How the body Works – Part 5 – The Ankle

Anatomy and Physiology of the Ankle.
(22 Posts)

The ankle is a complex and hard working structure! Tasked with holding us up, allowing us to move and navigate rocky terrane! Made up of a multitude of bones, ligaments and tendons it with stands massive pressure. So what are the facts about the ankle?

Most people see the ankle as having one joint, in truth and if we are being very specific it has three joints consisting of a number of bones. To name a few we have the tibia, fibula of the lower leg and of the ankle we have the talus and calcaneus.
All around these joints we have a number of ligaments as they connect bone to bone. Ensuring it stays stable.

However as we all know the ankle joint is one of the most commonly injured. It isn’t really surprising as it is one of the most used joints within our bodies. Add to that the sheer pressure of body weight and it becomes quite clear that the possibility of an ankle injury is somewhat high!

Bones and Joints of the ankle 

As previously mentioned the main and most prominate bones involved at the ankle joint  are the tibia, fibula, talus and calcaneus. Each has there differing function in terms of movement of the ankle. Below are the 3 joints broken down with movement, associated ligaments and name!

Talocrural Joint: This is a hinge joint (the one we all think of) formed by the distal ends of the fibula and tibula that join the upper  part of the talus. the joint allows for dorsiflexion (toes up) and plantarflexion (toes down, like a ballet dancer!).
Inferior tibiofibular Joint: One of the lesser know parts of the ankle! It is very strong and located between the lower surfaces of the tibia and fibula. This is supported by the inferior tibiofibular ligament.

Subtalar Joint: Bring together the surfaces of the talus bone and the calcaneus (heel bone). It provides to be a great shock absorber and the aids the movements of both inversion (inwards/towards body)  and eversion (outwards/away front he body) movements of the ankle. So when we move across the rocker terrain it comes in handy!

Ligaments of the ankle joint 

The ligaments of our ankles are rock solid, there are extremely strong and generally take some battering.  Mainly comprised of collateral ligaments. These strong fibrous tissues help make us stable , holding us steady and making sure we are able to perform the movements that we need too or in my case try too!

There is also the deltoid ligament on the medial side of the ankle (inward facing). You might be thinking isn’t that in the shoulder? Well the deltoid ligament is named as the fore mentioned due to its shape and that it copies the deltoid muscle in its appearance! So below are the breakdowns of these tough individuals.

Lateral Collateral Ligament:
The lateral collateral ligament prevents of excessive inversion. It is considerably weaker than the larger medial ligament and thus sprains to the lateral ligament are much more common. It is made up of 3 individual bands:

Anterior talofibular ligament: passes from the fibula to the front of the talus bone.

Calcaneofibular ligament: connects the calcaneus and the fibula
Posterior talofibular Ligament – passes from the back of the fibula to the rear surface of the calcaneus.

Medial Collateral Ligament:

The medial ligament also known as the deltoid ligament is considerably thicker than the lateral ligament and spreads out in a fan shape to cover the distal (bottom) end of the tibia and the inner surfaces of the talus, navicular, and calcaneus.


The ankle is just one of the structures you learn in depth on the personal trainer level 3 course and the sports massage therapy level 3 diploma, why not have a look and see if this is something you would like to discuss further at

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