Harvard Women's Health Watch

Healthy ankles: Your mobility depends on them

Although ankle injuries can be painful and disabling, many are preventable, and most are easily treated.

Ankle injuries are among the most common joint problems. Every year, nine million people sprain an ankle, and tens of thousands more sustain fractures. Ankle injuries often stem from falls and accidents. Several factors—from poor balance, to loss of elasticity in tendons and ligaments, to ill-fitting shoes—can increase the risk of injury, says Dr. Christopher Chiodo, an orthopedic surgeon at -Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital's foot and ankle center.

Sprains

How they happen. Sprains, or ligament injuries, often occur when you turn your ankle by landing on the edge of your foot instead of the ball.The stress can stretch or tear ligaments that attach the fibula to the ankle bone or heel bone.

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