The joint between our foot and legs where movement occurs in two planes is the ankle. It is the part of our body that allows us to withstand 1.5 times of our body weight when we walk and up to eight times of said weight when we run. With the important function this part of our body plays in our mobility, it is a must to protect it from injuries. This can be best done with the use of ankle protectors.
The ankle is made up of different parts which have their own function. There are three primary bones that comprise the ankle. First is the tibia or the shin bone. The second one is the fibula which is also known as the small bone outside of the ankle. Lastly is the talus or commonly known as the foot bone. Aside from bones, there also two joints that makes up the ankle, namely the subtalar and the true ankle joint. The one responsible for the side to side motion of the feet is the subtalar joint, while the one who allows the up and down movement is the true ankle joint. Inside these joints is a slick materials called articular cartilage which keeps a smooth movement of the bones against each other.
Other parts of the ankle include the ligament and tendons, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The work of the ligaments and tendon is to support the ankle joint. The ligaments are soft tissues that attach bones to bones. On the other hand, the tendons are also soft tissues but instead of bones to bones they attach the muscles to bone. Among the tendons and ligaments present in the ankle are the deltoid ligament, anterior talofibular ligament, posterior ligament, calcaneifibular ligament, Achilles tendon, posterior tibial tendon, and the anterior tibial tendon. The abovementioned parts of the ankle all work together to get the ankle working properly, hence if one of them gets injured our performance will be affected, hence it is important to protect our ankles from injuries.
Injuries in the ankle can make it difficult for one to perform his/her activities without pain or problems. One of the most common ankle injuries is common ankle injury is ankle sprain which involves one or more ligaments in the ankle. This injury often occurs when the ankle is turned inward. Statistics show that approximately 25,000 people sprain their ankle everyday. Another common ankle injury is ankle fracture which generally means that one or more of the bones of the ankle joints are separated into pieces. Records show that 184 out of 100,000 persons are injured with ankle fractures every year. In 2003 alone, there were nearly 1.2 million reported cases of ankle fractures. Other ankle injuries include plantar fasciitis or heel pain and snowboarder’s ankle or fracture of the lateral process of the talus bone.
People who often suffer from ankle injuries are those who are actively participates in sports like soccer, football, and other game that involves the use of the feet. In order to avoid getting injured it is important to protect the ankle with ankle protectors that are available in the market. These protectors are made of different materials like sturdy materials to protect the ankle from sudden blows or twisting. Soft materials are also used to make ankle protectors as cushion to distribute the force over a wide area. Aside form these, materials such as fiberglass, foam rubber, and polyurethane are also used to manufacture ankle protector.
Ankles are indeed one of the most important parts of our body that aid in our movement. As such, it is a must that we always practice caution when performing activities that involve their use. Among the safety precautions that may be incorporated with these practices is the use of ankle protectors especially when participating in contact sports.
Jordan McAlley is an athlete living in Germany, who recently suffered a foot injury. During his treatment, Jordan used Fussgelenkstuetze (the German term for “ankle protector”) in order heal his injury faster.