The foot and ankle in the human body work together to provide balance, stability, movement, and propulsion.
This complex anatomy consists of:
In order to understand conditions that affect the foot and ankle, it is important to understand the normal anatomy of the foot and ankle.
The ankle consists of three bones attached by muscles, tendons, and ligaments that connect the foot to the leg.
In the lower leg are two bones called the tibia (shin bone) and the fibula. These bones articulate (connect) to the Talus or ankle bone at the tibiotalar joint (ankle joint) allowing the foot to move up and down.
The bony protrusions that we can see and feel on the ankle are:
The foot can be divided into three anatomical sections called the hind foot, mid foot, and forefoot. The hind foot consists of the Talus bone or ankle bone and the calcaneous bone or heel bone. The calcaneous bone is the largest bone in your foot while the talus bone is the highest bone in your foot. The calcaneous joins the Talus bone at the subtalar joint enabling the foot to rotate at the ankle.
The hind foot connects the mid foot to the ankle at the transverse tarsal joint.
The mid foot contains five tarsal bones: the navicular bone, the cuboid bone, and 3 cuneiform bones. It connects the forefoot to the hind foot with muscles and ligaments. The main ligament is the plantar fascia ligament. The mid foot is responsible for forming the arches of your feet and acts as a shock absorber when walking or running.
The mid foot connects to the forefoot at the five tars metatarsal joints.
The forefoot consists of your toe bones, called phalanges, and metatarsal bones, the long bones in your feet. Phalanges connect to metatarsals at the ball of the foot by joints called phalange metatarsal joints. Each toe has 3 phalange bones and 2 joints, while the big toe contains two phalange bones, two joints, and two tiny, round sesamoid bones that enable the toe to move up and down. Sesamoid bones are bones that develop inside of a tendon over a bony prominence.
The first metatarsal bone connected to the big toe is the shortest and thickest of the metatarsals and is the location for the attachment of several tendons. This bone is important for its role in propulsion and weight bearing.
Our feet and ankle bones are held in place and supported by various soft tissues.
Biomechanics is a term to describe movement of the body. The ankle joint by itself permits two movements:
The foot (excluding the toes) also permits two movements: