Ankle en.svg
Lateral view of the human ankle
Latin tarsus
MeSH A02.835.583.378.062
TA A01.1.00.041
FMA 9665
Anatomical terminology

The ankle, or the talocrural region, [1] is the region where the foot and the leg meet. [2] The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint. [3] [4] [5] The movements produced at this joint are dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the foot. In common usage, the term ankle refers exclusively to the ankle region. In medical terminology, "ankle" (without qualifiers) can refer broadly to the region or specifically to the talocrural joint. [1] [6]

The main bones of the ankle region are the talus (in the foot), and the tibia and fibula (in the leg). The talocrural joint is a synovial hinge joint that connects the distal ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower limb with the proximal end of the talus. [7] The articulation between the tibia and the talus bears more weight than that between the smaller fibula and the talus.



The bony architecture of the ankle consists of three bones: the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The articular surface of the tibia is referred to as the plafond. The medial malleolus is a bony process extending distally off the medial tibia. The distal-most aspect of the fibula is called the lateral malleolus. Together, the malleoli, along with their supporting ligaments, stabilize the talus underneath the tibia.

The bony arch formed by the tibial plafond and the two malleoli is referred to as the ankle " mortise" (or talar mortise). The mortise is a rectangular socket. [1] The ankle is composed of three joints: the talocrural joint (also called talotibial joint, tibiotalar joint, talar mortise, talar joint), the subtalar joint (also called talocalcaneal), and the Inferior tibiofibular joint. [3] [4] [5] The joint surface of all bones in the ankle are covered with articular cartilage.

The distances between the bones in the ankle are as follows: [8]

  • Talus - medial malleolus : 1.70 ± 0.13 mm
  • Talus - tibial plafond: 2.04 ± 0.29 mm
  • Talus - lateral malleolus: 2.13 ± 0.20 mm

Decreased distances indicate osteoarthritis.


The ankle joint is bound by the strong deltoid ligament and three lateral ligaments: the anterior talofibular ligament, the posterior talofibular ligament, and the calcaneofibular ligament.

  • The deltoid ligament supports the medial side of the joint, and is attached at the medial malleolus of the tibia and connect in four places to the talar shelf of the calcaneus, calcaneonavicular ligament, the navicular tuberosity, and to the medial surface of the talus.
  • The anterior and posterior talofibular ligaments support the lateral side of the joint from the lateral malleolus of the fibula to the dorsal and ventral ends of the talus.
  • The calcaneofibular ligament is attached at the lateral malleolus and to the lateral surface of the calcaneus.

Though it does not span across the ankle joint itself, the syndesmotic ligament makes an important contribution to the stability of the ankle. This ligament spans the syndesmosis, i.e. the articulation between the medial aspect of the distal fibula and the lateral aspect of the distal tibia. An isolated injury to this ligament is often called a high ankle sprain.

The bony architecture of the ankle joint is most stable in dorsiflexion. Thus, a sprained ankle is more likely to occur when the ankle is plantar-flexed, as ligamentous support is more important in this position. The classic ankle sprain involves the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), which is also the most commonly injured ligament during inversion sprains. Another ligament that can be injured in a severe ankle sprain is the calcaneofibular ligament.


Mechanoreceptors of the ankle send proprioceptive sensory input to the central nervous system (CNS). [9] Muscle spindles are thought to be the main type of mechanoreceptor responsible for proprioceptive attributes from the ankle. [10] The muscle spindle gives feedback to the CNS system on the current length of the muscle it innervates and to any change in length that occurs.

It was hypothesized that muscle spindle feedback from the ankle dorsiflexors played the most substantial role in proprioception relative to other muscular receptors that cross at the ankle joint. However, due to the multi-planar range of motion at the ankle joint there is not one group of muscles that is responsible for this. [11] This helps to explain the relationship between the ankle and balance.

In 2011, a relationship between proprioception of the ankle and balance performance was seen in the CNS. This was done by using a fMRI machine in order to see the changes in brain activity when the receptors of the ankle are stimulated. [12] This implicates the ankle directly with the ability to balance. Further research is needed in order to see to what extent does the ankle affect balance.

Other Languages
አማርኛ: ቁርጭምጭሚት
العربية: كاحل
aragonés: Clavillar
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܩܘܪܨܠܐ
Avañe'ẽ: Pyñuã
Aymar aru: Kayumuqu
Bahasa Banjar: Pagalangan batis
Bân-lâm-gú: Kha-ba̍k
brezhoneg: Ufern
català: Turmell
čeština: Hlezenní kloub
Cymraeg: Migwrn
dansk: Ankel
Deutsch: Sprunggelenk
ދިވެހިބަސް: ތަނބިކަށި
español: Tobillo
Esperanto: Piedartiko
euskara: Orkatila
فارسی: قوزک پا
Frysk: Ankel
Gaeilge: Rúitín
Gàidhlig: Adhbrann
galego: Nocello
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kiok-khwá
हिन्दी: टखना
Ido: Maleolo
Bahasa Indonesia: Pergelangan kaki
isiXhosa: Iqatha
italiano: Caviglia
עברית: קרסול
Basa Jawa: Ugel-ugel sikil
лакку: Кьюршлу
latviešu: Potīte
Lëtzebuergesch: Enkel (Anatomie)
lumbaart: Caviggia
Bahasa Melayu: Buku lali
Nederlands: Enkel
नेपाली: कुर्कुच्चा
日本語: 足関節
norsk: Ankelledd
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗਿੱਟਾ
پنجابی: گٹا
português: Tornozelo
română: Gleznă
Runa Simi: Chaki muqu
संस्कृतम्: गुल्फः
Scots: Anklet
sicilianu: Cavigghia
Simple English: Ankle
suomi: Nilkka
svenska: Vrist
Tagalog: Bukung-bukong
Türkçe: Ayak bileği
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئوشۇق
Võro: Jalajakk
粵語: 腳腕
žemaitėška: Kolkštėns
中文: 腳踝