Foot and Ankle Anatomy
The ankles and feet are known to be the foundation of the body. The main structures of the foot and ankle include:
- The ankle bone (talus) sits at the top of the foot and connects the leg bones (tibia and fibula) to the foot bones (calcaneus, navicular, cuboid and the three cuneiform bones).
- The heel bone (calcaneus) is the largest bone in the foot and supports the weight of the body.
- The arch of the foot is composed of the navicular, cuneiform bones and cuboid bones.
- The toes are composed of the phalanges, which are the long bones of the toes, and the metatarsals, which are the bones that connect the toes to the rest of the foot.
Ligaments and Tendons:
- The ankle joint is held together by several ligaments that provide stability and support, including the anterior talofibular ligament, the calcaneofibular ligament, and the posterior talofibular ligament.
- The tendons that attach muscles to the bones of the foot and ankle, including the Achilles tendon and the peroneal tendons, play a crucial role in the movement and function of the foot and ankle.
- The muscles of the foot and ankle are responsible for movement and support of the foot and ankle. They include the calf muscles, such as the gastrocnemius and soleus, as well as the intrinsic muscles of the foot, such as the flexor digitorum brevis and the extensor digitorum brevis.
- The arches of the foot provide support and shock absorption. The medial arch is formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones, and the lateral arch is formed by the calcaneus, cuboid, and the fifth metatarsal.
- The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, from the heel to the toes, providing support and stability to the arch of the foot.
- The skin and subcutaneous tissues, including the fat and blood vessels, also play a role in the function of the foot and ankle by providing cushioning and nourishment to the bones and muscles.