The ankle joint consists of the upper bones, the Tibia and fibula and the Talus at the bottom. There are many ligaments supporting the joint, which are frequently injured. However, when the range of motion of the ankle and subtalar joints (talocalcaneal and talocalcaneonavicular) is taken together, the complex functions as a universal joint. The combined movement in the dorsiflexion and plantarflexion directions is greater than 100°; bone-on-bone abutment beyond this range protects the anterior and posterior ankle capsular ligaments from injury. The anterior and posterior ankle capsular ligaments are relatively thin compared with the medial and lateral ankle ligaments.
However, presenting the anatomy of the ankle in a more detailed way would be a great alternative for the ordinary person to locate the pain that comes from his or her leg, which eventually will encourage him or her to visit a specific medical specialist for expert help and treatment as soon as possible. We are here to provide you with the necessary information about the anatomy of the ankle by trying to put some light over it without making you feel confused or in difficulties to get to know your own ankle.
About the ankle ligaments – significant for the intact ankles and the flexibility of each motion they perform
The ankle is reinforced by a number of ligaments that connect the bones of this joint. Ligaments are fibrous tissue that usually connect bone to bone. These include the deltoid, anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular ligaments. Ligaments hold the tendons in place and stabilize the joints. The longest of these, the plantar fascia, forms the arch on the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes. By stretching and contracting, it allows the arch to curve or flatten, providing balance and giving the foot strength to initiate the act of walking. 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. Medial ligaments on the inside and lateral ligaments on outside of the foot provide stability and enable the foot to move up and down. But without some inside body processes ligaments of the ankle cannot perform even part of the functions they are assigned to. Thus, skin, blood vessels, and nerves give the foot its shape and durability, provide cell regeneration and essential muscular nourishment, and control its varied movements.
Muscles and tendons work together and in a supporting function for the ankle ligaments
There are 20 muscles in the foot that give the foot its shape by holding the bones in position and expand and contract to impart movement. The main muscles of the foot are: the anterior tibial, which enables the foot to move upward; the posterior tibial, which supports the arch; the peroneal tibial, which controls movement on the outside of the ankle; the extensors, which help the ankle raise the toes to initiate the act of stepping forward; and the flexors, which help stabilize the toes against the ground. Smaller muscles enable the toes to lift and curl.
There are elastic tissues (tendons) in the foot that connect the muscles to the bones and joints. These are the tendons that are basically in constant risk to be threatened by ankle injury, because they are really delicate and fragile. The largest and strongest tendon of the foot is the Achilles tendon, which extends from the calf muscle to the heel. Its strength and joint function facilitate running, jumping, walking up stairs, and raising the body onto the toes.
When speaking of the anatomy of the ankle and observing a diagram of it, we can simply see the complex structure of a joint that determines a variety of ordinary and daily motions we perform. Without healthy and properly functional ankles human body gets disabled to perform 50% of the regular movements he is used to perform. Ankle injury or disease treatment must be always in time and conducted with a medical specialist.
Image of ankle anatomy , CC License