Muscular And Tendon Anatomy Of The Ankle
The posterior side of the lower leg houses the calf muscles. These muscles attach to the Achilles tendon, which is the largest tendon in the body. This is exposed to large amounts of force in activities such as running or jumping, making it prone to injury. The Tibialis Posterior muscle also lives in the posterior side of the lower leg. Continuing, the tendon associated with this muscle crosses over the middle portion of the ankle and is called the Posterior Tibialis Tendon. Those with flat feet may be at risk for additional strain on this tendon, which if not addressed, can lead to tendonitis.
The lateral compartment of the lower leg contains two muscles, the Peroneal Brevis and the Peroneal Longus muscles. Subsequently, the tendons of these muscles travel on the outside of the ankle and can also be subject to strain with overuse. Other important structures over the lateral ankle include three lateral ligaments: the Anterior Talofibular Ligament , the Calcaneofibular Ligament , and the Posterior Talofibular Ligaments . These structures are vital for stability of the ankle. Injury to these ligaments, as commonly seen with ankle sprains, can lead to long-term instability if not treated properly. Visit our blog What to do for a Sprained Ankle to learn more about how to treat an ankle sprain.
The Muscles Tendons And Ligaments
The muscles of the foot are located mainly in the sole of the foot and divided into a central group and a group on either side . The muscles at the top of the foot fan out to supply the individual toes.
The tendons in the foot are thick bands that connect muscles to bones. When the muscles tighten they pull on the tendons, which in turn move the bones. Arguably, the most important tendon is the Achilles tendon, which allows the calf muscles to move the ankle joint.
The ligaments are fibrous bands – imagine very strong rubber bands – which bind the bones together to give shape, flexibility and strength to the foot. There are many ligaments in the foot. Some run together to form complex webs around areas which need extra support, such as the sole of the foot, the top of the foot and the ankle joint.
What Are The Parts Of The Foot Called
The feet are flexible structures of bones, joints, muscles, and soft tissues. They allow us to perform activities like walking, running, and jumping.
The foot is divided into three sections:
- The forefoot contains the five toes and the five longer bones .
- The midfoot is a pyramid-like collection of bones that form the arches of the feet. These include the three cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone, and the navicular bone.
- The hind foot forms the heel and ankle. The talus bone supports the leg bones , forming the ankle. The calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot.
- Meet our team of Foot and Ankle Doctors that treat injuries to the foot & ankle.
Illustration of the foot muscles and tendons
Also Check: Ankle Boots To Wear With Dresses
Tendons And Ligaments Of The Foot
Ligaments attach bones to other bones at joints, and there are more than 30 in the foot. Tendons attach muscles to bone, so they are important for controlling movement. Both are tough, fibrous lengths of connective tissue.
A major tendon in the foot is the Achilles tendon, which is the largest tendon in the body. It runs from the muscles of the calf to the calcaneus and plays a role in many movements such as running, walking, and climbing stairs by helping lift the heel from the ground.
The longest foot ligament is the plantar fascia, which runs underneath the foot connecting the heel to the toes, forming the arch. It helps with balance and strength.
Because the foot is such a complex structure, there are many different conditions that can affect it. The sections below will explore some of the most common.
The Basics Of Ankle Anatomy And Foot Anatomy
Basic anatomy for any joint structure within the body includes bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. For our purposes, we will be discussing Ankle Anatomy and Foot Anatomy structures specifically.
Terms to Know:
- Distal: situated away from the center of the body
- Proximal: situated closer to the center of the body than distal
Don’t Miss: Grundéns Deck Boss Ankle Boot
What Is Morton Neuroma
Morton neuroma is a buildup of benign tissue in the nerves running between the long bones of the foot. Morton neuroma occurs when two bones rub together and squeeze the nerve between them. Most often, neuromas develop between the bones leading to the third and fourth toes. Morton neuroma often causes swelling, tenderness, and pain. If the pain becomes severe, it may cause tingling, numbness, and burning in the toes. It usually occurs after standing or walking for a long period of time. Treatment for this condition may involve rest or a change in footwear that does not restrict the foot. If the problem persists, cortisone injections or surgery may be considered.
This condition is a thickening of the nerve sheath that surrounds a nerve in the ball of the foot. It most commonly develops between the third and fourth toes. It also commonly occurs between the second and third toes.
Clinical Relevance: Medial Plantar Nerve Entrapment
The medial plantar nerve can become compressed and irritated as it passes deep to the abductor hallucis muscle.
This can cause aching, numbness and paraesthesia on the medial side of the sole of the foot. The muscle can become compressed during repetitive eversion of the foot, which may occur in some sports such as gymnastics.
4 free articlesWant to continue learning?
- Access over 1700 multiple choice questions
- Access over 1700 multiple choice questions
The muscles acting on the foot can be divided into two distinct groups extrinsic and intrinsic muscles.
- The extrinsic muscles arise from the anterior, posterior and lateral compartments of the leg. They are mainly responsible for actions such as eversion, inversion, plantarflexion and dorsiflexion of the foot.
- The intrinsic muscles are located within the foot and are responsible for the fine motor actions of the foot, for example movement of individual digits.
In this article we shall be considering the anatomy of the intrinsic muscles of the foot. They can be divided into those situated on the dorsum of the foot, and those in the sole of the foot.
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Foot Hurt
Foot Anatomy And Common Foot Problems
Get relief of foot pain by understanding the structure and ailments of your feet
The anatomy of the foot and its function can predispose to common foot problems.
Common causes of foot pain include plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, heel spurs, mallet toe, metatarsalgia, claw toe, and Morton’s neuroma. If your feet hurt, there are effective ways to ease the pain This article provides an overview of foot anatomy and foot problems that come from overuse, injury, and normal wear and tear of the foot.
Anatomy Of A Joint Structure
A joint is a part of a body where two or more bones meet. The ends of these bones are covered by Cartilage. To define, Cartilage is a connective tissue structure that helps provide shock absorbing properties when performing activities. In addition to cartilage, Synovial Fluid presents within each joint space and promotes smooth movement of the joint. There are also important connective tissues called Tendons and Ligaments that make up each body structure. A tendon is a tissue that connects muscle to bone. Similarly, ligaments connect bone to bone.
Recommended Reading: Pain On Outside Of Ankle When Walking
Bones Of The Feet: Breakdown
It is important to know the boness normal shapes and positions as they form reference points for assessing and examining the foot.
The 26 bones of the feet are part of the three, main sections of the foot: forefoot, midfoot, and rearfoot.
- metatarsal 5 bones attach proximally to toes
- phalanges 14 bones
Rare Causes Of Bottom
Though less common, additional causes of foot pain must also be considered.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The tarsal tunnel is a narrow space on the inside of the ankle. Many arteries, veins, tendons, and nerves that allow the foot to move in different directions run through the tarsal tunnel.
One of these nerves is the posterior tibial nerve, which is responsible for the sensations you feel on the bottom of your foot and in your toes. Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the posterior tibial nerve gets compressed in the tarsal tunnel. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the foot.
Factors that increase your chances of developing tarsal tunnel syndrome include:
This rare autoimmune disorder can come in several different forms. The most common form in the United States is acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy .
AIDP is often triggered by an infection, such as the flu or a respiratory illness. It can also be triggered by an immunization, but this is extremely rare.
As many as 40% of Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome cases are triggered by a bacteria called Campylobacter jejuni, which causes diarrhea. It’s often found in undercooked poultry, putting people who eat it at an increased risk of campylobacter infection. GBS tends to set in a few weeks after the infection took place.
Read Also: Warm Sensation In Foot No Pain
Treatment Of The Foot At Joi Rehab
Whether you are suffering from foot issues, joint pain, or injuries resulting from any type of activity, give us a call. JOI has 12 physical therapy clinics conveniently located in Jacksonville and Northeast FL. Therefore, our goal is to get you back to the activities and sports that you love.
All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home.
- To schedule a new patient or follow up patient appointment with your MD, please call JOI-2000.
- Finally, to schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.
What Are Hammertoes
A hammertoe is a condition in which the toe buckles, causing the middle joint of the affected toe to poke out. Tight-fitting shoes that put pressure on the hammertoe often aggravate this condition. Often a corn develops at this site. Treatment for hammertoes may include:
Applying a toe pad specially positioned over the bony protrusion
Changing your footwear to accommodate the deformed toe
This condition is a deformity in which a toe bends downward at the middle joint. The second toe is the one most likely to be affected, but this deformity can occur in other toes as well. Sometimes, more than one toe is affected.
Read Also: How To Tape An Ankle Sprain
What Is A Corn
Corns are yellowish, callus growths that develop on top of the toes. Corns develop because of abuse or stress. Often, a corn develops where a toe rubs against a shoe or another toe. Corns can cause extreme discomfort and pain. Treatment may include:
Trimming the corn by shaving the layers of dead skin
Applying pads around the corn area
Wearing larger shoes to comfortably fit your foot without rubbing
To avoid corn development, always buy shoes that fit properly.
When To Seek Emergency Care
There are some instances in which you should go straight to the emergency room. Don’t hesitate to go to the ER if:
- You have severe pain or swelling
- You are unable to put any weight on your foot or walk
- You have numbness or loss of sensation
- The pain or tingling comes on suddenly
- You feel burning or tingling in your feet after being exposed to toxins
- You had a flu or other infection in the days or weeks before your pain began, which could indicate Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome
- You have an open wound, or your wound has signs of infection, such as pus, redness, or red streaks leading from it
Recommended Reading: How To Put On Ankle Brace
What Is A Ligament Sprain
You can sprain a ligament in your foot by twisting your foot or rolling your ankle. These injuries often occur along with an ankle sprain.
Foot ligament sprains are graded 1, 2 or 3, depending on the amount of damage to the ligament:
- Grade 1 sprain: The ligament is stretched and may have microscopic tears.
- Grade 2 sprain: The ligament is partially torn.
- Grade 3 sprain: The ligament is completely torn.
What Is A Foot Fracture
With 26 bones in a single foot, almost any of them can be broken. Many fractures do not require surgery, or even a cast, as they will heal on their own with some support. When a foot is fractured, the site of the fracture usually is painful and swollen. The site of the fracture will determine the course of treatment, if needed, including:
Ankle joint fractures. These fractures may be serious and require immediate medical attention. Ankle fractures usually require a cast, and some may require surgery if the bones are too separated or misaligned.
Metatarsal bone fractures. Fractures of the metatarsal bones, located in the middle of the foot, often do not require a cast. A stiff-soled shoe may be all that is needed for support as the foot heals. Sometimes, surgery is needed to correct misaligned bones or fractured segments.
Sesamoid bone fractures. The sesamoid bones are 2 small, round bones at the end of the metatarsal bone of the big toe. Usually, padded soles can help relieve pain. However, sometimes, the sesamoid bone may have to be surgically removed.
Toe fractures. Fractures of the toes normally can heal with or without a cast.
Don’t Miss: Xtratuf Women’s Ankle Boots
What Is A Bunion
A bunion is a protrusion of bone or tissue around a joint. Bunions may occur at the base of the great toe or at the base of the little toe, and often occur when the joint is stressed over a period of time. Women get bunions more often than men do because they may wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Bunions can also be a result of arthritis, which often affects the big toe joint.
Treatment of bunions may vary depending on the pain and deformity. Treatment may include:
Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes
Applying pads to the affected area
Medications, such as ibuprofen
A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, develops on the big toe joint when the bones of the big toe become misaligned. It looks like a large bump on the side of the toe. The big toe angles in toward the second toe, and, in severe cases, may overlap or tuck beneath the second toe. Bunions are more common in women than in men.
What Is An Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain is an injury to the foot’s ligaments in the ankle. Ligaments are tough bands of elastic tissue that connect bones to each other. Ankle sprains may occur if the ankle rolls, turns, or twists beyond its normal range of motion. Ankle sprains may be caused by awkward foot placement, irregular surfaces, weak muscles, loose ligaments, or wearing shoes with spiked heels. The symptoms of a sprain will depend on how severely the ligaments are stretched or torn, but usually include swelling, pain, or bruising. Treatment will depend on the severity of the sprain, but may include:
Resting the ankle
Wrapping the ankle with elastic bandage or tape
Ice pack application
Elevating the ankle
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen to help reduce the pain and inflammation
Gradual return to walking and exercise
Ligaments are fibrous, elastic bands of tissue that connect and stabilize the bones. An ankle sprain is a common, painful injury that occurs when one or more of the ankle ligaments is stretched beyond the normal range of motion. Sprains can occur as a result of sudden twisting, turning or rolling movements.
Ankle Sprains | Q& A with John Thompson, M.D.
Don’t Miss: Wrist And Ankle Pain No Swelling
Who Is Most Likely To Experience Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis affects an estimated 2 million people per year.
You put stress on your plantar fascia ligament with each step you take. Anyone can get plantar fasciitis, but certain factors increase your risk:
- High arches in your feet.
- Repetitive, high-impact motion .
- Tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
What Is A Lisfranc Injury
A Lisfranc injury is also called a midfoot injury because it occurs in the Lisfranc joint in the middle of your foot. Falling or twisting your ankle can break the bones in the Lisfranc joint and tear ligaments.
Severe Lisfranc injuries may require surgery to repair fractured bones and torn ligaments. For less severe sprains, you may still need to wear a cast or boot on the affected foot and keep your weight off it for several weeks.
Read Also: Seaview Orthopedics Brick New Jersey
What Are Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a bone growth on the heel bone. It is usually located on the underside of the heel bone where it attaches to the plantar fascia, a long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. This connective tissue holds the arch together and acts as a shock absorber during activity. If the plantar fascia is overstretched from running, wearing poor-fitting shoes, or being overweight, pain can result from the stress and inflammation of the tissue pulling on the bone. Over time, the body builds extra bone in response to this stress resulting in heel spurs. Treatment options may include:
How To Look After Your Feet
We probably spend more time maintaining our cars than we do our feet. It’s amazing how little care we give them, considering what complex machines they are and what we expect them to do. However, when things do go wrong they soon start complaining! Foot pain should never be ignored, particularly if it occurs daily and becomes persistent.
There are some simple things you can do to look after your feet.
Read Also: Best Shoes For Bad Feet And Ankles