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Out there in the real world, one athletic training student experienced the following while being supervised by a certified athletic trainer:

The band has just played "The Star-Spangled Banner" on a warm Friday night, and the announcer is introducing the visiting football team. I can feel the excitement rising as the home team is announced. The crowd leaps to its feet, roaring with cheers as the home players jog onto the field. I have always said that the thrill of a Friday night football game is infectious. In the first half of the game, the home team's senior running back goes down with an injury. The referee signals for the athletic trainer to approach the field. I look around for that person, and then remember that it is, in fact, me. I'm a new college graduate, and am now the certified athletic trainer who cares for the home team. I run to the injured athlete and realize that I'm going to have two obstacles to overcome. First, this is the biggest injury of the year that I've experienced (a lateral malleolus fracture); second, this athlete is hearing impaired. I ask the coaches to retrieve the athlete's hearing aids from his bag so that we can decrease the present language barrier. After calming the athlete and explaining to him, the coach, and his parents the course of action, he is transported to the nearest hospital.

Every injury is different. The athlete's pain level, the injury's severity, and any other handicaps that can enter the equation affect your actions. The course of action will not always be the same. Being a new, certified athletic trainer at the time, this experience was frightening for me. My advice to you is to make sure you learn as much as you can about the athletes you care for, always keep current with the latest athletic training techniques, and continually improve your evaluation skills.

Melissa Noble, AT, ATC

Head Athletic Trainer, Fairlawn High School

Assistant Athletic Trainer, Sidney High School

Wilson Memorial Hospital


learning outcomes

After working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Verbalize the questions to use when obtaining a thorough medical history for an assessment.

  2. Describe the principles of body movement at the ankle and foot and the various mechanisms of injury that affect the ankle and foot.

  3. Compare and contrast the findings of various special tests and the role of diagnostic tests used during an ankle and foot evaluation.

  4. Explain the medical terminology associated with the assessment of musculoskeletal injuries.

  5. Verbalize the standard procedures used for a clinical evaluation of the ankle and foot and interpret the findings for differential diagnoses.


The athletic training profession inevitably involves many ankle and foot injuries, which ...

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