Ankle Structure

One mile of walking can generate more than 60 tons of stress on each foot. It is not surprising then that more than 20% of musculoskeletal problems seen affect the lower extremity. More than 25,000 people sprain an ankle each day in the United States, not all of which are simple injuries. Sometimes up to 40% of these patients can have residual symptoms. Of course, not every "ankle sprain" really is an ankle sprain. There are other injuries that can occur and the following material will review this briefly.

The ankle is a connection between the leg and foot. It is the junction of three bones, the tibia, the talus and the fibula. The main articular portion really is between the talus and tibia. It is stabilized by multiple ligaments. On the outside, or lateral, part of the ankle the three prominent stabilizing ligaments are the anterior talofibular ligament, the calcaneofibular ligament, and the posterior talofibular ligament. On the medial, or inner, part of the ankle the deltoid ligament is the primary stabilizer. This is a broad, complicated and very strong ligament.

Between the two leg bones, the fibula and tibia, the thick tissue holding those together is called the syndesmosis.