Anterior ankle impingement with and without ankle osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition. Bony impingement between the distal tibia and talus aggravated by dorsiflexion has been well described. The etiology of these impingement lesions remains controversial. This study describes a cam-type impingement of the ankle, in which the sagittal contour of the talar dome is a non-circular arc, causing pathologic contact with the anterior aspect of the tibial plafond during dorsiflexion, leading to abnormal ankle joint mechanics by limiting dorsiflexion.
A group of 269 consecutive adult patients from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics who were treated for anterior bony impingement syndrome were evaluated as the study population. As a control group, 41 patients without any evidence of impingement or arthrosis were evaluated. Standardized standing lateral ankle radiographs were evaluated to determine the contour of the head/neck relationship in the talus. Two investigators made all the radiographic measurements and intra- and inter-observer reliability were measured.
34% of patients were found to have some anterior extension of the talar dome creating a loss of the normal concavity at the dorsal medial talar neck. A group of 36 patients (13%) were identified as having the most severe cam deformity in order to assess any correlation with coexisting radiographic abnormalities. In these patients, a cavo-varus foot type was more commonly observed. Comparison with a control group showed much lower rates of anterior-medial cam-type deformity of the talus.
Cam type impingement of the ankle is likely a distinct form of bony impingement of the ankle secondary to a morphological talar bony abnormality. Based on the findings of this study, this form of impingement may be related to a cavovarus foot type. In addition, there may be long term implications in the development of ankle OA.
Level of Evidence
Impingement syndromes of the ankle involve either osseous or soft tissue impingement and can be anterior, anterolateral, or posterior. Ankle impingement syndromes are painful conditions caused by the friction of joint tissues, which are both the cause and the effect of altered joint biomechanics. The distal fascicle of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (AITFL) is possible cause of anterior impingement. The objective of this article was to review the literature concerning the anatomy, pathogenesis, symptoms and treatment of the AITFL impingement and finally to formulate treatment recommendations. The AITFL starts from the distal tibia, 5 mm in average above the articular surface, and descends obliquely between the adjacent margins of the tibia and fibula, anterior to the syndesmosis to the anterior aspect of the lateral malleolus. The incidence of the accessory fascicle differs very widely in the several studies. The presence of the distal fascicle of the AITFL and also the contact with the anterolateral talus is probably a normal finding. It may become pathological, due to anatomical variations and/or anterolateral instability of the ankle resulting from an anterior talofibular ligament injury. When observed during an ankle arthroscopy, the surgeon should look for the criteria described to decide whether it is pathological and considering resection of the distal fascicle. The presence of the AITFL and the contact with the talus is a normal finding. An impingement of the AITFL can result from an anatomical variant or anteroposterior instability of the ankle. The diagnosis of ligamentous impingement in the anterior aspect of the ankle should be considered in patients who have chronic ankle pain in the anterolateral aspect of the ankle after an inversion injury and have a stable ankle, normal plain radiographs, and isolated point tenderness on the anterolateral aspect of the talar dome and in the anteroinferior tibiofibular ligament. The impingement syndrome can be treated arthroscopically.
Ankle; Impingement syndrome; Anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament; Accessory fascicle
Chronic lateral ankle instability often accompanies intra-articular lesions, and arthroscopy is often useful in diagnosis and treatment of intra-articular lesions.
Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations and arthroscopic findings were reviewed retrospectively and compared in 65 patients who underwent surgery for chronic lateral ankle instability from January 2006 to January 2010. MR images obtained were assessed by two radiologists, and the inter- and intra-observer reliability was calculated. American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores were evaluated.
Abnormalities of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) were found in all 65 (100%) cases. In arthroscopy examinations, 33 (51%) cases had talar cartilage lesions, and 3 (5%) cases had 'tram-track' cartilage lesion. Additionally, 39 (60%) cases of synovitis, 9 (14%) cases of anterior impingement syndrome caused by osteophyte, 14 (22%) cases of impingement syndrome caused by fibrotic band and tissue were found. Sensitivity of MRI examination for each abnormality was: ATFL, 60%; osteochondral lesion of talus (OLT), 46%; syndesmosis injury, 21%; synovitis, 21%; anterior impingement syndrome caused by osteophyte, 22%. Paired intra-observer reliability was measured by a kappa statistic of 0.787 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.641 to 0.864) for ATFL injury, 0.818 (95% CI, 0.743 to 0.908) for OLT, 0.713 (95% CI, 0.605 to 0.821) for synovitis, and 0.739 (95% CI, 0.642 to 0.817) for impingement. Paired inter-observer reliability was measured by a kappa statistic of 0.381 (95% CI, 0.241 to 0.463) for ATFL injury, 0.613 (95% CI, 0.541 to 0.721) for OLT, 0.324 (95% CI, 0.217 to 0.441) for synovitis, and 0.394 (95% CI, 0.249 to 0.471) for impingement. Mean AOFAS score increased from 64.5 to 87.92 (p < 0.001) when there was no intra-articular lesion, from 61.07 to 89.04 (p < 0.001) in patients who had one intra-articular lesion, and from 61.12 to 87.6 (p < 0.001) in patients who had more than two intra-articular lesions.
Although intra-articular lesion in patients with chronic lateral ankle instability is usually diagnosed with MRI, its sensitivity and inter-observer reliability are low. Therefore, arthroscopic examination is strongly recommended because it improved patients' residual symptoms and significantly increased patient satisfaction.
Chronic lateral ankle instability; Arthroscopy; Magnetic resonance imaging
Ankle sprains are common in sports and can sometimes result in a persistent pain condition.
Primarily to evaluate clinical symptoms, signs, diagnostics and outcomes of surgery for symptomatic chondral injuries of the talo crural joint in athletes. Secondly, in applicable cases, to evaluate the accuracy of MRI in detecting these injuries. Type of study: Prospective consecutive series.
Over around 4 years we studied 61 consecutive athletes with symptomatic chondral lesions to the talocrural joint causing persistent exertion ankle pain.
43% were professional full time athletes and 67% were semi-professional, elite or amateur athletes, main sports being soccer (49%) and rugby (14%). The main subjective complaint was exertion ankle pain (93%). Effusion (75%) and joint line tenderness on palpation (92%) were the most common clinical findings. The duration from injury to arthroscopy for 58/61 cases was 7 months (5.7–7.9). 3/61 cases were referred within 3 weeks from injury. There were in total 75 cartilage lesions. Of these, 52 were located on the Talus dome, 17 on the medial malleolus and 6 on the Tibia plafond. Of the Talus dome injuries 18 were anteromedial, 14 anterolateral, 9 posteromedial, 3 posterolateral and 8 affecting mid talus. 50% were grade 4 lesions, 13.3% grade 3, 16.7% grade 2 and 20% grade 1. MRI had been performed pre operatively in 26/61 (39%) and 59% of these had been interpreted as normal. Detection rate of cartilage lesions was only 19%, but subchondral oedema was present in 55%. At clinical follow up average 24 months after surgery (10–48 months), 73% were playing at pre-injury level. The average return to that level of sports after surgery was 16 weeks (3–32 weeks). However 43% still suffered minor symptoms.
Arthroscopy should be considered early when an athlete presents with exertion ankle pain, effusion and joint line tenderness on palpation after a previous sprain. Conventional MRI is not reliable for detecting isolated cartilage lesions, but the presence of subchondral oedema should raise such suspicion.
Anterior ankle impingement results from an impingement of the ankle joint by a soft tissue or osteophyte formation at the anterior aspect of the distal tibia and talar neck. It often occurs secondary to direct trauma (impaction force) or repetitive ankle dorsiflexion (repetitive impaction and traction force). Chronic ankle pain, swelling, and limitation of ankle dorsiflexion are common complaints. Imaging is valuable for diagnosis of the bony impingement but not for the soft tissue impingement, which is based on clinical findings. MR imaging and MR arthrography are helpful in doubtful diagnoses and the identification of associated injuries. Recommended methods for initial management include rest, physical therapy, and shoe modification. If nonoperative treatment fails, arthroscopic bony or soft tissue debridement both offer significant symptomatic relief with long-term positive outcomes in cases that have no significant arthritic change, associated ligament laxity, and chondral lesion.
Ankle; Impingement; Bony; Soft Tissue; Anterior; Ankle Pain; Chronic; Sport; Arthroscopy; Foot and Ankle; Musculoskeletal
Osteochondral talar defects usually affect athletic patients. The primary surgical treatment consists of arthroscopic debridement and microfracturing. Although this is mostly successful, early sport resumption is difficult to achieve, and it can take up to one year to obtain clinical improvement. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) may be effective for talar defects after arthroscopic treatment by promoting tissue healing, suppressing inflammation, and relieving pain. We hypothesize that PEMF-treatment compared to sham-treatment after arthroscopy will lead to earlier resumption of sports, and aim at 25% increase in patients that resume sports.
A prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted in five centers throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. 68 patients will be randomized to either active PEMF-treatment or sham-treatment for 60 days, four hours daily. They will be followed-up for one year. The combined primary outcome measures are (a) the percentage of patients that resume and maintain sports, and (b) the time to resumption of sports, defined by the Ankle Activity Score. Secondary outcome measures include resumption of work, subjective and objective scoring systems (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society – Ankle-Hindfoot Scale, Foot Ankle Outcome Score, Numeric Rating Scales of pain and satisfaction, EuroQol-5D), and computed tomography. Time to resumption of sports will be analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank tests.
This trial will provide level-1 evidence on the effectiveness of PEMFs in the management of osteochondral ankle lesions after arthroscopy.
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR1636)
Fractures of the lateral process of the talus are uncommon and often overlooked. Typically, they are found in adult snowboarders. We report the case of an 11-year-old male soccer player who complained of lateral ankle pain after an inversion injury 6 months earlier. He did not respond to conservative treatment and thus underwent arthroscopic excision of fragments of the talar lateral process. The ankle was approached through standard medial and anterolateral portals. A 2.7-mm-diameter 30° arthroscope was used. Soft tissues around the talus were cleared with a motorized shaver, and the lateral aspect of the talar process was then visualized. The lateral process presented as an osseous overgrowth, and a loose body was impinged between the talus and the calcaneus. The osseous overgrowth was resected piece by piece with a punch, and the loose body was removed en block. The patient returned to soccer 5 weeks after the operation. This case exemplifies 2 important points: (1) This type of fracture can develop even in children and not only in snowboarders. (2) Arthroscopic excision of talar lateral process fragments can be accomplished easily, and return to sports can be achieved in a relatively short time.
Background and Purpose:
The ankle is the most commonly injured joint during athletic activity. While ankle sprains are certainly the most common injury, ankle fractures can occur frequently. One type of ankle fracture with a reportedly low incidence is the isolated posterior malleolar fracture. Because of the low incidence, isolated posterior malleolar fractures can present a diagnostic challenge. The purpose of this case report is to describe the diagnostic process used for this rare injury that occurred in a physically active college-aged female who injured her ankle when landing from a fall during performance on a military obstacle course.
A 19 year old female United States Military Academy cadet presented to a direct access physical therapy clinic. She was limping, not using any assistive device, and was wearing an ace bandage around her right ankle/foot. Two days earlier she fell from a “10 foot high” structure while performing the military obstacle course. She did not recall details of impact, but she was told by several bystanders that it appeared that she landed on her right foot followed immediately by a transition to her buttocks and then to her back.
Ottawa Ankle Rules and ligamentous testing were negative; however, she was tender to palpation just anterior to the achilles tendon and lateral to the posterior edge of the medial malleolus. Based on mechanism of injury and tenderness of the posterior ankle, a potential posterior ankle fracture was suspected and subsequently confirmed by radiographic studies of the ankle including standard radiographs and computerized tomography.
While the Ottawa Ankle Rules are generally effective in detecting many types of ankle fractures, clinicians should not rely solely on such prediction rules. This case highlights the importance of completing a thorough history and performing a thorough physical examination. This case report focuses on differential diagnosis. It is important to consider all aspects of the patient evaluation process collectively instead of examination pieces individually.
Direct access; Ottawa Ankle Rules; posterior malleolus fracture
Injury to the medial collateral ligament of the elbow (MCL) can be a career-threatening injury for an overhead athlete without appropriate diagnosis and treatment. It has been considered separately from other athletic injuries due to the unique constellation of pathology that results from repetitive overhead throwing. The past decade has witnessed tremendous gains in understanding of the complex interplay between the dynamic and static stabilizers of the athlete's elbow. Likewise, the necessity to treat these problems in a minimally invasive manner has driven the development of sophisticated techniques and instrumentation for elbow arthroscopy.
MCL injuries, ulnar neuritis, valgus extension overload with osteophyte formation and posteromedial impingement, flexor pronator strain, medial epicondyle pathology, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the capitellum have all been described as sequelae of the overhead throwing motion. In addition, loose body formation, bony spur formation, and capsular contracture can all be present in conjunction with these problems or as isolated entities. Not all pathology in the thrower's elbow is amenable to arthroscopic treatment; however, the clinician must be familiar with all of these problems in order to form a comprehensive differential diagnosis for an athlete presenting with elbow pain, and he or she must be comfortable with the variety of open and arthroscopic treatments available to best serve the patient.
An understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the thrower's elbow is critical to the care of this population. The preoperative evaluation should focus on a thorough history and physical examination, as wellas on specific diagnostic imaging modalities. Arthroscopic setup, including anesthesia, patient positioning, and portal choices will be discussed. Operative techniques in the anterior and posterior compartments will bereviewed, as well as postoperative rehabilitationandsurgical results. Lastly, complications will be reviewed.
Injury to the saphenous nerve at the ankle has been described as a complication resulting from incision and dissection over the distal tibia and medial malleolus. However, the exact course and location of the distal saphenous nerve is not well described in the literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the distal limit of the saphenous nerve and its anatomic relationship to commonly identified orthopaedic landmarks and surgical incisions.
Sixteen cadaveric ankles were examined at the level of the distal tibia medial malleolus. An incision was made along the medial aspect of the lower extremity from the knee to the hallux to follow the course and branches of the saphenous nerve under direct visualization. We recorded the shortest distance from the most distal visualized portion of the saphenous nerve to the tip of the medial malleolus, to the antero-medial arthroscopic portal site, and to the tibialis anterior tendon.
The saphenous nerve runs posterior to the greater saphenous vein in the leg and divides into an anterior and posterior branch approximately 3 cm proximal to the tip of the medial malleolus. These branches terminate in the integument proximal to the tip of the medial malleolus, while the vein continues into the foot. The anterior branch ends at the anterior aspect of the medial malleolus near the posterior edge of the greater saphenous vein. The posterior branch ends near the posterior aspect of the medial malleolus.
The average distance from the distal-most visualized aspect of the saphenous nerve to the tip of the medial malleolus measured 8mm +/−; 5mm; from the nerve to the medial arthroscopic portal measured 14mm +/−;2mm; and from the nerve to the tibialis anterior measured 16mm +/−;3mm. In only one case (of 16) was there an identifiable branch of the saphenous nerve extending to the foot and in this specimen it extended to the first metatarsophalangeal joint. The first metatarsophalangeal joint was innervated by the superficial peroneal nerve in all cases. Small variations were also noted.
Discussion and Conclusions
This study highlights the proximity of the distal saphenous nerve to common landmarks in orthopaedic surgery. This has important clinical implications in ankle arthroscopy, tarsal tunnel syndrome, fixation of distal tibia medial malleolar fractures, and other procedures centered about the medial malleolus. While the distal course of the saphenous nerve is generally predictable, variations exist and thus the orthopaedic surgeon must operate cautiously to prevent iatrogenic injury. To avoid saphenous nerve injury, incisions should stay distal to the tip of the medial malleolus. The medial arthroscopic portal should be more than one centimeter from the anterior aspect of the medial malleolus which will also avoid the greater saphenous vein. Incision over the anterior tibialis tendon should stay within one centimeter of the medial edge of the tendon.
The purpose of this case report is to describe the clinical presentation of a patient who had a lateral talar process fracture due to a wakeboarding injury.
A 29-year-old male patient sustained a left ankle injury when the front edge of his wakeboard became immersed in the water. As he fell forward, his foot remained attached to the board, leading to inversion and dorsiflexion stress of the ankle. He presented to a chiropractic clinic with diffuse ankle swelling, tenderness, and pain at the distal aspect of the lateral malleolus. Mild ligamentous laxity of the lateral supporting structures was observed during the physical examination.
Intervention and Outcome
Static and stress radiographs of the left ankle demonstrated a small (McCrory-Bladin type 1) lateral talar process fracture without evidence of gross instability. The patient was referred to a local orthopedic medical specialist for immobilization of the ankle. The patient was treated conservatively with an air cast walking boot for 2 weeks (non–weight-bearing) followed by a 2-week period of partial weight-bearing. At 6 weeks following the injury, a repeated radiographic examination demonstrated complete healing of the fracture. The patient reported minimal tenderness and normal ankle function.
Because of the similar mechanism of injury to those sustained in snowboarding, this case demonstrates the need for increased awareness of lateral process fractures in wakeboarders.
Chiropractic; Athletic injuries; Diagnostic imaging; Radiology; Talus; Snowboarding
Background and purpose
A metallic inlay implant (HemiCAP) with 15 offset sizes has been developed for the treatment of localized osteochondral defects of the medial talar dome. The aim of this study was to test the following hypotheses: (1) a matching offset size is available for each talus, (2) the prosthetic device can be reproducibly implanted slightly recessed in relation to the talar cartilage level, and (3) with this implantation level, excessive contact pressures on the opposite tibial cartilage are avoided.
The prosthetic device was implanted in 11 intact fresh-frozen human cadaver ankles, aiming its surface 0.5 mm below cartilage level. The implantation level was measured at 4 margins of each implant. Intraarticular contact pressures were measured before and after implantation, with compressive forces of 1,000–2,000 N and the ankle joint in plantigrade position, 10° dorsiflexion, and 14° plantar flexion.
There was a matching offset size available for each specimen. The mean implantation level was 0.45 (SD 0.18) mm below the cartilage surface. The defect area accounted for a median of 3% (0.02–18) of the total ankle contact pressure before implantation. This was reduced to 0.1% (0.02–13) after prosthetic implantation.
These results suggest that the implant can be applied clinically in a safe way, with appropriate offset sizes for various talar domes and without excessive pressure on the opposite cartilage.
A medial malleolar osteotomy is often indicated for operative exposure of posteromedial osteochondral defects and fractures of the talus. To obtain a congruent joint surface after refixation, the oblique osteotomy should be directed perpendicularly to the articular surface of the tibia at the intersection between the tibial plafond and medial malleolus. The purpose of this study was to determine this perpendicular direction in relation to the longitudinal tibial axis for use during surgery.
Materials and methods
Using anteroposterior mortise radiographs and coronal computed tomography (CT) scans of 46 ankles (45 patients) with an osteochondral lesion of the talus, two observers independently measured the intersection angle between the tibial plafond and medial malleolus. The bisector of this angle indicated the osteotomy perpendicular to the tibial articular surface. This osteotomy was measured relative to the longitudinal tibial axis on radiographs. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated to assess reliability.
The mean osteotomy was 57.2 ± 3.2° relative to the tibial plafond on radiographs and 56.5 ± 2.8 on CT scans. This osteotomy corresponded to 30.4 ± 3.7° relative to the longitudinal tibial axis. The intraobserver (ICC, 0.90–0.93) and interobserver (ICC, 0.65–0.91) reliability of these measurements were good to excellent.
A medial malleolar osteotomy directed at a mean 30° relative to the tibial axis enters the joint perpendicularly to the tibial cartilage, and will likely result in a congruent joint surface after reduction.
Medial malleolus; Osteotomy; Ankle; Radiography; Preoperative planning; Surgical approach
Metatarsal stress fractures are common in cleated-sport athletes. Previous authors have shown that plantar loading varies with footwear, sex, and the athletic task.
To examine the effects of shoe type and sex on plantar loading in the medial midfoot (MMF), lateral midfoot (LMF), medial forefoot (MFF), middle forefoot (MidFF), and lateral forefoot (LFF) during a jump-landing task.
Patients or Other Participants:
Twenty-seven recreational athletes (14 men, 13 women) with no history of lower extremity injury in the last 6 months and no history of foot or ankle surgery.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
The athletes completed 7 jumping trials while wearing bladed-cleat, turf-cleat, and running shoes. Maximum force, contact area, contact time, and the force-time integral were analyzed in each foot region. We calculated 2 × 3 analyses of variance (α = .05) to identify shoe-condition and sex differences.
We found no shoe × sex interactions, but the MMF, LMF, MFF, and LFF force-time integrals were greater in men (P < .03). The MMF maximum force was less with the bladed-cleat shoes (P = .02). Total foot and MidFF maximum force was less with the running shoes (P < .01). The MFF and LFF maximum forces were different among all shoe conditions (P < .01). Total foot contact area was less in the bladed-cleat shoes (P = .01). The MMF contact area was greatest in the running shoes (P < .01). The LFF contact area was less in the running shoes (P = .03). The MFF and LFF force-time integrals were greater with the bladed-cleat shoes (P < .01). The MidFF force-time integral was less in the running shoes (P < .01).
Independent of shoe, men and women loaded the foot differently during a jump landing. The bladed cleat increased forefoot loading, which may increase the risk for forefoot injury. The type of shoe should be considered when choosing footwear for athletes returning to activity after metatarsal stress fractures.
athletic injuries; sex differences; lower extremity
A 23-year-old recreational male athlete presented with intermittent pain of three weeks duration, localized to the left ankle. Pain was aggravated by walking, although his symptoms had not affected the patient’s jogging activity which was performed three times per week. Past history revealed an inversion sprain of the left ankle, sustained fifteen months previously. Examination showed mild swelling anterior to the ankle mortise joint while other tests including range of motion, strength and motion palpation of specific joints of the ankle were noted to be unremarkable. Radiographic findings revealed a defect in the medial aspect of the talus. An orthopaedic referral was made for further evaluation. Tomography revealed a Grade III osteochondral lesion of the talus.
It was determined that follow-up views be taken in three months to demonstrate if the lesion was progressing or healing. Within the three month period, activity modifications and modalities for pain control were indicated. Surgery was considered a reasonable option should conservative measures fail.
The present case illustrates an osteochondral lesion of the talus, a condition which has not previously been reported in the chiropractic literature. A review of the pertinent orthopaedic literature has indicated an average delay of three years in diagnosing the existence of this lesion.
Although considered rare, the diagnostic frequency of the condition appears to be on the rise due to increased awareness and the use of bone and CT scans. The osteochondral lesion of the talus deserves particular consideration by practitioners working with athletes due to its higher incidence within this group. This diagnosis should be considered in patients presenting with chronic ankle pain particularly when a history of an inversion sprain exists.
The purpose of this report is to increase awareness of this condition, and review diagnosis and management strategies.
osteochondral lesion; talus; osteochondritis dissecans; diagnosis; chiropractic; athletic injuries; ankle
To present the case of an intercollegiate swimmer with a stage IV lateral talar dome injury and associated bony fragments.
Lack of distinct diagnostic symptoms, low index of clinical suspicion, and the difficulty of visualizing the early stages of this injury on standard x-rays cause frequent misdiagnosis of talar dome lesions.
Ganglion cyst, with inflammatory synovitis secondary to rupture of cyst; loose bodies from previous occult fracture; osteochondral fracture.
Initial treatment with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and a posterior splint for comfort, followed by arthroscopic excision of loose bodies with abrasion and drilling arthroplasty.
Patient presented to the team physician for care of acute left medial ankle pain after the athletic trainer had attempted to rupture a ganglion cyst on the anterolateral aspect of the patient's ankle.
Increased clinical suspicion is necessary to correctly diagnose osteochondral lesions, particularly in the early stages. Aggressive treatment of talar dome lesions has a good success rate and may be an attractive option for competitive athletes.
ganglion cyst; inflammatory synovitis; osteochondral fracture
Restrictions in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) have been associated with decreased posterior talar glide in individuals with an acute lateral ankle sprain. Talocrural joint mobilizations may be used to restore joint arthrokinematics. Our purpose was to examine the effects of a single bout of anterior to posterior (AP) talocrural joint mobilization on self-reported function, dorsiflexion ROM, and posterior talar translation in individuals with an acute lateral ankle sprain. This single-blinded, randomized controlled trial utilized 17 volunteers (nine treatment and eight control) with an acute lateral ankle sprain (grade I/II) who were immobilized for a period of 1–7 days. The treatment group received a single 30-second bout of grade III AP talocrural joint mobilization the day their immobilization device was removed, while the control group did not receive any intervention. Active dorsiflexion ROM and posterior talar translation were assessed before, immediately after, and 24 hours after receipt of the treatment or control interventions. Self-reported function and pain were assessed before and 24 hours after the receipt of the treatment or control interventions using the foot and ankle disability index. Collectively all groups demonstrated improved dorsiflexion ROM and self-reported function. There was a significant decrease in pain perception at 24-hour follow-up for the treatment group. A single bout of AP talocrural joint mobilizations may not have an immediate effect on ankle dorsiflexion ROM, posterior talar translation, or self-reported function; however, they may have an immediate effect on pain perception in individuals with an acute lateral ankle sprain.
Arthrokinematics; Ankle sprain; Talocrural joint mobilization; Dorsiflexion; Self-reported function
Neuropathic deformities impair foot and ankle joint mobility, often leading to abnormal stresses and impact forces. The purpose of our study was to determine differences in radiographic measures of hind foot alignment and ankle joint and subtalar joint motion in participants with and without neuropathic midfoot deformities and to determine the relationships between radiographic measures of hind foot alignment to ankle and subtalar joint motion in participants with and without neuropathic midfoot deformities.
Sixty participants were studied in three groups. Forty participants had diabetes mellitus (DM) and peripheral neuropathy (PN) with 20 participants having neuropathic midfoot deformity due to Charcot neuroarthropathy (CN), while 20 participants did not have deformity. Participants with diabetes and neuropathy with and without deformity were compared to 20 young control participants without DM, PN or deformity. Talar declination and calcaneal inclination angles were assessed on lateral view weight bearing radiograph. Ankle dorsiflexion, plantar flexion and subtalar inversion and eversion were assessed by goniometry.
Talar declination angle averaged 34±9, 26±4 and 23±3 degrees in participants with deformity, without deformity and young control participants, respectively (p< 0.010). Calcaneal inclination angle averaged 11±10, 18±9 and 21±4 degrees, respectively (p< 0.010). Ankle plantar flexion motion averaged 23±11, 38±10 and 47±7 degrees (p<0.010). The association between talar declination and calcaneal inclination angles with ankle plantar flexion range of motion is strongest in participants with neuropathic midfoot deformity. Participants with talonavicular and calcaneocuboid dislocations result in the most severe restrictions in ankle joint plantar flexion and subtalar joint inversion motions.
An increasing talar declination angle and decreasing calcaneal inclination angle is associated with decreases in ankle joint plantar flexion motion in individuals with neuropathic midfoot deformity due to CN that may contribute to excessive stresses and ultimately plantar ulceration of the midfoot.
Foot alignment; Deformity; Ankle and foot joint goniometry; Limited joint mobility
Chronic ankle instability (CAI) commonly develops after lateral ankle sprain. Movement pattern differences at proximal joints may play a role in instability.
To determine whether people with mechanical ankle instability (MAI) or functional ankle instability (FAI) exhibited different hip kinematics and kinetics during a stop-jump task compared with “copers.”
Sports medicine research laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants:
Sixty-three recreational athletes, 21 (11 men, 10 women) per group, matched for sex, age, height, mass, and limb dominance. All participants reported a history of a moderate to severe ankle sprain. The participants with MAI and FAI reported 2 or more episodes of giving way at the ankle in the last year and decreased functional ability; copers did not. The MAI group demonstrated clinically positive anterior drawer and talar tilt tests, whereas the FAI group and copers did not.
Participants performed a maximum-speed approach run and a 2-legged stop jump followed by a maximum vertical jump.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
An electromagnetic tracking device synchronized with a force plate collected data during the stance phase of a 2-legged stop jump. Hip motion was measured from initial contact to takeoff into the vertical jump. Group differences in hip kinematics and kinetics were assessed.
The MAI group demonstrated greater hip flexion at initial contact and at maximum (P = .029 and P = .017, respectively) and greater hip external rotation at maximum (P = .035) than the coper group. The MAI group also demonstrated greater hip flexion displacement than both the FAI (P = .050) and coper groups (P = .006). No differences were noted between the FAI and coper groups in hip kinematic variables or among any of the groups in ground reaction force variables.
The MAI group demonstrated different hip kinematics than the FAI and coper groups. Proximal joint motion may be affected by ankle joint function and laxity, and clinicians may need to assess proximal joints after repeated ankle sprains.
motion analysis; landings; ankle sprains
Alterations in talocrural joint arthrokinematics related to repositioning of the talus or fibula following ankle sprain have been reported in radiological and clinical studies. It is unclear if these changes can result from normal active ankle motion. The study objective was to determine if active movement created changes in the sagittal plane talofibular interval in ankles with a history of lateral ankle sprain and instability.
Three subject groups [control (n = 17), ankle sprain copers (n = 20), and chronic ankle instability (n = 20)] underwent ultrasound imaging of the anterolateral ankle gutter to identify the lateral malleolus and talus over three trials. Between trials, subjects actively plantar and dorsiflexed the ankle three times. The sagittal plane talofibular interval was assessed by measuring the anteroposterior distance (mm) between the lateral malleolus and talus from an ultrasound image. Between group and trial differences were analyzed with repeated measures analysis of variance and post-hoc t-tests.
Fifty-seven subjects participated. A significant group-by-trial interaction was observed (F4,108 = 3.5; P = 0.009). The talofibular interval was increased in both copers [2.4±3.6 mm; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.73–4.1; P = 0.007] and chronic ankle instability (4.1±4.6 mm; 95% CI: 1.9–6.2; P = 0.001) at trial 3 while no changes were observed in control ankle talar position (0.06±2.8mm; 95% CI: −1.5–1.4; P = 0.93).
The talofibular interval increased only in subjects with a history of lateral ankle sprain with large clinical effect sizes observed. These findings suggest that an alteration in the position of the talus or fibula occurred with non-weight bearing sagittal plane motion. These findings may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for manual therapists.
Arthrokinematics; Instability; Talocrural; Ultrasound
Talar compression fractures are uncommon orthopaedic injuries, especially in the immature skeleton. Fractures of the talar body constitute >5% of all foot and ankle fractures. The combination of a medial compression fracture and corresponding medial malleolar fracture is rare and not previously reported injury in the literature. We present a case report of a skeletally immature 15-year-old Caucasian male who sustained a medial malleolar and corresponding medial talus fracture after being ejected from his pushbike. This report outlines the potential difficulties in diagnosing an unusual fracture combination and the importance of initial management including necessary diagnostic imaging to identify such injuries. Through this case, we aim to highlight the need for having high suspicions of underlying fractures in paediatric trauma cases. The long-term complications and risks of osteonecrosis of the talus can have detrimental effect on a patient's outcome; therefore, we also emphasize the need for regular monitoring and long-term follow-up.
To present a comprehensive review of the anatomy, biomechanics, and mechanisms of tibiofibular syndesmosis ankle sprains.
MEDLINE (1966–1998) and CINAHL (1982–1998) searches using the key words syndesmosis, tibiofibular, ankle injuries, and ankle injuries–etiology.
Stability of the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis is necessary for proper functioning of the ankle and lower extremity. Much of the ankle's stability is provided by the mortise formed around the talus by the tibia and fibula. The anterior and posterior inferior tibiofibular ligaments, the interosseous ligament, and the interosseous membrane act to statically stabilize the joint. During dorsiflexion, the wider portion anteriorly more completely fills the mortise, and contact between the articular surfaces is maximal. The distal structures of the lower leg primarily prevent lateral displacement of the fibula and talus and maintain a stable mortise. A variety of mechanisms individually or combined can cause syndesmosis injury. The most common mechanisms, individually and particularly in combination, are external rotation and hyperdorsiflexion. Both cause a widening of the mortise, resulting in disruption of the syndesmosis and talar instability.
Conclusions and Recommendation:
Syndesmosis ankle injuries are less common than lateral ankle injuries, are difficult to evaluate, have a long recovery period, and may disrupt normal joint functioning. To effectively evaluate and treat this injury, clinicians should have a full understanding of the involved structures, functional anatomy, and etiologic factors.
high ankle sprain; inferior tibiofibular joint; etiology of ankle injury
Ankle sprains are common sports injuries. Inadequate foot position awareness is thought to be the fundamental cause of these injuries. Ankle taping may decrease risk of injury through improving foot position awareness. The benefit of taping is thought to decrease with duration of exercise because of poor tape adherence to human skin. This study was a randomized, crossover, controlled comparison experiment that tested the hypothesis that ankle taping improves foot position awareness before and after exercise. A sample of 24 healthy young blindfolded volunteers, wearing their own athletic shoes, indicated perceived slope direction and estimated slope amplitude when bearing full body weight and standing on a series of blocks. The top slope of the blocks varied between 0 degree and 25 degrees, in 2.5 degrees increments, to orient the plantar surface with respect to the leg toward pronation, supination, plantarflexion, and dorsiflexion, relative to its position on a flat surface. Foot position awareness, which was considered the reciprocal of surface slope estimate error, varied with testing condition, particularly when surface slope was greater than 10 degrees, presumably the most important range considering ankle injuries. In this higher range absolute position error was 4.23 degrees taped, and 5.53 degrees untaped (P < 0.001). Following exercise, in the higher range absolute position error was 2.5% worse when taped and 35.5% worse when untaped (P < 0.001). These data support the hypothesis that ankle taping improves proprioception before and after exercise. They also indicate that foot position awareness declines with exercise. Compared to barefoot data (position error 1.97 degrees), foot position error was 107.5% poorer with athletic footwear when untaped (absolute position error 4.11 degrees), and 58.1% worse when taped (position error 3.13 degrees). This suggests that ankle taping partly corrects impaired proprioception caused by modern athletic footwear and exercise. Footwear could be optimized to reduce the incidence of these injuries.
Introduction and Background:
Lateral ankle sprains (LAS) are common in sports medicine and can result in a high rate of re‐injury and chronic ankle instability (CAI). Recent evidence supports the use on mobilizations directed at the ankle in patients who have suffered a LAS. The Mulligan Concept of Mobilization‐with‐Movement (MWM) provides an intervention strategy for LASs, but requires pain‐free mobilization application and little literature exists on modifications of these techniques.
To present the use of a modified MWM to treat LASs when the traditional MWM technique could not be performed due to patient reported pain and to assess outcomes of the treatment.
The subject of this case report is a 23 year‐old female collegiate basketball player who had failed to respond to initial conservative treatments after being diagnosed with a lateral ankle sprain. The initial management and subsequent interventions are presented. After re‐examination, the addition of a modification of a MWM technique produced immediate and clinically significant changes in patient symptoms. The use of the modified‐MWM resulted in full resolution of symptoms and a rapid return to full athletic participation.
After the initial application of the modified‐MWM, the patient reported immediate pain‐free ankle motion and ambulation. Following a total of 5 treatments, using only the modified MWM and taping technique, the patient was discharged with equal range of motion (ROM) bilaterally, a decreased Disablement in the Physically Active (DPA) Scale score, and an asymptomatic physical exam. Follow‐up exam 6 weeks later indicated a full maintenance of these results.
Recent evidence has been presented to support the use of mobilization techniques to treat patient limitations following ankle injury; however, the majority of evidence is associated with addressing the talar and dorsiflexion limitations. Currently, little evidence is available regarding the use of the MWM technique designed for LASs and the expected outcomes. This case adds to the emerging evidence supporting the use for MWMs to treat ankle pathology and introduces a modification that may be applied in cases where patient reported pain prevents traditional application.
Level of Evidence:
Level 5; Single case report.
Lateral ankle sprain; mobilization with movement
Background: Gymnasts usually start intensive training from early childhood. The impact of such strenuous training on the musculoskeletal system is not clear.
Objectives: To evaluate the relation between muscle strength of the ankle joint and foot structure in gymnasts.
Methods: The study population comprised 20 high level male gymnasts and 17 non-athletic healthy male controls. Arch indices were measured using a podoscope. Ankle plantar/dorsiflexion and eversion/inversion strengths were measured using a Biodex 3 dynamometer within the protocol of concentric/concentric five repetitions at 30°/s velocity.
Results: The mean arch index of the right and left foot of the gymnasts and the controls were respectively: 31.4 (29.1), 34.01 (34.65); 60.01 (30.3), 63.75 (32.27). Both the arch indices and the ankle dorsiflexion strengths were lower in the gymnasts. Although no correlation was found between strength and arch index in the control group, a significant correlation was observed between eversion strengths and arch indices of the gymnasts (r = 0.41, p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Whether or not the findings indicate sport specific adaptation or less training of the ankle dorsiflexors, prospective data are required to elucidate the tendency for pes cavus in gymnasts, for whom stabilisation of the foot is a priority.