After completing “The Ankle Joint” section, you will be able:

  • To describe the 3 bones
  • To identify the 7 tarsal bones
  • To summarise the 2 joints and their action
  • To explain the 2 main ligaments
  • To validate knowledge by completing the quiz

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3 BONES

The ankle joint is made from 3 bones:

  • Tibia: medial bone of the lower limb
  • Fibula: lateral bone of the lower limb
  • Talus: inferior to the tibia and fibula

TIP: * ANALOGY * The Fibula is thin like a Flute. The Tibia is thick like a Tuba.

 

TOP TIP: FibuLA = LAteral

  • Ankle bones
    Bones of The Ankle Joint
  • Tibia
    Tibia
  • Fibula
    Fibula
  • Talus
    Talus

7 TARSAL (FEET) BONES 

(superior → inferior, medial → lateral)

TIP: * Mnemonic Alert * Tiger Cubs Need MILC

  • T: Talus
  • C: Calcaneus
  • N: Navicular
  • M: Medial cuneiform
  • I: Intermediate cuneiform
  • L: Lateral cuneiform
  • C: Cuboid

2 JOINTS

Hinge-type and synovial joint based on the action:

 1. Subtalar joint

  • Bones = calcaneus and talus
  • Action = eversion and inversion

 2. “True” ankle joint

  • Bones = tibia, fibula, and talus
  • Action = dorsiflexion and plantarflexion

2 LIGAMENTS (REMEMBER: LIGAMENTS = BONE → BONE)

There are 2 main ligaments of the ankle joint:


 1. Medial ligament:

  • It consists of four separate ligaments, which fan out from the medial malleolus, attaching to the talus, calcaneus and navicular bones.
  • Action = Resists over-eversion of the foot.

 2. Lateral ligament:

  • Originates from the lateral malleolus.
  • Action = Resists over-inversion of the foot.
  • It is comprised of three distinct and separate ligaments:
  1. Anterior talofibular: weak ligament. lateral malleolus → lateral part of the talus
  2. Posterior talofibular: strong ligament. lateral malleolus → posterior part of the talus
  3. Calcaneofibular: lateral malleolus → calcaneus

TIP: * ANALOGY * THE ANKLE RING

In the coronal plane, the ankle joint and ligaments can be visualised as like a polo/ring:

  • UPPER RING: articular surfaces of tibia and fibular
  • SIDES: medial and lateral ligaments
  • LOWER RING: subtalar joint (calcaneus and talus)

When a polo mint breaks, it breaks in more than one place. This mechanism of breakage is similar to the ankle ring, where a fracture of one part causes damage to another part.

References

Radiopaedia. (2017). Tarsal bones (mnemonic). [online]. Available at: https://radiopaedia.org/articles/tarsal-bones-mnemonic [accessed 1 March 2017].

Teach Me Anatomy. (2017). The Ankle Joint. [online]. Available at: http://teachmeanatomy.info/upper-limb/joints/elbow-joint/ [accessed 1 March 2017].

 

Image References

Bones of The Ankle Joint.   Tibia.   Fibula.   Talas.   Tarsal bones.   Ankle joints.   Ankle ligaments 1+2.   Polo mint.   Anterior ankle.