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What is the anatomy of the ankle?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Your ankles must bear the full weight of your body, yet stay nimble and flexible. Every step, every jump, every dance move puts the ankle through a surprising range of motion. Even when you stand quietly, hips and knees at rest, the ankles are constantly moving and making minute adjustments to help you stay balanced.

The large bone in the lower leg is the shin bone (tibia). It connects to the central ankle bone (talus). Bracketed by two bony bumps (each called a malleolus) on either side of the ankle, the talus acts as a hinge that allows you to point and flex your foot. Two other joints on the talus permit sideways movements. The shin bone bears all the weight; a second, smaller bone in the lower leg (fibula) ends alongside the talus. The heel bone (calcaneus) lies below the talus, cupping it. Two ligaments link the inner malleolus to the ankle bones. Three more ligaments bind the outer malleolus to the talus and calcaneus.

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