Ankle & Foot Anatomy

The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons. Complex biomechanics keep all these parts in the right position and moving together. Given these intricacies, it is not surprising that most people will experience some problem with their feet at some time in their lives.

Within each foot, the essential structure can be summed up as follows:

  • ANKLE The connection of the two leg bones with the anatomical foot.There are two joints the one involving the two leg bones near the ankle (syndesmosis) where high ankle sprains occur and the Ankle joint which allows for up and down foot motion.
  • ANKLE LIGAMENTS Ankle ligaments support the position of the ankle bone (talus).
  • ARCH Tarsal and metatarsal bones provide the structure for the arch of the foot.
  • CALCANEUS The heel bone, one of the tarsals. The Achilles tendon attaches to the back of the heel.
  • LISFRANC JOINTS The joints the connect the metatarsals with the tarsal bones.
  • SUBTALAR JOINT The joint between the talus (ankle bone) and calcaneus (heel bone).
  • TARSAL BONES Seven short tarsal bones make up the ankle, heel, and back of the instep.
  • TALUS The talus is the ankle bone which controls ankle and hindfoot motion. Covered with cartilage on most of the surface there are no tendon attachments to this bone. 
  • METATARSAL BONES Five metatarsal bones make up the structure for the ball of the foot. Each metatarsal is associated with one of the toes.
  • PHALANGES Fourteen phalanges, small bones, form the toe structure.