Ankle and Foot


The ankle is the part of the lower limb encompassing the distal portion of the leg and proximal portions of the foot. IThe ankle encompasses the ankle joint, an articulation between the tibia and fibula of the leg and the talus of the foot, which is described in more detail here

the foot is the part of the lower limb distal to the ankle joint. It is covered on its dorsal surface by loosely adherent skin and on its plantar/inferior surface by thick hairless skin that is tough and strongly adherent to the underlying plantar aponeurosis. The foot consists of a number of bones crammed up in a small area of space and well positioned for weight bearing and weight distribution. The bones are arranged in an arch for the effieciency of weight distribution and to avoid compression of the neurovascular structures that run on the foot's plantar aspect. 3 arches are usually described, the medial and lateral longitudinal as well as the transverse arches


The bones of the foot are named as follows

The tarsals which are the 





             Cuneiforms - medial, intermediate and lateral

The metatarsals - 5 in number and numbered from medial (big toe) to lateral (little toe)

The phalanges - each digit has 3 phalnges except for the Big toe (hallux) which has only two


The dorsum of the foot has only one muscle (may be 2 depending on classification). This is the extensor digitorum brevis (some authors will name the most mdial part of this muscle, the extensor hallucis brevis). Tendons from some muscles in the anterior/dorsiflexor compartment of the leg will also be found running in the dorsum of the foot

The plantar aspect of the foot has muscle fibres and tendons arranged in 4 layers. These layers lie deep to the tough fibrous plantar aponeurosis found in this apect. The layers are number 1 to 4 from suprficial to deep.

Layer 1 consists of the Abductor didgiti minimi, Flexor digitorum brevis and Abductor hallucis

Layer 2 consists of the quadratus plantae and the lumbricals as well as the long tendons of flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus

Layer 3 consists of the Flexor hallucis brevis, Adductor hallucis and the flexor digiti minimi brevis

Layer 4 consists of the interosseous muscles and the long tendons of peroneus/fibularis longus and tibialis posterior


Cutaneous innervation is supplied by the superficail and deep peroneal/fibualr nerves on the dorsum of the foot

Cutaneous innervation is by the medial and lateral planter nerves as well as the tibial nerve on the plantar aspect of the foot

Muscular motor innervation is by the deep peroneal nerve on the dorsal apesct (extensor digitorum brevis and extensor hallucis brevis)

Motor innervation is via the medial and lateral plantar nerves (terminal branches of the tibial nerve) on the plantar aspect of the foot

Arteries cossing into the foot are anterior tibial - dorsalis pedis artery and posterior tibial - terminal branches are mdial and lateral plantar arteries that accompany nerves of corresponding names

Clinical Examination