Biomedical and General Engineering Department
BS in Biomedical Engineering
Scott J. Hazelwood
Ankle injuries have always posed an issue to a number of athletes. Sports that involve running and jumping accumulate about 25% of injuries correlating to ankle sprains. In most ankle sprains the inversion (supination) of the ankle cause damage to lateral ligaments. The two most common lateral ligaments to experience damage are the anterior talofibular (ATFL) and calcaneofibular (CFL) ligaments. The methods of taping and ankle braces have allowed athletes to prevent recurring sprains from occurring. However, sprains can still occur even when one or both methods are applied. The purpose of each method is to restrict the range of motion of the foot, but none have proposed a dynamic approach to sprains.
The mechanism behind supination ankle sprains have been evaluated for four decades, but still no mathematical model have been produced due to the complexity of the subtalar joint. The purpose of this project is to determine if a compressive force to the ATFL and CFL would increase the stability of the foot and ankle. In the process of determining a solution to this problem, a simplified static equilibrium equation was created to better understand the mechanism behind supination ankle sprains in a closed kinetic chain motion. However, sprains involve both closed and open kinetic chain motions of the subtalar joint. The mathematical model presented in this project suggests that a moment in the direction of eversion can provide a dynamic approach to preventing sprains, but further validation is required due to the inconsistency of the values gathered from various studies and limitations of the model.