Human ankle structure

The ankle joint is the most sensitive and important mechanism in the anatomy and structure of the foot, which consists of bone muscle and tendon formations, with their joint work, it is possible to produce foot movement, maintain balance and stability in an upright position.

The ankle joint regulates the range of motion that the foot performs, softens impulses during movements, walking and jumping.

Moreover, this part of the foot is most sensitive to various injuries and infectious and inflammatory processes.

Why this happens will become clear when we consider the structure of the human ankle joint.

Anatomical features of the ankle

The uniform distribution of the person’s weight on the foot occurs due to the ankle joint. The anatomical upper border is conditionally located seven to eight centimeters above the medial ankle.

The border between the joint and the foot is the line running between the ankles. Lateral is located on the other side of the medial.

The joint has internal, external, front and rear sections. The front is the back. The posterior region is located in the Achilles tendon.

The inner section is located in the area of ​​the medial ankle, the outer section in the lateral area.

Detailed structure

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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The ankle joint combines the fibula and tibia with the adrenal gland-talus and foot bone.

The overgrown part of the bone enters the hole between the lower bones of the tibia and tibia, near the junction of the formation of the ankle joint.

  1. – inner ankle – is the lower edge of the tibia;
  2. – the outer ankle is the edge of the fibula;
  3. – the lower area of ​​the tibia.

At the outside of the ankle there are recesses in the back, in which tendons are fixed that fit the peroneal muscles. Shells of connective tissue (fascia) together with the lateral articular ligaments are fixed to the outside of the ankle.

The ankle has a gap that forms on the inner surface of the upper side of the talus and hyaline cartilage.

What does the ankle look like?

Bottom surface of the border

The tibia is similar in appearance to the arc. On the inside of the arc there is a process. On the tibia there are processes that are called the anterior and posterior ankle.

Fibular tenderloin

Located on the outside of the tibia. There are tubercles on the side of this notch. Part of the outer ankle is located in the peroneal notch, which together with the outer ankle form the tibiofibular syndesmosis.

In order for the joint to function effectively, it is necessary to monitor its condition. The back is larger than the front.

Bone crest

Divides the surface of the joint into internal and external.

The inner ankle is formed from the anterior and posterior tubercle of the articular surface. Between themselves are separated by a fossa. The posterior tubercle is smaller than the anterior one.

Calcaneus and Tibia

They are united by talus. Thanks to the block, it connects to the lower leg. Between the distal parts of the tibia and tibia, a so-called “fork” forms, in which the talus block is located.

On the upper side, the block has a convex shape with a recess, which includes the crest of the distal epiphysis of the tibia.

The front block is slightly larger, the part is located in the neck and head. On the back is a small protrusion with a furrow, it passes through the bend of the thumb.


Muscles are located on the back and outside, distinguish:

  1. – back tibial;
  2. – triceps muscle of the leg;
  3. – the long flexor muscle of the toes;
  4. – plantar.

In the front section are extensor muscles:

  1. – long extensor of the big toe;
  2. – front tibial;
  3. – long extensor of the other toes.

Movement in the joint inward and outward is provided by pronators.


The proper functioning of the joint is due to the ligaments that fix the bone elements in place.

The deltoid ligament is considered the most powerful, it helps to connect the talus, scaphoid and calcaneus bones from the inside of the ankle.

The ligaments of the external department include: the calcaneofibular ligament, the posterior and anterior ramal fibula.

Tibiofibular syndesmosis is a formation that is a ligamentous apparatus. To prevent excessive rotation inward, there is a posterior lower ligament, it acts as a continuation of the interosseous ligament. And from a sudden external turn, the anterior lower tibial ligament, which is located between the peroneal notch, holds back.

Blood supply

The blood supply to the joint passes through three blood arteries – the anterior and posterior tibial, fibular.

Venous outflow is represented by a wide network of vessels that divide into the external and internal networks. Then they form the small and large saphenous veins, the anterior and posterior tibial veins. Connected to each other by a network of anastomoses.

Lymphatic vessels have the same course as in the blood vessels, lymph outflow passes in front and in parallel inside the tibial artery, and outside and behind the fibular.

The branches of the nerve endings, as well as the superficial tibial, tibial nerves, gastrocnemius and deep tibial nerve are located in the ankle joint.

The main functions of the ankle

  • – providing mobility of the body;
  • – uniform distribution of human weight throughout the foot;
  • – depreciation of sudden movements;
  • – reduces shaking that occurs while walking, running;
  • – provides body stability;
  • – Gives smooth movements when walking on stairs;
  • – provides stability to the body when moving on an uneven surface.

Ankle: anatomy and structure of the human ankle joint

Bone elements

The ankle joint has a complex structure and blood circulation, a powerful tendon-ligamentous apparatus. It connects the lower leg and foot.

Anatomy of the ankle:

  • Inner surface. Located on the medial ankle side.
  • Outdoor. Located on the side of the lateral ankle.
  • Front Connected to the front surface of the leg and the back of the foot.
  • The back. It is formed by the Achilles tendon, which can withstand weight up to 400 kg.

The ankle is represented not only by the bones, but also by muscle mass, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels.

Ankle bones provide connection functionality. The joint consists of two large bone structures – the tibial and fibular, to which the talus and foot bone are attached.

The lower process of the tibia along with the talus is the basis of the ankle joint.

On the inside and outside of the ankle there are bone protrusions – ankles. There are medial and lateral. The first is formed by the lower part of the tibia. The lateral is formed by the fibular bone structure, fascia and tendons are attached to it.


The ankle muscles are responsible for the mobility of the joint. The muscles are located behind and in front of the lower leg. There is a group of muscles that are responsible for the extension and flexion of the articular surface.

The first is represented by such muscles:

  • triceps;
  • dorsal tibial;
  • flexor of the big toe;
  • plantar;
  • flexor of other fingers.

For extension, the anterior tibial muscle and long extensors of the fingers are responsible. These elements are located on the front surface of the lower leg.

In the ankle, not only flexion and extension are possible, but also turns in and out. The short, long and third fibular muscle is responsible for the outward movements, and the long extensor of the thumb and the anterior tibial muscle are inward.

The structure of the human ankle joint also includes a complex element – the Achilles tendon. It is attached to the calcaneal tuber.

Thanks to the Achilles tendon, the joint is bent, a person can stand on his socks, jump on one or both legs. It consists of two muscles – gastrocnemius and soleus. They form an oval, inside which there is a gap. Around is the lateral ankle with tendon muscle.


The ligamentous apparatus plays an important role in the functioning of the ankle. Ligaments connect the ankle and ankle. They reduce the range of motion.

Ligaments are firmly attached to the bones, the largest and most significant are:

The deltoid ligament connects the inner ankle with the talus, calcaneus and scaphoid. The tibia connects the outer ankle and the tibia. She is responsible for reducing the amplitude of movements, in particular, protects against a strong turn.

The transverse ligament protects against strong external rotation, in which the toes turn outward.

Anatomy of the ankle is represented by other, no less important ligaments:

  • interosseous;
  • lower back;
  • ramming;
  • heel;
  • scaphoid;
  • collateral;
  • lateral;
  • calcaneofibular;
  • external and internal tibial fibula.

Blood supply and nerve endings

In the ankle joint, the anatomy of the blood supply is represented by the anterior and posterior fibular and tibial arteries. Through them, blood flows to the feet, the outflow occurs through the veins of the same name.

Articulation nutrition is also provided by a large number of blood vessels. Because of this, the circulation of the ankle is quite good. The network of blood vessels extends to the area of ​​the ankles, joint capsules and ligaments.

Such nerve endings pass in the ankle – superficial fibular and tibial, as well as calf nerves, deep tibial nerve.

Functional features

The ankle joint is involved in the formation of the center of gravity, the weight of the human body is evenly distributed on it. It withstands the largest load and is constantly under pressure.

In an ankle movement on 60-90- is possible. No joint can bend so much. The ankle joint is responsible for such movements:

  • around the axis;
  • foot movement in and out;
  • flexion and extension of the foot.

Due to the high amplitude of movements, the ankle performs many important functions. Without it, it would be impossible to be upright or move around.

The ankle joint performs the following functions:

  • Depreciation. The musculoskeletal system, in particular, the spine, has a large load. It is the ankle that is responsible for the uniform distribution of human weight on the feet. The joint capsule protects other joints, such as the knee or hip, from sudden movements.
  • Smooth movements: Thanks to the ankle during descent or climbing stairs, the movements are smooth. In the Achilles tendon is a fluid that prevents friction.
  • Sustainability. The ankle has a powerful tendon-ligamentous apparatus. Thanks to this, when moving on an uneven surface, a person does not lose stability.

Due to the complex structure, the ankle is often injured. When injuring this joint, the mobility of the foot is lost.

Research methods

To identify pathological processes in the ankle joint, there are many examination methods. Diagnosis is by visual inspection, patient complaints, and instrumental diagnostics.

The survey includes:

  • Roentgenography. This is the most accessible and informative diagnostic method. A joint is taken in several projections, on which any damage is visible.
  • Ultrasound procedure. This method is rarely used because the ankle is small in size. According to the results of the examination, you can detect edema, hemorrhage, and also see the condition of the tendon-ligamentous apparatus.
  • CT This is a reliable way to assess the condition of the skeletal system. You can detect neoplasms, fractures, dislocations, subluxations and bruises. The most informative CT scan for arthrosis.
  • MRI As with CT, you can see the condition of the bones, cartilage and ligaments. The technique is informative, but expensive.
  • Atroscopy. The technique is minimally invasive, involves the introduction of a camera into the joint capsule.

In some cases, laboratory tests may be required.

Which doctor treats ankle diseases?

A traumatologist diagnoses and treats diseases of the ankle joint.


This joint is most often subjected to injuries and damage, not an exception and disease. The following factors influence the appearance of diseases:

  • inflammation;
  • mechanical damage;
  • infectious processes;
  • oncological neoplasms.

Deforming arthrosis

This disease is manifested by deformation of the surface of the bone. Because of this, smoothness is disrupted. Symptoms – severe pain during movement and bone growths in the ankle.


This is an inflammatory disease that can occur in acute and chronic form. Arthritis of the ankle is manifested by pain and impaired mobility. The ankle area turns red, becomes swollen and hot to the touch.


Quite often, especially in athletes, ankle ligament damage occurs. It is not uncommon to fracture or tear ankles, cracks or fractures of the tibia. Damage to muscles and nerve endings is possible.

Achilles tendon rupture

This may occur as a result of injury. Achilles tendon rupture can be recognized by a characteristic click. When moving, sharp pain occurs. Over time, severe swelling appears.

Treatment of ankle diseases can be conservative and prompt. The type of therapy is determined by the doctor.

Ankle joint

1. Ankle joint, art. talocruralis,
formed by the articular surfaces of the lower ends of both tibia, which cover the block, trochlea, of the talus like a fork, and the lower articular surface of the tibia is attached to the facies articularis superior block, and the articular surfaces of the ankles are attached to the lateral surfaces of the block.

The joint capsule is attached along the cartilaginous edge of the articular surfaces, in front captures part of the neck of the talus. Auxiliary ligaments are located on the sides of the joint and go from the ankles to the adjacent bones of the tarsus.

Medial, lig. mediale (deltoideum), has the form of a plate resembling the Greek letter delta, coming from the medial ankle and diverging from top to bottom with three bones – the ram, calcaneus and scaphoid; lateral consists of three bundles extending from the lateral ankle in three different directions: forward – lig. talofibulare anterius, down – lig. calcaneofibulare and back – lig. tabofibulare posterius.

By the nature of its structure, the ankle joint is a block-like joint. Movements occur around the frontal axis passing through the talus block, with the foot either rising upwards with its toe (extension), or lowering downwards (flexion).

The amplitude of these movements is 63 – 66 °. During bending, very small lateral movements are also possible, since in this position the narrower posterior portion of the talus block is not so firmly covered by the fork of the lower leg bones. On the contrary, during extension, these movements are completely impossible due to the fact that the block is tightly restrained in the ankle fork.

Training video on ankle anatomy

Foot joints

2. In the joints between the bones of the tarsus, articulationes intertarseae, 4 joints are distinguished:

A. Subtalar joint, art. subtalaris, formed by the posterior articular surfaces of the talus and calcaneus, representing in general segments of the cylindrical surface.

B. Ram-calcaneo-navicular joint, art. talocalcaneonavicular, lies anterior to the subtalar and is composed of an almost spherical head of the talus, its corresponding articular cavity formed by the scaphoid, articular facet on the sustentaculum tali calcaneus and lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare, filling the gap between sustentaculum and the posterior edge of os naviculare and containing in its thickness a layer of fibrous cartilage, fibrocartilago navicularis.

The joint capsule on the back is strengthened by lig. talonaviculare and plantar lig. canacaneonaviculare plantare.

Between both of these joints passes the bone channel – sinus tarsi, in which lies a strong ligament, lig. talocalcaneum interosseum, stretching between the talus and calcaneus.

B. The heel-cuboid joint, art. calcaneocuboidea, formed by facing the articular surfaces of the calcaneus and cuboid bones. He takes part in the movements of the subtalar and talus-calcaneo-scaphoid joints, increasing their volume. Art. calcaneocuboidea together with its neighboring art. The talonavicular is also described under the general name of the transverse joint of the tarsus, art. tarsi transversa.
In addition to bundles that strengthen art. calcaneocuboidea and art. talonavicularis separately, the transverse joint still has a ligament common to both joints, which is very important in its practical significance. This is a lig. bifurcatum is a ligament that originates with its posterior end on the upper edge of the calcaneus and then splits into two parts, of which one, lig. calcaneonaviculare, attaches to the posterolateral edge of the scaphoid, and the other, lig. calcaneocuboideum, grows to the dorsum of the cuboid bone. This short but strong ligament is the “key” of the transverse joint, since only by cutting it you can achieve a wide divergence of the articular surfaces during the operation of isolating the foot in the named joint.

G. Wedge-shaped joint, art. cuneonavicular, formed by articulation of the posterior articular areas of the sphenoid bones with three facets of the distal articular surface of the scaphoid.

As for the movements in artt. intertarseae, here, first of all, the calcaneus rotates together with the scaphoid and forefoot of the foot around the sagittal axis with a range of movements of 55 ° (this axis goes obliquely, entering the head of the talus on the back and leaving the sole on the lateral surface of calcaneus) .

When the foot rotates inward (pronation), its lateral edge rises, and the rear of the foot turns to the medial side; on the contrary, when rotating outward (supination), the medial edge rises with the rear of the foot facing in the lateral direction. In addition, reduction and abduction around the vertical axis is possible here, when the tip of the foot deviates medially and laterally from the midline.

Finally, there may be more extension and bending around the frontal axis. Movements around the three axes occur in art. talocalcaneonavicularis, which is a complex spherical joint. All these movements are small and usually combined together, so that simultaneously with supination, the forefoot is brought in and slightly bent, or vice versa: pronation is accompanied by abduction and extension.

In general, the ankle in combination with artt. intertarseae allows greater freedom of movement of the foot as a multiaxial joint.

3. Tarsus-metatarsal joints, artt. tarsometatarseae, connect the bones of the second row of the tarsus with the metatarsal bones. Artt. tarsometatarseae – typical stiff joints with little mobility used to give elasticity to the arch of the foot. Separate articular capsules have articulations of the I metatarsal bone and the medial sphenoid, articulations of the II and III metatarsal bones – with a cuboid. Tarsal-metatarsal joints are supported by the dorsal, plantar and interosseous ligaments, ligg. tarsometatarsese dorsalia, plantaria et cuneometatarsea interossea.
Metatarsal joints, artt. intermetatarseae, are formed by the surfaces of the metatarsal bones facing each other; their joint spaces are often connected with the cavity artt. tarsometatarseae. The joints are reinforced with laterally running ligg. metatarsea dorsalia, plantaria et interossea.

4. Joints of bones of fingers:

A. Metatarsophalangeal art. metatarsophalangeae, between the heads of the metatarsal bones and the bases of the proximal phalanges, by the nature of the device and ligamentous apparatus are similar to similar joints of the hand. The movements in the joints are generally the same as on the hands in the corresponding joints, but limited. Except for the light finger pulling to the side and the reverse movement (reduction), then there is only extension and flexion of all fingers, and extension is performed in larger sizes than flexion, in contrast to what we have on the hand.

B. Interphalangeal joints, artt. interphalangeae pedis, do not differ in their structure from similar joints on the arm. It should be noted that often the distal and middle phalanges on the V finger are bone-spliced ​​together.

The joints of the foot are vascularized from the branches of arcus plantaris and r. plantaris profundus a. dorsalis pedis. Venous outflow occurs in the deep veins of the lower limb – vv. tibiales anterior et posterior, v. peronea.

The outflow of lymph is carried out through the deep lymphatic vessels in nodi lymphatici poplitei. The innervation of joint capsules is provided by branches nn. plantares medialis et lateralis u nn. peronei superficialis et profundus.

Ankle joint: structure, functions and injuries

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The ankle joint is an important mechanism consisting of musculoskeletal tendon formations, due to the coordinated work of which not only every movement of the foot is ensured, but also the vertical stability of the person is regulated. The joint regulates a wide range of movements performed by the foot, perceives and softens impulses from the sole when moving or jumping, and provides maneuverability of human movement. However, it is this part of the leg, which is the area between the leg and foot, that is most vulnerable to various mechanical injuries and diseases of an infectious-inflammatory nature. Lost time after the first manifestations of symptoms of a malfunction of the joint aggravates the situation and can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as arthritis.

Appearance and elements of the ankle joint

The structure of the ankle joint

The ankle joint is a system of bonds between muscles, bones and tendons, providing the distribution of the load transmitted by the musculoskeletal system of the person to the foot, translational and rotational movements of the leg when moving or experiencing loads.

The appearance of the bone part of the joint

In the anatomy of a joint, it is customary to distinguish groups of paired divisions, such as internal and external; front and rear. The structure of the ankle joint is the front part, which is the back of the foot, and the back, located in the area of ​​the tendon of the Achilles heel. The upper limitation of the ankle region passes at a distance of 8 cm above a distinct convexity from the side of the inner surface, called the medial ankle.

What is the medial part of the ankle

The line located between the lateral ankle located on the opposite side from the medial part is the anatomical border separating the human ankle and foot.

It looks like the front lateral part of the ankle

The structure of the ankle joint is a mobile node of the joint formation, consisting of:

The anatomy of the device of the tibia and tibia, having a thickening at the ends, allows you to limit the talus in the upper and lateral parts. The bones at the place of termination represent a fossa in the form of a concave formation on one side and a convex part, which is the head of the joint on the other. The lower end of the tibia has an arcuate shape, its anatomy includes a process on the inside and two processes, called the ankles in the front and back of the tibia.

The anterior and posterior protrusions of the articular surface make up the surface of the inner ankle, with the anterior element being larger than the posterior. The ligament, having a deltoid shape together with a system of muscles that provide movement of the joint, connects to the ankle without the participation of articular elements from the inside of the structure. On the external surface, on the side opposite to the deltoid ligament, the cartilage performing protective functions is located.

The system of ligaments and muscles of the ankle

The function of the ligaments is to hold the bones and ensure their specific location relative to each other. Their anatomy is a cluster of fibers in the form of bundles arranged in such a way that, on the one hand, they do not impede the movement of bone structures when performing an action; on the other hand, to ensure the strength of the fixed position of the bones. The flexibility inherent in the ligaments allows them to ensure the execution of flexion and extension movements with the necessary amplitude parameters. The structure of the ankle joint includes ligaments that are located on both sides of the side surfaces of the joint, and the deltoid ligament represents its anatomy on the inside. The outer side of the ankle consists of the calcaneal, tibial, anterior, posterior talus peroneal ligament.

The ligament between the bones connects the tibia and tibia elements, the posterior lower complex of muscles and tendons of the leg in combination with the transverse element prevents excessive amplitude of rotation of the foot in the inner direction. External rotation exceeding physiologically determined limits limits the lower anterior tibial ligament. The ram-fibular ligament in the lower part passes into the calcaneofibular. The deltoid ligament together with the talus peroneal and peroneal heel muscle groups act as elements connecting the bones of the human ankle joint.

The structure of the ligaments of the ankle has a two-layer bag device, in which bone tissue is enclosed between the space of muscles that move the legs. One of the tasks performed by the joint is to ensure a tight fit of the muscles to the bone, its other purpose is to produce a plastic mass that serves as a cavity filler.

The ankle joint is supplied with blood using three arteries, forming a branching into the network of smaller elements in the area of ​​the joint capsule. The outflow of blood through the veins is provided by the vascular system located inside and around the joint. The branching of the blood supply network allows you to efficiently deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the structure and divert blood through the venous system, which has given up useful substances.

Performed functions

  • The ankle joint performs a uniform transfer of the mass of the entire human body over the foot area. The structure of the ankle prov >

The most common ankle injuries

  • The coordinated work of the parts of the ankle makes possible the stability of the body in an upright position when walking, provides a smooth movement when climbing or on a descent. The movement of the foot in both directions in the vertical direction is provided by the ankle, and the connection of the calcaneus and talus is responsible for movement to the lateral regions.
  • When moving on an uneven surface, the anatomy of the ankle muscles allows it to exercise timely tension and relaxation of fibers to maintain the stability of the human body, in the plane of the vertical axis.

The ankle joint is able to rotate around its own axis with an amplitude of 60-90 ° and an axis that describes the radius around the outer part of the ankle.

Ankle disease

Please note: Due to its anatomy connecting many elements together, the ankle joint is the most vulnerable part of the leg, precisely because of the large number of parts that make up its leg. Reliability theory says that the more elements a system contains, the less likely it will work without fail. This judgment fully applies to the ankle, which contains a large number of structures exposed to various vulnerabilities. Its most common diseases are:

  • An ankle fracture is one of the most common traumatic events occurring in the case of undeveloped ligaments during a sharp movement in or out of the ankle. In the case when the ankle joint is damaged, it is impossible for a person to rely on a damaged limb, due to acute pain, the area of ​​concentration of the disorder swells.
  • Tendonitis is an inflammatory process in the region of the Achilles tendon, which manifests itself in the form of pain symptoms that occur when walking or running. The disease is dangerous due to possible complications in the form of violation of the integrity of tendon tissues, the possibility of arthritis.
  • Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory process in the region of the ankle and adjacent joints, the occurrence of which can be caused by many factors. Inflammatory processes are characterized by the fact that they are not necessarily the result of damage to the integrity of the joint. The pain symptoms of arthritis are especially pronounced at night, during the day it manifests itself with an ankle load, for example, when walking. Symptoms of the disease are aggravated during the shoeing process and when moving up the stairs.

How does ankle arthritis manifest itself?

    Deforming arthrosis is an extremely dangerous disease, because in case of untimely initiation of therapy, it can lead to loss of mobility, a restriction in the ability to move and disability of a person. This type of arthrosis develops against the background of previously suffered injuries of the areas of the talus, tibia or damage to the inner and outer ankles. In case of damage to the bones, the formation of a surface with uneven relief is possible. When such a bone comes in contact with other elements in the articular region, the smoothness of movement and sl >

  • Osteoarthrosis is a decrease in joint mobility due to an injury to cartilage tissue from the inside of the joint.

For any malfunctions, it is necessary to reduce the load on the ankle joint, depending on the severity of the disease, it is necessary to immobilize it. To perform an accurate diagnosis and prescribe measures for the treatment of the disease, you need to consult a specialist who, according to external signs, a description of the symptoms of the disease and during an X-ray, MRI or ultrasound examination, will determine the degree of damage to the joint structures and prescribe treatment.

Video. How to restore an ankle after an injury

The ankle is one of the most important organs, more precisely the system of communication of muscles, bones and tendons, providing not only vertical stability of a person, but also his maneuverability, and the fulfillment of necessary functions by the foot. Other functions of the joint include ensuring the rotation of the plane of the foot in several directions and the amortization of the loads experienced by the person’s legs when walking and running. Damage to one of the many organs that make up this system can lead to immobilization and even disability. The timely and proper care of the injured surface of the leg and the prevention of possible damage, including, for example, the use of a bandage in case of danger of damage, are very important.

Ankle joint and its diseases

The ankle is one of the most vulnerable joints in the human body. Its damage often leads to complete immobilization of a person. It provides the connection of the foot with the lower leg. For normal walking, it is necessary that he be healthy and fully perform his functions.

Ankle joint provides any movement of the foot. The anatomy of the ankle joint is quite complex. It consists of several bones that are connected by cartilage and muscle ligaments.

Anatomical features

The distribution of pressure of a person’s body weight over the surface of the foot is provided by the ankle, which accounts for the load of the entire person’s weight. The upper anatomical border of the ankle passes along a conditional line 7-8 cm above the medial ankle (visible protrusion from the inside). The line between the foot and the joint is the line between the lateral and medial ankles. The lateral ankle is on the back of the medial.

The joint is divided into internal, external, front and rear sections. The back of the foot is the front. In the area of ​​the Achilles tendon is the posterior section. In the area of ​​the medial and lateral ankles – the inner and outer divisions, respectively.

Joint bones

The ankle joint connects the fibula and tibia with the adrenal gland – the talus or foot bone. The process of the foot bone enters the nest between the lower ends of the fibula and tibia. Around this connection, an ankle joint is formed. In this basis, several elements are distinguished:

  • the inner ankle is the lower (distal) edge of the tibia;
  • outer ankle – the edge of the fibula;
  • distal surface of the tibia.

The outer ankle in the back has a recess in which tendons are fixed that fit the muscles of the peroneal muscles – long and short. Fascias (membranes of connective tissue) together with the lateral articular ligaments are attached to the outer side of the outer ankle. Fascias are formed from protective cases that cover tendons, blood vessels, nerve fibers.

The ankle joint has a so-called gap, which is formed on its inner surface by the upper side of the talus and hyaline cartilage.

The appearance of the ankle

The structure of the ankle joint is easy to imagine. The surface of the lower edge of the tibia externally resembles an arc. The inner side of this arc has a process. Below on the tibia there are processes in front and behind. They are called the front and back ankles. The tibia on the tibia is on the outside. There are tubercles on the sides of this notch. The outer ankle is partially located in the peroneal notch. She and the peroneal tenderloin together create the tibial syndesmosis. For the full functioning of the joint, its healthy state is very important.

The front is smaller than the back. The joint surface is divided into internal and external bone crest.

The anterior and posterior tubercles of the articular surface form the inner ankle. They are separated from each other by a fossa. The anterior tubercle is larger than the posterior one. The deltoid ligament and fascia are attached to the ankle from the inside without articular surfaces. The opposite surface (on the outside) is covered by cartilage.

The calcaneus and lower leg bones are connected by the talus, which consists of the head, neck, block and body. The talus block provides connection to the lower leg. Between the distal parts of the fibula and tibia, a “fork” is formed, in which the talus block is located. The block is convex on the upper side, a recess passes through it, into which the crest of the distal epiphysis of the tibia enters.

The front block is a little wider. This part goes into the neck and head. On the back there is a small tubercle with a furrow, along which the flexor of the thumb passes.

Joint muscles

Muscles that provide flexion of the foot pass behind and outside the ankle joint. These include:

  • long flexors of the toes;
  • posterior tibial;
  • plantar;
  • triceps muscle of the leg.

In the anterior section of the ankle are muscles that provide extension:

  • anterior tibial;
  • extensors of the toes.

The short long and third fibula are the muscles that provide the ankle movement in the external direction (pronators). Movement inward is provided by arch support – the long extensor of the thumb and the anterior tibial muscle.

Ankle ligaments

Normal functioning and movement in the joint is ensured by the ligaments, which also hold the bone elements of the joint in their places. The most powerful ligament of the ankle is the deltoid. It provides the connection of the talus, calcaneus and scaphoid bones (feet) with the inner ankle.

A powerful formation is the ligamentous apparatus of the tibiofibular syndesmosis. The tibia is held together, thanks to the interosseous ligament, which is a continuation of the interosseous membrane. The interosseous ligament passes into the posterior lower one, which keeps the joint from turning too hard inward. The anterior inferior tibial ligament keeps from turning too far in the outward direction. It is located between the fibular notch, which is located on the surface of the tibia and the outer ankle. In addition, the transverse ligament located under the tibia holds out from excessive rotation of the foot outward.

Blood vessels

Tissue nutrition is provided by the peroneal, anterior and posterior tibial arteries. In the area of ​​the joint capsule, ankles and ligaments from these arteries, the vasculature diverges, as the arteries branch.

The outflow of venous blood occurs along the external and internal networks, which converge into the anterior and posterior tibial veins, small and large saphenous veins. Venous vessels are connected into a single network by anastomoses.

Ankle function

The ankle can perform movements around its axis and along an axis passing through a point in front of the outer ankle. The own axis passes through the center of the inner. On these axes, movement is possible in amplitude of 60-90 degrees.

How is pain in the ankle joint manifested?

If pain occurs in the ankle joint, it is usually difficult for a person to walk. The ankles swell, skin may turn blue in the affected area. To step on the foot becomes almost impossible due to a significant increase in pain in the ankle, which loses the ability to support the weight of a person.

If the ankle is affected, the pain can radiate to the knee or lower leg. The majority of athletes belong to the risk group for pain in the ankle joint, since when playing football, tennis, volleyball, hockey and other outdoor sports, a significant load is placed on the leg joints.

There are some of the most common injuries that cause pain in the ankles. These include injuries – dislocations, subluxations, fractures, etc. The ankle is one of the joints most prone to injuries. Each person is familiar with the unpleasant feeling that occurs if you turn your leg.

Ankle fracture

Ankles are an area that undergoes fractures more often than most bones in the human body. The fracture usually provokes a sharp and excessively fast movement of the ankle in or out. Often an ankle fracture is accompanied by an ankle sprain. Fractures and other injuries of the ankle are more prone to people whose ligaments are weak. With injuries of the ankle, the joint area swells, and severe pain does not allow to stand on the leg.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

This pathology is a neuropathy associated with damage to the posterior tibial nerve. The nerve contracts, as if passing through a tunnel. In this case, the person feels a tingling sensation and soreness of the ankle joint. The same sensations can spread to the legs. Cold or fever may be felt in the ankle and legs.


With this disease, inflammation of the Achilles tendon occurs. Tendonitis often causes complications such as tendon rupture or arthritis. If you experience pain while running or walking, swelling in the ankle joint and pain in it, Achilles tendonitis can be suspected. You can not start his treatment, as this is fraught with often recurring injuries, especially for people who often walk, run, jump often.

Arthritis of the Ankle

The most common ankle disease is arthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis, the causes that cause it may be different, but the most common and common are:

  1. Infectious damage to the joint by pathogenic bacteria. It can be gonococci, chlamydia, pale spirochetes. In this case, we are talking about a specific form of the disease. The non-specific form occurs as a secondary disease after flu or furunculosis.
  2. Gout. Due to metabolic disorders in the body, the ankle joint may also be affected.
  3. Immune system disorders. The body can recognize the cells of the joint tissues as foreign and launch an attack on them.
  4. Injuries and mechanical damage.

Factors that provoke the development of the disease can be the following:

  • wearing uncomfortable shoes;
  • flat feet;
  • hormonal disorders;
  • interruptions in metabolism;
  • strong professional loads (mainly among athletes);
  • severe hypothermia;
  • excess weight;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • Unhealthy Lifestyle;
  • allergies and low immunity.

Arthritis is treated conservatively or surgically. With the bacterial form of the disease, antibiotic therapy is required. It is important to follow a special diet to reduce pain and reduce the manifestations of the disease. It is necessary to exclude from the diet nightshade, canned food and smoked meats, the use of salt must be minimized. NSAIDs (Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aspirin) are prescribed to relieve inflammation. Painkillers help alleviate the condition of the patient. To improve metabolism, additional relieve inflammation and speedy restoration of cartilage, it is recommended to take vitamins and dietary supplements.

Complications of improper or untimely treatment of arthritis can be deforming arthrosis or synovitis. In this case, often enough, patients require surgery, as a result of which it is possible to restore joint mobility.

After undergoing arthritis of the ankle joint, patients are advised to hydromassage, warming up and therapeutic baths. These procedures can accelerate the restoration of the joint and prevent relapse of the disease.

Significant loads on the ankle joint provoke its frequent pathologies. Diseases can be prevented by eating a healthy diet, giving up bad habits and avoiding excessive stress.

Ankle – what is it, structure and functions

Among all joint injuries, ankle injuries are the most dangerous, but only a small part of healthy people care about the health of this part of the body. Let’s try to figure out what the ankle joint is, where it is located and how to protect it from damage.

What is the ankle and where is it located?

An ankle is a joint connecting the bones of the lower leg and foot. In the human body, it plays an important role: not without reason severe injuries and diseases of the ankle lead to disability, in which a person loses the ability to move. In a broader sense, an ankle is a complex system of bones, ligaments, and muscles. It is located in the place where the shin connects to the foot.

The structure of the ankle joint

The ankle joint has a complex structure, because it connects 3 bones at once: tibial, fibular and talus. The first two form, as it were, a nest around the last, which ensures the mobility of the foot to the right and left and at the same time limits the movement up and down.

Additional flexibility is also given due to four ligaments: one internal and three external, starting at the tibia. Their task is to limit the movement of the foot in different directions, because with excessive flexibility of the ankle the risk of injury will be several times higher.

Four sections are distinguished in the ankle joint:

  1. The forefoot is located approximately under the spot where the upper part of the foot connects to the lower leg.
  2. Rear. If you hold your hand from the back of the heel up, you can feel the Achilles tendon. Under it, in the region of two bulging bones, this department is located.
  3. Outer. On the right foot on the right you can find a bulging bone. A little deeper, under it, and is the desired department.
  4. Internal – now we find a bone protruding from the left s >

In addition, next to the ankle are muscles that provide mobility of the foot. The most important of them are the anterior and posterior tibial muscles (move the foot in motion), the flexors of the toes, the triceps muscle of the lower leg (allows you to bend the foot).

Why do I need an ankle?

In the human body, this joint plays an important role. If he were not there, we would not be able to walk. Therefore, with various injuries of the ankle, a person either becomes disabled, unable to move, or feels acute pain while walking.

The ankle performs the following functions:

  1. Forms a mobile connection of the bones of the lower leg with the foot;
  2. It is part of the musculoskeletal system – without it, movement is impossible;
  3. Allows you to evenly distribute body weight on both feet;
  4. Due to the ability of the ankle joint to move in different directions, a person can walk on the surface with microroughnesses without much effort;
  5. Helps to stand upright and maintain balance when performing physical exercises;
  6. Shock absorbs sudden movements and concussions.

All of the above functions are performed only by a healthy ankle joint, while an injured one cannot cope with them and significantly worsens the quality of life.

Possible ankle injuries

There is an opinion that only athletes damage the ankle. It’s true, but partial, because the injury to this joint can be obtained in ordinary life, it’s rather wrong to step on the step, stumble over the edge of the fossa or tuck the leg in the dark. You will immediately find out if the ankle joint is damaged, because acute pain in this part of the body is difficult to ignore.

So what diseases are associated with the ankle joint?

  • Arthritis is joint damage. Its main symptom is pain, in addition, the skin on the ankle may turn red, and the joint may take an irregular shape. The treatment of this disease is laborious, it takes place under the supervision of a doctor and is sometimes accompanied by immobilization of the foot. Without timely treatment, arthritis (an inflammatory process) can turn into arthrosis (a chronic form).
  • Sprain. It is associated with their partial rupture and damage to blood vessels, therefore, the most obvious symptom is the appearance of edema, swelling and blueness of the entire foot. If these symptoms are noticed, the first thing you need to do is put ice or a bottle of cold water on your leg. Then, within 10-14 days, the leg should be immobilized, and the ligaments will heal on their own, however, with a stretch of 3 degrees, surgery is required.
  • Osteoarthrosis is associated with damage to cartilage. The disease is most common among people aged 40-60 years, and more often women suffer from it. Symptoms – constant aching pain and joint deformation. Treatment includes ankle fixation, limitation of physical activity, and the use of painkillers.
  • A fracture in the ankle is accompanied by acute pain, bruising and a crunch during palpation of the leg. First a >

How to protect your ankle from injuries?

Patients who have suffered severe injuries of the ankle joint often complain that then this part of the body periodically reminds itself of pain. For this reason, it is better to try to prevent injuries by following a few simple rules:

  1. If you experience pain in the ankle, consult a doctor.
  2. Shoes should be chosen that is exactly the right size.
  3. Take your time down the stairs.
  4. Avoid obesity. Excess weight, especially in old age, creates an additional burden on the feet and, accordingly, on the ankle.
  5. Women should prefer shoes without a heel or on a small stable platform.
  6. Before jogging, especially over rough terrain (park), you need to warm up for the ankle. A simple exercise is suitable for this: raising the heel on one leg, you need to twist it in different directions for 1-2 minutes, and then repeat the same with the other foot.

Thus, the ankle is the most important joint of the human body, which has a complex structure and therefore requires careful treatment. If you avoid injuries, wear comfortable shoes and periodically perform ankle massage, you can maintain health and actively move to old age.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles