In human anatomy, the ankle joint is formed where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle, or talocrural joint, is a synovial hinge joint that connects the distal ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower limb with the proximal end of the talus bone in the foot. The articulation between the tibia and the talus bears more weight than between the smaller fibula and the talus.

The ankle joint is responsible for dorsiflexion (moving the toes up as when standing only on the heels) and plantar flexion of the foot (moving the toes down, as when standing on the toes), and allows for the greatest movement of all the joints in the foot. The ankle does not allow rotation. In plantar flexion, the anterior ligaments of the joint become longer while the posterior ligaments become shorter. The reverse is true for dorsiflexion.

A bone fracture is a medical condition in which a bone becomes cracked, splintered, or bisected as a result of physical trauma. A bone fracture can also occur as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis or certain types of cancer. A broken bone is not always defined as a fracture, much as a fracture is not always defined as a broken bone. ( U.S. Gov’t 2005.) A broken bone is defined as a complete severing of the bone, as in opposition to a fracture covering any type of crack or break in the bone.

A sprain (from the French espraindre – to wring) is an injury which occurs to ligaments caused by a sudden overstretching (for the muscle injury, see strain). The ligament is usually only stretched, but sometimes it can be snapped, slightly torn, or ruptured, all of which are more serious and require longer to heal.

Sprains are graded in three degrees. Although some signs and symptoms can be used to assess the severity of a sprain, the most definitive method is with the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). A first degree sprain has only minor tearing of the ligament whereas a third degree sprain is characterized by complete rupture.

The typical signs and symptoms associated with a sprain are the cardinal signs of inflammation: localized pain, swelling, and loss of function.

A warm up is usually performed before participating in (technical) sports or exercising. A warm up generally consists of a gradual increase in intensity in physical activity. For example, before running or playing an intense sport one might slowly jog to warm muscles and increase heart rate. It is important that warm ups should be specific to the exercise that will follow, which means that exercises should prepare the muscles to be used and to activate the energy systems that are required for that particular activity. The risks and benefits of combining stretching with warming up are mixed and in some cases disputed.

Active Ankle is a brand of removable braces worn to protect the ankles from injury or to prevent reinjury after a sprain. The device can be used with most standard athletic shoes by placing the sole of the brace underneath the pad of the shoe and lacing the shoe as normal. The brace functions by limiting ankle movement through carbon fiber elements fitted tightly around the heel, ankle and lower calf and held in place by one or more Velcro straps. The T1, T2, and CF Pro lines incorporate a bilateral hinge to allow normal ankle movement but prevent the ankle from rolling to either side. Active Ankle is used commonly in volleyball and other physical activities where ankle injuries are common. The company is also a national sponsor of the USA Volleyball National Team. Their slogan is “Be Active. Stay Active”

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