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Foot and Ankle

An online course for physical therapists / physiotherapists

Foot and ankle An online course for physical therapists / physiotherapists

This course is available to start and complete at any time on your own schedule.

Available to FULL Physiopedia Plus members only.

I am amazed with the high quality of the online courses. All the content of the courses are evidence-based and have excellent videos, articles and guidelines. I really recommend Physiopedia courses!


The foot and ankle play an essential role in all weight bearing activities as they provide contact of the human body with the ground. When walking, the foot contributes to shock absorption, adapts to uneven surfaces, and facilitates the forward propulsion of the body. In the presence of foot or ankle pain, which has been reported to affect nearly one in five of people, this important biomechanical function is disrupted leading to impaired balance, difficulty ambulating and a significant detrimental impact on health-related quality of life.

It is a complex area of the body that presents in all aspects of clinical practice, from diabetes to the high level sporting athlete. Common acute athletic injuries include ankle sprains, ankle fractures, turf toe, Lisfranc injuries, and overuse syndromes ranging from Achilles tendinopathy to stress fractures.  Other considerations include arthritis, inflammatory conditions, older people and the young person.

Best practice requires specific skills in assessment, treatment and rehabilitation when working with individuals with acute, chronic and complex conditions of the foot and ankle. The foot and ankle is a large topic and this course is therefore by no means exhaustive.

Course aims

This course aims to provide an introduction to common foot and ankle conditions that will enable you, based on up to date evidence and practice, to assess and treat a range of foot and ankle conditions from the diabetic foot to the high level sporting athlete.

Course summary

This course introduces the foot and ankle complex for development of foundation knowledge that will enable you to effectively assess and treat foot and ankle conditions. Following an initial revision of the anatomy, structure and function of the foot and ankle we will explore common traumatic and pathological presentations in both the foot and ankle. This course will have a strong emphasis on differential diagnosis, to try and develop your clinical reasoning skills within this area.

Course outline

  1. Section 1: Structure and function of the foot and ankle
  2. Section 2: Assessment of the foot and ankle
  3. Section 3: Conditions of the ankle
  4. Section 4: Conditions of the foot
  5. Section 5: Final Tasks and Optional Assignment

Accreditation details

16 PP+ points will be awarded on completion of this course (an additional 4 PP+ points available on completion of an optional assignment).

This course has been accredited by:

  1. South African Society of Physiotherapy (16 CEUs level 2)
  2. Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (ProCert) (6 CCUs) - Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  3. Texas Physical Therapy Association (16 CCUs)

Accreditation for this course is being sought with:

  1. World Confederation for Physical Therapy

A standard accreditation pack for this course can be provided for submission to other accreditation organisations. To access to this pack please contact

Hours of learning

Completing this course will involve approximately 16 hours of learning activities. These will be delivered in 4 sections that can be completed on a participant’s own schedule, however it is recommended that the course is completed over a 4 week period. There is an optional additional 4 hour activity for participants who wish to submit an assignment for a course distinction.

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy professionals, clinicians and students.

Course practicalities

This course is divided into 4 sections and it is suggested (but not required) that each section be completed over the duration of approximately a week. Please note that no deadlines are applied and this course can be started and completed according to your own schedule. We expect the required elements of each section/week to take around 4-6 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
It’s not going to be easy, we’ll expect you to work hard for your completion certificate and PP+ points! You won’t be sitting back and watching webinars, we’ll expect you to reading tasks, complete quizzes, perform literature searches and other learning activities. You’ll need to reflect on your own experiences and contribute them within the discussion forum, this is where we can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge from all around the world! At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 16 PP+ points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Types of learning activity involved

Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Searching the published literature. Participating in an international discussion forum.


The following topic specialists were interviewed as part of this course:

Example resources provided

A wide variety of resources are included in this course including book chapters, articles, videos, guidelines etc from texts such as:

  • Hengeveld E, Banks K, editors. Maitland's Peripheral manipulation. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2014.
  • Atkins E, Kerr J, Goodlad E, A Practical Approach to Musculoskeletal Medicine, 4th Edition. Assessment, Diagnosis, Treatment. Elsevier Health Sciences. 2016.
  • César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Joshua Cleland, Jan Dommerholt. Manual Therapy for Musculoskeletal Pain Syndromes: An Evidence- and Clinical-Informed Approach. Elsevier, 2015
  • Petty NJ. Neuromusculoskeletal examination and assessment: a handbook for therapists. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2011 Jan 27.
  • Hattam P, Smeatham A. Special tests in musculoskeletal examination: an evidence-based guide for clinicians. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2010 Apr 30
  • Frowen P, O'Donnell M, Burrow JG. Neale's Disorders of the Foot. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2010 Apr 12.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe the functional role of three anatomical structures in the foot and/or ankle
  • explain how five muscles influence function at the foot and/or ankle
  • identify three ways in which age can influence foot and/or ankle function
  • recognise two presentations that would indicate referral for Xray following trauma to the foot and/or ankle
  • identify an assessment technique to recognise vascular insufficiency in the foot
  • identify two presentations that indicate that foot symptoms are of proximal origin
  • choose an appropriate set of assessment tests based on a case scenario relating to ankle pain
  • describe the mechanism of injury or pathology that contributes to three different conditions of the ankle
  • describe the mechanism of injury or pathology that contributes to three different conditions of the foot
  • identify four appropriate assessment measures to differentiate between different conditions affecting the foot
  • identify three biomechanical differences that may contribute to foot and ankle pain
  • identify and summarise a high quality published article that provides evidence for the management of a selected ankle or foot condition
  • create an exercise program for an individual with ankle and/or foot pain related to their specific presentation

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate you will need to:

  1. abide by the Physiopedia Plus Community Culture
  2. log as completed all the required reading and video viewing activities
  3. actively participate in the course forum discussions
  4. pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more
  5. complete a course evaluation form


Feedback from participants of previous courses:

It was great to be able to participate at my own pace without having a scheduled lecture or deadline. I liked the variety of different learning tools; such as videos, discussion points, articles and quizzes. Above all it was a neat experience to connect with PTs across the world.

Your efforts to present a balanced view of the research literature and expert opinions was much appreciated as is the mix of interviews, articles and book chapters. Each week I walked away with clinically relevant learning that translated readily into practice. It was also quite useful to get the perspectives of practitioners across the globe through the forum.

Following this course I want to maybe take a look at the tendinopathy course or new research on that. I wasn't aware that the eccentric loading exercise programs are kind of out of date now. The course made me aware of new research and things that I would have to explore further to incorporate into my clinical practice. Will definitely start using the star excursion balance test more and start with proprioceptive rehab of the non injured limb in the acute phase.

This course has made me more aware of paying more attention to dynamic vs static analysis. It has also made me aware to not come to a quick diagnosis as there are many conditions in the foot that have similar characteristics.

I love that there is an online option for which I can obtain CEU Credit!