Online Course
Understanding the Ankle Programme
Become confident in understanding ankle anatomy and proficient in treating ankle problems

16-19 hours





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Helene Simpson
Course instructor

Helene is an experienced physiotherapist and lecturer who specialises in the ankle-foot complex

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Ankle injuries are common musculoskeletal injuries in the general population, as well as in athletes of all levels. Injuries may occur when movements are performed excessively, repetitively, and for a long duration, thus exceeding tissue capabilities. The primary function of the foot and ankle complex is weight-bearing. Other functions include maintaining balance, upright posture and recognising body position in space. A good understanding of the relevant anatomy is essential for diagnosing and treating ankle injuries. A detailed examination is key to a successful treatment. Functional assessment is when clinicians bring together their knowledge of ankle anatomy with the history of a patient's injury: the type, the extent, and the mechanism. They need to consider the biomechanics of the passive and active subsystems. These systems include the bones, ligaments, and muscles working together to perform a specific function. Special tests and investigations can assist in confirming a clinical diagnosis. Imaging modalities can include x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and CT scans. The clinician can also use special tests based on the results of the initial physiotherapy examination. Being able to understand and administer these tests depends on a clinician’s skill and knowledge. The end result of the assessment is a framework that contains a timeline for treatment, a list of further referrals if needed, a treatment plan and a treatment strategy. Ankle injuries are usually managed conservatively, and the prognosis is generally good. However, several factors can influence recovery. These factors, when identified early, can ensure the correct treatment protocol is selected.


This programme aims to present ankle anatomy in a way that can be easily incorporated into a clinical setting. It aspires to provide clinicians with ankle assessment tools to develop successful treatment strategies and explain the purpose and benefits of special investigations and tests during the ankle assessment. Finally, this programme intends to discuss the complexity of ankle sprains and their management to achieve stable and long-lasting results.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Functional Anatomy of the Ankle
  2. Assessment of the Ankle
  3. Special Investigations and Special Tests of the Ankle
  4. Ankle Sprains
  5. Paradigm Shift in the Rehabilitation of the Ankle
  6. Proprioception of the Ankle
  7. Ankle Fractures
  8. Chronic Ankle Instability
  9. Osteochondral Lesions
  10. Ankle Syndesmosis Injuries
  11. Lateral Ankle Sprains

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 16-19 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.
Types of Activities - Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Participating in an international discussion forum.
Certificates - 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 15.7 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this programme of courses and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Complete each of the required courses
  5. Submit a written assignment that meets that passes the assessment criteria.
  6. Complete a course evaluation form.