Ankle Injuries in Skiing and Snowboarding
Basic Anatomy of the Ankle
The ankle joint is a complex structure that consists of three main bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Ligaments, tendons, and muscles work together to provide stability and mobility.
- Medial ligaments: Connect the tibia to the talus and help prevent the ankle from rolling inward.
- Lateral ligaments: Connect the fibula to the talus and help prevent the ankle from rolling outward.
Mechanism of Injury:
Ankle injuries in skiing and snowboarding often occur due to the dynamic and challenging nature of these activities. Common mechanisms of injury include:
Sudden twists or rotations while navigating slopes can lead to ligament sprains.
High-impact landings from jumps or uneven terrain can cause compression injuries and fractures.
Inversion or Eversion
Rolling the ankle inward (inversion) or outward (eversion) can strain the ligaments on the respective sides of the ankle.
Abrupt forward bending of the ankle, especially during a fall, can result in ligament strains or fractures.
Common Ankle Injuries:
Ligament sprains, particularly of the lateral ligaments, are common. Grades range from mild to severe.
Fractures may occur in the ankle bones due to high-impact collisions or awkward landings.
Tendonitis or tendon injuries may result from overuse or excessive stress on the tendons.
Protect (immobilisation for severe ligament tears or achilles ruptures), Optimal Loading (vital for tendinopathies), Ice, Compress, Elevate.
Tailored exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and proprioception, aiding in recovery and preventing future injuries.
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed for pain management.
In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, especially for fractures, achilles ruptures and ligament tears.