Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Broken Ankle Anatomy

To better understand ankle fracture, it helps to understand the anatomy of the ankle joint.

The ankle consists of three bones:

  • The tibia is the large, long bone in the lower leg.
  • The fibula is the thin, long bone in the lower leg.
  • The talus lies on top of the heel bone and supports the tibia.

  • Tibia and fibula
  • Side view of ankle bones
  • Front view of ankle bones on x-ray

These three bones are bonded together by strong bands, called ligaments. The ligaments, muscles and tendons keep the bones of the ankle together during movement.

  • Inner aspect of ankle joint
  • View from behind the ankle joint
  • Outer aspect of ankle joint

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Broken Ankle References
  1. DiGiovanni BF, Partal G, Baumhauer JF. Acute ankle injury and chronic lateral instability in the athlete. Clin Sports Med. 2004 Jan;23(1):1-19, v. [15062581]
  2. Kunkel M, Miller SD. Return to work after foot and ankle injury. Foot Ankle Clin. 2002 Jun;7(2):421-8, viii. [12462119]
  3. McKay GD, Goldie PA, Payne WR, Oakes BW. Ankle injuries in basketball: injury rate and risk factors. Br J Sports Med. 2001 Apr;35(2):103-8.[11273971]
  4. Pugia ML, Middel CJ, Seward SW, Pollock JL, Hall RC, Lowe L, Mahony L, Henderson NE. Comparison of acute swelling and function in subjects with lateral ankle injury. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2001 Jul;31(7):384-8.[11451309]
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