Recent studies, using two different manners of foot constraint, potted and taped, document altered failure characteristics in the human cadaver ankle under controlled external rotation of the foot. The posterior talofibular ligament (PTaFL) was commonly injured when the foot was constrained in potting material, while the frequency of deltoid ligament injury was higher for the taped foot. In this study an existing multibody computational modeling approach was validated to include the influence of foot constraint, determine the kinematics of the joint under external foot rotation, and consequently obtain strains in various ligaments. It was hypothesized that the location of ankle injury due to excessive levels of external foot rotation is a function of foot constraint. The results from this model simulation supported this hypothesis and helped to explain the mechanisms of injury in the cadaver experiments. An excessive external foot rotation might generate a PTaFL injury for a rigid foot constraint, and an anterior deltoid ligament injury for a pliant foot constraint. The computational models may be further developed and modified to simulate the human response for different shoe designs, as well as on various athletic shoe–surface interfaces, so as to provide a computational basis for optimizing athletic performance with minimal injury risk.
Keywords: Ankle sprain; Ligament; Strain; Three-dimensional reconstruction; Simulation; Subtalar joint; Arch stability; Joint mechanics; Motion analysis; Joint coordinate system