This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Understanding Ankle Joint: Know About the Supporting Ligaments, Tendons, Muscles

What Is Ankle Joint?

Ankle Joint is hinged synovial joint supported by several ligament, tendon, cartilage and muscle. Ankle joint is made up of two joints, which functions together to achieve flexion (upward), extension (downward) and lateral (side to side) movement of the feet.

What Is Ankle Joint?

Ankle Joint

  • True Ankle Joint.
  • Subtalar Joint.

What is True Ankle Joint?

The true ankle joint is composed of tibia, fibula and talus bone. Tibia lies on medial (inner) side and fibula lies on lateral (outer) side above the upper surface of talus. Ankle joint allows limited flexion and extension of the feet.

What is Subtalar Joint?

Subtalar joint is between talus and calcaneus bone. Talus sits on top of calcaneus bone. The subtalar joint allows side to side movements of the foot.

Which Ligaments Support Ankle Joint?

Ligaments are thick and tough band of fibrous tissue. The major ligaments of the ankle joints are as follows-

Anterior Ligament

This is divided in following sub-groups

  • Anterior tibio-fibular ligament- connects the tibia to fibula.
  • Anterior tibio-talar ligament.
  • Anterior talo-fibular ligament.

Posterior ligament

This is divided in following sub-groups

  • Posterior tibio-talar ligament.
  • Posterior fibula-talar ligament.

Lateral Collateral Ligaments

  • Calcaneo-fibular ligament, attach the fibula to the calcaneus bone.

Deltoid Ligaments

These lie on medial or inner side of the joint and connects tibia to the talus. Deltoid ligaments are divided in following subgroups-

  • Tibionavicular.
  • Tibiocalcaneal.
  • Tibiotalar anterior.
  • Tibiotalar posterior.

Capsular Ligaments

Capsular ligaments are thin and mostly support the anterior section of the joint.

  • Anterior (front) capsular ligament
  • Posterior (back of the joint) capsular ligaments

Which Are The Tendons That Support Ankle Joint?

Tendons are like ligaments a tough band of fibrous tissue connects end of muscles to bones. Tendon facilitates anchoring of the muscles to the bone around the joint. Tendon helps to stabilize the joint.

 Ankle Joint

List of tendons supporting ankle joint are as follows-

  • Achilles Tendon– attaches calf muscles to back of calcaneus bone.
  • Flexor Hallucis Longus– lies along the inside of the ankle and attaches to the big toe.
  • Flexor Digitorum Longus– lies on medial or inside of the ankle joint and attaches to remaining 4 toes but big toe.
  • Peroneus Tendon– divided as peroneus brevis and peroneus longus lies on outside of the ankle joint and attaches to shaft of 5th metatarsal bone and spreads to bottom of the foot.
  • Posterior Tibial Tendon– attaches the midfoot and function is to maintain normal arch of the foot.
  • Anterior Tibialis Tendon– attaches anterior tibialis muscles to the bones of the midfoot.

Which Muscle Supports Ankle Joint?

Muscles are not directly in contact with ankle joint. Tendons are distal end of muscles and lies in contact with the ankle joint.

What Is Medial Malleolus?

The medial malleolus is the most prominent part of the lower end of the tibia, lies just under the skin on inner side of ankle joint.

What Is Lateral Malleolus?

Lateral malleolus is the bony prominence on outside of the ankle joint. Lateral malleolus is the lower end of the fibula bone and prone for fracture.

Watch 3D Video of Ankle Joint Anatomy


  1. Ankle osteoarthritis: etiology, diagnostics, and classification.

    Barg A, Pagenstert GI, Hügle T, Gloyer M, Wiewiorski M, Henninger HB, Valderrabano V.FootAnkle Clin.2013 Sep;18(3):411-26. doi: 10.1016/j.fcl.2013.06.001.Orthopaedic Department, Osteoarthritis Research Center Basel, University Hospital of Basel, University of Basel, Spitalstrasse 21, Basel CH-4031, Switzerland; Harold K. Dunn Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University Orthopaedic Center, University of Utah, 590 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA. Electronic address: victor.valderrabano@usb.ch

  2. Ankle dislocation without fracture.

    Wroble RR, Nepola JV, Malvitz TA.

    Foot Ankle.1988 Oct;9(2):64-74.

    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Iowa City.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 24, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts