Brief Outline of Ankle Pronation

Pronation is the inward rotation of the foot during walking or running. While some pronation is natural and part of the normal gait, excessive pronation can lead to some chronic injuries, and acute over-pronation can lead to strains or sprains.

Ankle Pronation

Anatomy and physiology

The ankle is a hinge joint and is formed of the seven tarsal bones. The two largest tarsals carry the body weight: the calcaneus, or the heel bone, and the heel bone, and the talus, which lies between the tibia and the calcaneus. The tibia and fibula rest on top of the talus. Pronation occurs at the subtalar joint. The strong ligaments of the ankle help provide support and prevent excessive pronation. The muscles of the calf and the anterior muscles of the lower leg also offer support. When these ligaments are loose or the muscles fatigue, the support is lost, which results in more pronation. This causes the arch of the foot to flatten out, which in turn further stretches the ligaments. Also, during weight bearing at midstance, there is a tendency for calcaneal eversion and foot abduction, as the foot moves into dorsiflexion.

Cause of Ankle Pronation

Loose or torn tendons from previous ankle injuries. Weak or fatigued muscles of the lower leg. Improper or worm footwear. Uneven running (or landing) surfaces.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the arch, heel, and/or knees and hips. Pain during the landing phase of running or jumping. Visible inward rolling of the foot and ankle. Instability in the ankle. Pain may be immediate for acute over-pronation, such as an ankle sprain, or gradual for chronic pronation disorders.

Complications if left unattended

Pronation has been attributed to shin splints, plantar fasciitis, chondromalacia patelle, tendinitis, and even stress fractures. The longer pronation continues, the more the ligaments of the foot and ankle will be stretched, leading to ankle instability. The arches may flatten out and lead to other problems of the foot. Chronic pronation of the foot beyond normal ranges can lead to overuse and chronic injuries.

Treatment

Rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications may help alleviate pain. For acute injuries, immobilisation and reduction of weight bearing activities may be required. For chronic injuries, seek the help of a qualifed orthopaedic specialist to help identify and correct the problem.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Correct the underlying problem, e.g. if due to the running surface, change the surface to one that is flat and smooth. If due to footwear, try some new or different shoes. If necessary, use orthotics and gait training. Warm-up properly. Stretching and strengthening will offer support and keep the muscles of the lower leg strong and flexible. Completely rehabilitate any ankle injury before returning to sport to prevent any re-occurence.

Long-term prognosis

Will usually respond well to treatment, although the longer pronation goes untreated and allowed to cause damage to the ligaments, the longer the recovery time. In very rare cases, surgical intervention may be required to correct any underlying orthopaedic issues.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to fix an appointment to see our doctor to treat ankle pronation today.

Ankle SupinationBrief Outline of Ankle Supination

Supination is the outward rolling of the foot at the ankle. This is a normal movement during the push-off phase of running, walking, or jumping. Excessive supination can cause damage to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the lower leg. Acute over-supination may cause stretching or tearing of the ligaments of the foot and ankle. Excessive supination can lead to a weakening of the ankle structure and decreased stability.

 

Anatomy and physiology

Supination involves the bones of the ankle joint, but more specifically, the subtalar joint. The distal (lower) ends of the tibia and fibula rest on the talus of the foot and allow for movement of the foot. This is traditionally referred to as a hinge joint because its main function is to allow flexion and extension of the foot. It does, however, allow limited pronation and supination as well, which is normal during running, walking, and jumping. These movements aid balance and improve shock absorption.

Cause of Ankle Supination

Weak or loose tendons and ligaments in the ankle. Weak or fatigued muscles of the lower leg. Forceful outward rolling of the ankle. Improper or worn footwear. Uneven or sloped running (or landing) surface.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the arch, heel, and/or knees and hips. Instability in the ankle. Pain over the outside of the ankle. Pain may be immediate with acute over-supination (such as an ankle sprain).

Complications if left unattended

May lead to chronic weakness and instability to the ankle. The pain and improper gait may lead to compensation and injury to other structures and tissues. The ligaments may loose their elasticity from excessive stretching, and tearing may occur.

Treatment

Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications to help alleviate the pain. Acute over-supination may require medical attention and immobilisation. Chronic supination will require correction of the underlying problems, whilst allowing adequate rest for the tissues to recover.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Proper warm-up is essential. Strengthening and stretching of the muscles of the lower leg may help support the ankle, keep it moving in the correct plane, and reduce excessive supination. Orthotics and gait analysis may be required. Gradual return to a full workload is recommended and retraining of the athlete to improve, or correct running form is important. Ensure proper footwear and a smooth flat running (or landing) surface.

Long-term prognosis

Will respond well if treated early with a good rehabilitation plan. The length of time the condition is allowed to persist will also affect the recovery time. In rare cases, surgery may be required to tighten the tendons or correct skeletal factors.

Call (+65) 6471 2674 (24 Hour) to fix an appointment to treat your ankle supination today.

WHAT IS ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE?

Achilles tendon rupture is where the large tendon in the back of the ankle ruptures.

HOW IS ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE DIAGNOSED?

There is a sudden pain behind the ankle. Physical examination shows a gap in the tendon and squeezing the calf muscle does not result in movement of the foot.

X-rays are usually performed to evaluate for other possible conditions. A MRI scan is needed to evaluate for the severity of the tear within the tendon.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Rupture most commonly occurs during recreational sports that require bursts of jumping, pivoting, and running. Most often these are tennis, racquetball, basketball, and badminton. The injury can also happen due to sudden trip, stumble or fall from a significant height.

HOW TO PREVENT ACHILLES TENDON RUPTURE?

Stretch the Achilles tendon before exercise, even at the start of the day helps to maintain flexibility in the ankle joint. Problems with foot mechanics can also be treated with devices inserted into the shoes such as heel cups, arch supports, and custom orthotics.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS?

Temporary treatment include icing the area by applying ice to the area of inflammation to help stimulate blood flow to the area, and relieve the pain associated with inflammation. However surgery is needed to repair the ruptured tendon. Post operatively, patients would require physio-therapy where physical therapists can help formulate a stretching and rehabilitation program to improve the flexibility of the Achilles tendon.

Call +65 6471 2674 (24 Hour) for treatment to your Achilles Tendon Injury today.