Information for Patients
Ankle Injuries and Disorders
Your ankle bone and the ends of your two lower leg bones make up the ankle joint. Your ligaments, which connect bones to one another, stabilize and support it. Your muscles and tendons move it.
The most common ankle problems are sprains and fractures. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments. It may take a few weeks to many months to heal completely. A fracture is a break in a bone. You can also injure other parts of the ankle such as tendons, which join muscles to bone, and cartilage, which cushions your joints. Ankle sprains and fractures are common sports injuries.
Cartilage is the tough but flexible tissue that covers the ends of your bones at a joint. It also gives shape and support to other parts of your body, such as your ears, nose and windpipe. Healthy cartilage helps you move by allowing your bones to glide over each other. It also protects bones by preventing them from rubbing against each other.
Injured, inflamed, or damaged cartilage can cause symptoms such as pain and limited movement. It can also lead to joint damage and deformity. Causes of cartilage problems include
- Tears and injuries, such as sports injuries
- Genetic factors
- Other disorders, such as some types of arthritis
Osteoarthritis results from breakdown of cartilage.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases