Ankle – Anatomy.

Ankle Bones .

The boney structure of the human ankle consists of three bones: 1) the tibia   2) the fibula  &  3) the talus.  The joint surface of the tibia is referred to as the plafonda.  The  inner bump at base of the lower leg is referred to as  the medial malleolus,  a boney process distally off the medial side of the tibia. The outer bump on the distal end of the fibula is called the lateral malleolus. Together, these  two malleoli, one on each side form the main anchor points of the foot to the leg. On either side the supporting ligaments stabilize the talus underneath the base of  the tibia.

Ankle Ligaments.

Understanding the anatomy of the ankle ligaments is important for correct diagnosis and treatment.  Injury of  the ankle ligaments is the most frequent basis of acute ankle pain.  Chronic ankle pain often finds its cause in laxity of one or more of the ankle ligaments.  In spite of  the fact that the ligaments around the ankle are prone to injury amongst the majority of fast sports,  literature focusing on the ankle ligaments is uncommon.  Proper anatomic knowledge of the different ligaments is important for a correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

The most common type of injury to the ankle ligaments is inversion or rolling of the plantar of the foot inwardly.  In this type of injury, the anterior talo-fibular ligament is the first or only ligament to become  injured.  A total rupture involves the calcaneo-fibular ligament and the posterior talo-fibular ligaments as well.  An eversion injury could cause damage to the deltoid ligaments,  while a hyperdorsiflexion trauma might cause an injury to the syndesmotic ligaments.

The ligaments around the ankle can be divided, depending on their anatomic position, into three groups:-

1)  the lateral ligaments –  ( on the outer side).

2)  the deltoid ligament on the medial side – (on the inner side).

3)  the ligaments of the tibiofibular syndesmosis that join the distal epiphyses of the bones of the leg (tibia and fibula).

Ankle Anatomy.


































Foot Health Matters is a HCPC Registered Podiatry Practice in South Belfast. Northern Ireland BT10 0DR Tel: 028-90-611619.