and the Talus and the Calcaneus to help the joint move.
Ligaments: Because the fibula extends past the tibia it makes a great (supportive) surface for ligamentary attachments between all of the bones mentioned above. The Calcaneofibular ligament on the outside of the ankle is often injured when the ankle is rolled.
Tendons: Notable tendons include
Muscles: Major muscle include the Gastrocnemius and Soleus on the back of the leg which pull on the Achilles tendon pointing the foor down. Notably the Gastrocnemius has two heads connecting to each side of the end of the femur by the knee. The Tibialis Anterior is the only muscle that pulls the foot upwards, it starts on the outside of the Tibia on the lower leg and runs to inside of the ankle by the first metatarsal.
Mechanics: Because of the small size and shape of the ankle bones the angle of the joint is always decreasing therefore dorsiflexion is pulling the foot upwards and plantarflexion is pointing the foot downwards. Inversion is rolling the ankle inwards while Eversion is rolling the ankle outwards.
Range of motion: At the core of the joint the average plantarflexion is around 50 degrees downwards which is enough (in combination with foot muscles) put the foot/toes in line with the leg. As for dorsiflexion the ankle is able to flex roughly 30 degrees upwards. The ankle is able to roll inwards or outwards and lifting the side of the foot off the ground at roughly 5 degrees.
Support: The ankle is the lowest joint with the most importance to bearing the weight of the body, therefore during physical activities the weight of our body, the momentum as which we are moving, and gravity exert a force on our ankle that is larger than that of our body weight.
Usage: Besides walking and other body mechanics there is practically no usage of the joint (especially as a striking surface).
Injury: Many ankle injuries occur due to over inversion or over eversion (ankle rolling in or out).
Strengthening: Ankle rotations will help as well as walking briefly on the inside or outside of your feet to help strengthen the ankle. This only requires a minute or so a day and will improve ankle support during high impact activities.
For information on additional joints please refer back to the Joints page.
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