Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children using a cane using a walker using crutches warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Painful Ankle Anatomy

To better understand ankle pain, 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 Painful Ankle References
  1. Glazebrook MA, Paletz JL. Treatment of posttraumatic injuries to the nerves in the foot and ankle. Foot Ankle Clin. 2006 Mar;11(1):183-90, x. [16564461]
  2. Irving DB, Cook JL, Menz HB. Factors associated with chronic plantar heel pain: a systematic review. J Sci Med Sport. 2006 May;9(1-2):11-22. [16584917]
  3. Maquirriain J. Posterior ankle impingement syndrome. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005 Oct;13(6):365-71. [16224109]
  4. Mizel MS, Hecht PJ, Marymont JV, Temple HT. Evaluation and treatment of chronic ankle pain. Instr Course Lect. 2004;53:311-21. [15116624]
  5. Salk RS, Chang TJ, D'Costa WF, Soomekh DJ, Grogan KA. Sodium hyaluronate in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the ankle: a controlled, randomized, double-blind pilot study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006 Feb;88(2):295-302. [16452740]
  6. Sontheimer DL. Peripheral vascular disease: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jun 1;73(11):1971-6. [16770929]
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