Approximately 20 percent of all musculoskeletal complaints are related to the foot and ankle, which is not surprising if one considers the functions of the foot:
- It provides a stable base on which the body can stand.
- It acts as a rigid lever to propel the body forward during walking.
- It provides shock absorption for the force generated during walking and running (approximately two to six times an individual's body weight).
The diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle injuries in the young athlete require knowledge of anatomy, gait, and biomechanics. These topics and the general evaluation of foot and ankle injuries in the young athlete are reviewed here.
Detailed discussions of specific injuries, including fractures of the foot and ankle, are presented separately: