Anatomy, Foot & Ankle: Musculoskeletal Medicine (2022)

Bones and Joints
Muscles and Tendons


A solid understanding of anatomy is essential to effectively diagnose and treat patients with foot and ankle problems. Anatomy is a road map. Most structures in the foot are fairly superficial and can be easily palpated. Anatomical structures (tendons, bones, joints, etc) tend to hurt exactly where they are injured or inflamed. Therefore a basic understanding of surface anatomy allows the clinician to quickly establish the diagnosis or at least narrow the differential diagnosis. For those conditions that require surgery a detailed understanding of anatomy is critical to ensure that the procedure is performed efficiently and without injuring any important structures. With a good grasp of foot anatomy it readily becomes apparent which surgical approaches can be used to access various areas of the foot and ankle.

There are a variety of anatomical structures that make up the anatomy of the foot and ankle (Figure 1) including bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves. These will be reviewed in the sections of this chapter.

Figure 1: Bones of the Foot and Ankle

Regions of the Foot

The foot is traditionally divided into three regions: the hindfoot, the midfoot, and the forefoot (Figure 2). Additionally, the lower leg often refers to the area between the knee and the ankle and this area is critical to the functioning of the foot.

The Hindfoot begins at the ankle joint and stops at the transverse tarsal joint (a combination of the talonavicular and calcaneal-cuboid joints). The bones of the hindfoot are the talus and the calcaneus.

The Midfoot begins at the transverse tarsal joint and ends where the metatarsals begin --at the tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint. While the midfoot has several more joints than the hindfoot, these joints have limited mobility. The five bones of the midfoot comprise the navicular, cuboid, and the three cuneiforms (medial, middle, and lateral).

The Forefoot is composed of the metatarsals, phalanges, and sesamoids. The bones that make up the forefoot are those that are last to leave the ground during walking. There are twenty-one bones in the forefoot: five metatarsals, fourteen phalanges, and two sesamoids. The great toe has only a proximal and distal phalanx, but the four lesser toes each have proximal, middle, and distal phalanges, which are much small than those of the great toe. There are two sesamoid bones embedded in the flexor hallucis brevis tendons that sit under the first metatarsal at the level of the great toe joint (1st metatarsophalangeal joint).

Figure 2: Regions of the Foot

Columns of the Foot

The foot is sometimes described as having two columns (Figure 3). The medial column is more mobile and consists of the talus, navicular, medial cuneiform, 1st metatarsal, and great toe. The lateral column is stiffer and includes the calcaneus, cuboid, and the 4th and 5th metatarsals.

Figure 3: Columns of the Foot

Bones and Joints

The foot is comprised of 28 bones (Figure 1). Where two bones meet a joint is formed –often supported by strong ligaments. It is helpful to think of the joints of the foot based on their mobility (Table 1). A few of the joints are quite mobile and are required for the foot to function normally from a biomechanical point of view. These are often referred to as essential joints. There are some joints that move a moderate amount, and there are other joints that are held tightly together with strong ligaments. These non-mobile joints are sometimes referred to as non-essential joints. (This may be a poor term in that it incorrectly implies that the joints are not important; they are important. Rather the correct sense is only that movement from these joints is less critical.)

Table 1: Joint Function in the Foot

Mobile Joints of the Foot and Ankle (Essential Joints):

Ankle joint (tibiotalar joint)

Subtalar joint

Talonavicular joint (TN joint)

Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints

Joints that Move a Moderate Amount:

Calcaneal-cuboid joint

(Video) Foot and ankle bones

Cuboid-metatarsal joint for the fourth and fifth metatarsal.

Proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP)

Distal interphalageal joint (DIP)

Joints with Minimal Movement (Non-Essential Joints):

Navicular-cuneiform joints

Intercuneiform joints

Tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint “Lisfranc” Joint (a.k.a. midfoot joint)

Bones of the lower leg and hindfoot: Tibia, Fibula, Talus, Calcaneus.
Joints of the hindfoot: Ankle (Tibiotalar), Subtalar.

Tibia and Fibula (long bones)

The foot is connected to the body where the talus articulates with the tibia and fibula. In a typical foot the tibia is responsible for supporting about 85% of body weight. The fibula accepts the remaining 15%; its main role is to serve as the lateral wall of the ankle mortise (Figure 4). The tibia and fibula are held together by the tibiofibular syndesmosis, a collection of 5 ligaments. The prominence on the medial side of the distal tibia is known as the medial malleolus; the distal aspect of the fibula is known as the lateral malleolus.

Figure 4: Ankle Joint Anatomy


The talus is the top (most proximal) bone of the foot. Because it articulates with so many other bones, 70% of the talus is covered with hyaline cartilage (joint cartilage). The talus connects to the calcaneus on the underside through the subtalar joint, and distally it connects to the navicular through the talonavicular joint. These articulations allow the foot to rotate smoothly around the talus. Owing primarily to the fact that no tendons attach to it and that most of its surface is cartilage, the talus has a relatively poor blood supply. The lack of a robust blood supply means that injuries to this bone take greater time to heal than might be the case with other bones—and some injuries will not heal at all.

The talus is generally thought of as having three parts: the body, the head, and the neck (Figure 5). The talar body, which is roughly square in shape and is topped by the dome, connects the talus to the lower leg at the ankle joint. The talar head is adjacent to the navicular bone to form the talonavicular joint. The talar neck is located between the body and head of the talus. The talar neck is one of the few areas of the talus not covered with cartilage, and is thus the point of entry for the blood vessels supplying the talus.


The calcaneus is commonly known as the heel bone. The calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot, and along with the talus, it makes up the area of the foot known as the hind-foot. There are three protrusions (anterior, middle, and posterior facet) on the superior surface of the calcaneus that allow the talus to sit on top of the calcaneus, forming the subtalar joint (Figure 6). The calcaneus also connects to the cuboid bone to form the calcaneal-cuboid joint.

Subtalar Joint

The talus rests above the calcaneus to form the subtalar joint (Figure 6) slightly offset laterally, towards the 5th metatarsal/small toe. This lateral positioning allows greater flexibility in inversion/eversion (tilting). The subtalar joint moves in concert with the talonavicular joint and the calcaneocuboid joint, two joints located near the front of the talus.

Figure 6: Calcaneal Anatomy

Bones of the midfoot: Cuboid, Navicular, Cuneiform (3).
Joints of the midfoot: talonavicular, calcaneocuboid, intercunneiform, tarsometatarsal (TMT).

(Video) Foot Anatomy Animated Tutorial


The cuboid bone is a square-shaped bone on the lateral aspect of the foot. The main joint formed with the cuboid is the calcaneocuboid joint, where the distal aspect of the calcaneus articulates with the cuboid.


The navicular is distal to the talus and connects with it through the talonavicular joint. The distal aspect connects to each of the three cuneiform bones. Like the talus, the navicular has a poor blood supply. On its medial side (closest to the middle of the foot) the navicular tuberosity is the main attachment of the posterior tibial tendon.

Transverse Tarsal Joint

The transverse tarsal joint is not a true joint, but the combination of the calcaneocuboid and talonavicular joints. When these two joints are aligned in parallel, the foot is flexible yet when their axes are divergent, the foot becomes stiff. The shift from a flexible state to a stiff one allows the foot to serve as a shock absorber and as a rigid level in different phases of gait.


There are three cuneiform bones in the foot: the medial, medial (intermediate), and lateral cuneiforms (Figure 7). These bones, along with the strong plantar and dorsal ligaments that connect to them, provide a good deal of stability for the foot.

Bones of the forefoot: Metatarsals (5), Phalanges (14), Sesamoid Bones (2)


Each foot contains five metatarsals, numbered 1-5 medial (great toe) to lateral. The first three metatarsals medially are more rigidly held in place than the lateral two. The metatarsals articulate with the mid-foot at their base, a joint called the tarsal-metatarsal (TMT) joint, or Lisfranc joint. The TMT joint is made stable not only by strong ligaments connecting these bones, but also because the second metatarsal is recessed into the middle cuneiform in comparison to the others (Figure 7). The metatarsal heads are the main weight bearing surface and the site where the phalanges attached at the metatarsal-phalangeal (MTP) joint.

Figure 7: Lisfranc (Tarsometatarsal) Joint


The first toe, also known as the great toe or hallux, is the only one to have two phalanges; the other lesser toes have three. These are known as the proximal phalanx (closest to the ankle) and the distal phalanx (farthest from the ankle). The phalanges form interphalangeal joints between themselves: a proximal interphalaneal joint (PIP) and the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Joints of the Toes

Sesamoid Bones

In the foot, there are two sesamoid bones located directly underneath the first metatarsal head, embedded in the medial (tibial) side and lateral (fibular) aspect of the flexor hallucis brevis tendon.

Common Ossicles of the Foot

Some feet contain accessory ossicles or accessory bones (Figure 9). These extra bones are developmental variants. Over 40 different ossicles of the foot have been reported. The most common accessory bones include:

Os Trigonum: Found at the posterior aspect of the talar body, this ossicle is connected to the talus via a fibrous union that failed to unite (ossify) between the lateral tubercle of the posterior process. An os trigonum is present in about 10% of the population.

Os Naviculare (Os Tibiale Externum or Accessory Navicular): This bone represents a failure to unite the ossification center the navicular tuberosity (where the tibialis posterior tendon inserts) to the main center of the bone. It is present in about 15% of the population.

Os Peroneum: This extra bone is found within the peroneus longus tendon sheath at the point where it wraps around the cuboid. It has been reported in about 20% of patients.

Bipartite Sesamoid: This condition occurs when one of the sesamoids associates with the great toe fails to ossify resulting in two bone segments connected by a fibrous union. It can be mistaken for a sesamoid fracture. Bipartite sesamoids are seen in about 20% of the population with more than 90% of them occurring in the tibial sesamoid.

Os Subfibulare: This extra bone is seen at the type of the fibula. It can be mistaken for an avulsion fracture. It is seen in 1-2% of the population.

Figure 9: Common Accessory Ossicles of the Foot


The Anterior TaloFibular Ligament (ATFL)

The anterior talofibular ligament (Figure 10) is the most commonly injured ligament when an ankle is sprained. The ATFL runs from the anterior aspect of the distal fibula (lateral malleolus) down and to the outer front portion of the ankle in order to connect to the neck of the talus. It stabilizes the ankle against inversion, especially when the ankle is plantar-flexed.

The CalcaneoFibular Ligament (CFL)

The calcaneofibular ligament (Figure 10) is also on the lateral side of the ankle. It starts at the tip of the fibula and runs along the lateral aspect of the ankle and into the calcaneus. It too resists inversion, but more when the ankle is dorsiflexed.

Posterior TaloFibular Ligament

The posterior talofibular ligament runs from the back lower part of the fibula and into the outer back portion of the calcaneus (Figure 10). This ligament functions to stabilize the ankle joint and subtalar joint.

Figure 10: Lateral Ankle Ligaments

(Video) Ankle and foot functional anatomy for students

The Deltoid Ligament

The deltoid ligament is a fan shaped band of connective tissue on the medial side of the ankle (Figure 11). It runs from the medial malleolus down into the talus and calcaneus. The deeper branch of the ligament is securely fastened in the talus, while the more superficial, broader aspect runs into the calcaneus. This ligament functions to resist eversion.

Figure 11: Medial Deltoid Ligament

Spring Ligament

The spring ligament (Figure 11) is a strong ligament that originates on the sustentaculum tali – a bony prominence of the calcaneus on the medial aspect of the hindfoot. The spring ligament inserts into the plantar medial aspect of the navicular and serves to cradle and support the talar head.

Lisfranc Ligaments

The Lisfranc joint complex is a series of ligaments that stabilize the tarsometatarsal joints. These ligaments prevent the joints of the midfoot from moving much, and as such provide considerable stability to the arch of the foot. The plantar ligaments are stronger than those on the dorsal side (Figure 12 & 13). The Lisfranc ligament is a strong band of tissue that connects the medial cuneiform to the base of the second metatarsal.

The Inter-Metatarsal Ligaments

These ligaments run between the metatarsal bones at the base of the toes (Figure 12). They connect the neck region of each metatarsal to the one next to it, and bind them together. This keeps the metatarsals moving in sync. While it is possible to tear these ligaments, it is also possible for them to irritate the digital nerve as it crosses the ligaments creating a Morton’s neuroma.

The 1st MTP joint Capsule of the Great Toe

The connective tissue of this ligament takes the form of a capsule (Figure 12). It goes from the medial portion of the first metatarsal head and stretches to the distal phalanx on the same side. This allows this ligament to stabilize the great toe on the medial side. In the situation where a person develops a bunion, this band gets stretched out, and the great toe changes position and becomes angulated outward.

Figure 12: Plantar Ligaments

Anterior Inferior TibioFibular Ligament (AITFL)

The anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (Figure 4) is positioned on the anterolateral aspect of the ankle joint and serves to helps keep the tibia and fibula together. Injuries to this ligament, so called high ankle sprains, occur when the foot is stuck on the ground while the leg rotates inwards.

The Interosseous Membrane

The interosseous membrane is composed of strong fibrous tissue and runs along the tibia and fibula, and keeps the two bones moving as one unit (Figure 4).

The syndesmosis

The ligament group formed by the AITFL and the interosseous membrane, joined by the posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament, the transverse ligament and the interosseous ligament is known as the syndesmosis. The function of the syndesmosis is to hold the tibia and fibula together at the appropriate distance, thereby forming the mortise into which the talus sits

Muscles and Tendons

There are four muscle compartments in the lower leg (Figure 13) each separated by strong fascia:

  1. the superficial posterior compartment;
  2. the deep posterior compartment;
  3. the anterior compartment and;
  4. the lateral compartment

Collectively the muscles in these four compartments are referred to as the extrinsic muscles of the foot because they originate above the foot in the leg, but insert within the foot.

Figure 13: Muscle Compartments of the Lower Leg

Superficial Posterior Compartment

The superficial posterior compartment of the leg holds the two large muscles of the calf, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which both run along the length of the leg joining to form the Achilles tendon. Both gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are innervated by the tibial nerve. The gastrocnemius is the more superficial of the posterior calf muscles. It originates above the knee joint, off the posterior femur, and inserts into the calcaneus. The soleus is the deeper of the two muscles of the calf and does not cross the knee. There is a smaller third muscle of the superficial posterior compartment called the plantaris. It is very small and not functionally important in most people (but is subject to injury nonetheless).

Deep Posterior Compartment

This muscle compartment is located on the backside of the leg deep to the soleus muscle. There are three muscles in this compartment, the flexor hallucis longus, the flexor digitorum longus, and the tibialis posterior. All three of these muscles cross the ankle and insert on bones of the foot, the hallux, the lessor toes and the navicular, respectively. They are innervated by the tibial nerve.

Anterior Compartment

The anterior compartment is comprised of four muscles that extend (dorsiflex) the foot and ankle (Figure 14). The Tibialis Anterior, the Extensor Hallucis Longus, the Extensor Digitorum Longus and the Peroneus Tertius. The deep peroneal nerve innervates all the muscles of the anterior compartment.

Figure 14: Dorsiflexors of the Foot and Ankle

(Video) Complete Musculoskeletal Exam of the Foot and Ankle

Lateral Compartment

The last of the muscle compartments of the lower leg is the lateral compartment (Figure 15) is comprised of two muscles, the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. Both cross the ankle, but the peroneus longus wraps underneath the cuboid crossing the plantar aspect of the foot as well, and inserts at the base of the first metatarsal. The peroneus brevis inserts at the base of the fifth metatarsal on the lateral aspect of the foot. These two muscles work together to evert the foot - move it towards the lateral side. The peroneus longus also functions to plantarflex the first metatarsal. Both of these muscles are controlled by the superficial peroneal nerve.

Figure 15: Lateral Compartment Muscles

Muscles within the Foot

There are a large number of smaller muscles deep inside the foot. They help move the toes and stabilize the foot. Collectively they are referred to as the intrinsic muscles of the foot because they are entirely contained within the foot. Only two of these muscles are located on the dorsal aspect (top) of the foot: the extensor hallucis brevis, and the extensor digitorum brevis. They are both innervated by the deep peroneal nerve. Their primary purpose is to help extend the toes. This is in contrast to the flexor hallucis brevis and flexor digitorum brevis. These muscle tendon units are located deep in the plantar arch and respectively assist in flexing the great toe and the four lesser toes. They are innervated by the medial plantar nerve.

Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is not a nerve, tendon or muscle, but rather a strong fibrous tissue (Figure 16). This tissue originates deep within the plantar surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and covers the distance to the base of each of the five toes. When the foot rolls off the ground during walking, the toes dorsiflex and pull on the plantar fascia. This motion tends to tighten the plantar fascia, and thereby supports the arch of the foot, by maintaining the distance between the calcaneus and the metatarsal heads – a phenomenon known as the windlass mechanism. This stiff and relatively impermeable covering helps to protect the muscles of the sole of the foot.

Figure 16: Plantar Fascia


Nerves of the Foot

There are five main nerves that run past the ankle into the foot (Figure 17). All five of these are derived from two nerves that originate from the lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve branches into four of the five primary nerves of the foot. Two segments of the sciatic nerve branch before the knee joint: the tibial nerve and peroneal nerve. The tibial nerve gives off a branch called the sural nerve. Near the level of the knee the peroneal nerve splits into the deep peroneal nerve and the superficial peroneal nerve. The fifth nerve of the foot originates from the femoral nerve and is called the saphenous nerve.

Figure 17: Major Nerves of the Foot and Ankle

The Deep Peroneal Nerve

The deep peroneal nerve is one of two parts of the peroneal nerve (Figure 17). The deep peroneal nerve runs directly under the head of the fibula. It is responsible for controlling the muscles of the anterior compartment of the leg, and continues down the front of the ankle to the dorsal surface of the foot. It is responsible for the sensation in the small area between the first and second toes, an area known as the first web space. If this nerve doesn’t function, there will be no sensation in this area. If motor function is lost, it becomes impossible to lift the foot upwards, a symptom known as a “drop foot”.

The Superficial Peroneal Nerve

The superficial peroneal nerve is the partner of the deep peroneal nerve (Figure 17). It runs on the lateral side of the leg below the knee under the head of the fibula and innervates the lateral compartment muscles. It runs down over the anterolateral aspect of the ankle and splits into several branches on the dorsal aspect of the foot. The superficial peroneal nerve has both motor and sensory neurons for most of its length, but below the ankle is made entirely of sensory nerves. If motor function of this nerve is lost, it becomes impossible to evert the foot but there is no motor function lost distal to the ankle.

Tibial Nerve

The tibial nerve controls all the muscles behind the tibia and fibula in the back part of the calf (deep and superficial posterior compartment muscles). The tibial nerve continues down into the deep inner part of the ankle and splits into two branches, the medial plantar nerve and the lateral plantar nerve (Figure 17). These two branches provide sensation to the entire sole of the foot, and innervate all the tiny muscles of the sole of the foot.

Sural Nerve

The fourth nerve of the foot is another branch of the tibial nerve, known as the sural nerve (Figure 17). This nerve runs from slightly below the knee to the lateral aspect of the foot. It becomes a very superficial nerve at the level of the posterolateral ankle and continues distally to provide sensation to the outside of the foot. It has no motor function.

Saphenous Nerve

The fifth and last nerve is the only one to branch off from the femoral nerve (Figure 17). It runs from medial aspect of the knee and runs over the anteromedial aspect of the ankle joint to provide sensation to the inside of the foot.

Although the positions of these nerves are generally as described, there is a certain amount of variability in nerve position. They can be located lower or higher than described. These variations must be considered while performing surgery.

Previous Page~Next Page

Table of Contents


What is the basic anatomy of the foot and ankle? ›

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 hindfoot forms the heel and ankle. The talus bone supports the leg bones (tibia and fibula), forming the ankle.

What muscles control the ankle and foot? ›

The tibialis anterior muscle, found in the anterior compartment of the leg, is the primary muscle that facilitates dorsiflexion of the ankle joint. The peroneus longus and Peroneus Brevis muscles, found in the lateral compartment of the leg, function to facilitate eversion of the ankle joint.

What is the top of the foot called in medical terms? ›

The top of your foot above the arch is known as the instep. In medical terms, the top of the foot is the dorsum or dorsal region. The back of the hand is also known as the dorsal region.

What is the side of your foot called? ›

The cuboid is on the lateral side of the foot (outer foot) and sits in front of the calcaneus. The navicular is on the medial (inner) side of the foot, between the talus and the cuneiform bones in front. The navicular forms joints with four bones: the talus and the three cuneiforms.

Why is the bone on the outside of my foot hurting? ›

There are several reasons pain can manifest along the lateral border of your foot. Common foot problems seen in this area tend to be Jones fractures and related stress fractures, peroneal tendonitis, and bursitis.

Why do the bottom of my feet hurt when I walk? ›

Pain in the bottom of your foot is often caused by exercise, such as running, wearing shoes that are too tight or a condition, such as Morton's neuroma. Some people also have a foot shape that puts extra pressure on the bottom of the foot. Hard or cracked skin or a verruca can also cause this type of pain.

What are the 7 muscles of the foot and ankle? ›

The ankle muscles move the foot and include the gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum longus, extensor hallucis longus and extensor digitorum longus.

How can I strengthen my ankle muscles? ›

Resistance push
  1. Sitting in a chair, raise your foot off the floor, and place a resistance band under the ball of your foot, holding the ends of the band with your hands.
  2. Slowly flex your ankle down as far as you can.
  3. Then slowly return your foot back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
Jul 23, 2019

What's the muscle behind your ankle called? ›

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. You can feel it: a springy band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel.

What is the bony bump on the top of my foot? ›

A bone spur that grows out of a joint on the top of your foot is often referred to as a dorsal boss, dorsal exostosis, or tarsal boss. It's an extra growth of bone tissue.

Can you get arthritis on the top of your foot? ›

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis because it is associated with aging. Arthritis foot pain can occur in various locations throughout the foot, including the top of the foot.

What is the medical term for foot pain? ›

Metatarsalgia is the medical term for pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. Rather than describing a specific condition, metatarsalgia is an umbrella term for symptoms that can have varied causes.

What does it mean when your ankles ache? ›

The most common causes include injury, arthritis and normal wear and tear. Depending on the cause, you may feel pain or stiffness anywhere around the ankle. Your ankle may also swell, and you may not be able to put any weight on it. Usually, ankle pain gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain medications.

What does a torn ligament in foot feel like? ›

Symptoms of a Torn Ligament in the Foot

Swelling and bruising will occur at the site of injury. Pain and tenderness are concentrated on the top, bottom or the sides of your foot near the arch. Pain intensifies when walking or during other physical activity. Inability to bear weight on the injured foot.

How do I know if my foot pain is serious? ›

Seek immediate medical attention if you:
  1. Have severe pain or swelling.
  2. Have an open wound or a wound that is oozing pus.
  3. Have signs of infection, such as redness, warmth and tenderness in the affected area or you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C)
  4. Are unable to walk or put weight on your foot.

What does a stress fracture on outside of foot feel like? ›

The symptoms of a stress fracture can include: Pain, swelling or aching at the site of fracture. Tenderness or “pinpoint pain” when touched on the bone. Pain that begins after starting an activity and then resolves with rest.

Why does the lateral side of my foot hurt? ›

There are a few different causes of lateral foot pain such as injury to the area of the foot, an ankle sprain, or excessive traction on the bone. Also, repetitive activities such as running and jumping can cause lateral foot pain. This is why ballet dancers, runners, and athletes experience lateral foot pain often.

What is the best pain reliever for foot pain? ›

Oral analgesic medications such as acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin are often the first line choice for quick relief of foot pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are also often recommended and can help to reduce inflammation at the same time.

Can foot pain be related to heart problems? ›

Burning or Swelling in the Feet

Sensations of burning or visible swelling could indicate kidney, heart or circulatory problems. Foot Pain and burning in the feet is an indication that your circulation is not functioning well.

What are the signs of arthritis in your feet? ›

Symptoms of arthritis in your feet
  • Pain when you move your feet or ankles.
  • Tenderness when you touch affected joints.
  • Swelling or redness of affected joints.
  • Difficulty standing or putting pressure on your feet.
  • Pain or swelling even when at rest.

What are 3 common pathologies of the ankle foot? ›

Ankle disorders
  • sprains (injury to ligaments)
  • fractures.
  • tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons)
  • arthritis (chronic inflammation of joints)

How do you stretch your foot muscles? ›

Grab your toes with one hand and pull them up toward your ankle until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot and in your heel cord. Massage the arch of your foot with your other hand during the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times on each foot.

What does a torn ligament in ankle feel like? ›

If you have torn your ankle ligament, symptoms include: Swelling around your ankle joint. A feeling of instability. Bruising – sometimes up your lower leg and into your foot.

Does walking strengthen ankles? ›

An active exercise and strength-builder, walking lunges not only help improve weak ankles, but they help with balance, too.

What exercise is good for ankle pain? ›

Ankle Rotations

Raise your foot about 20 inches off the floor. Then with your toe upward, rotate the foot to the left and then back to the right. Hold for 10 seconds then return to starting position. Repeat 20 times for each leg.

How can seniors strengthen their ankles? ›

Ankle Strengthening Exercises For Seniors - YouTube

How do I stop my ankles from hurting when I walk? ›

To help reduce ankle pain, make sure to rest and ice your ankle for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day. Don't put any weight on it, and try a compression bandage to help reduce swelling. It's also helpful to elevate your leg at or above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

Why do the back of my ankles hurt when I walk? ›

Achilles tendonitis: this causes pain at the back of the ankle when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, becomes irritated. It can be caused by overuse, often when you start a new type of exercise or if the amount you exercise is increased.

What causes pain in the ankle and heel? ›

The most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis (bottom of the heel) and Achilles tendinitis (back of the heel). Causes of heel pain also include: Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendon rupture.

What is bursitis of the foot? ›

Bursitis (bur-sigh-tus) is a condition that makes the area around a joint or bone painful, red and swollen. It can affect both adults and children. It commonly affects the feet, shoulders, elbows, knees and hips.

Why is there a lump on top of my ankle? ›

Ganglion cysts are a type of fluid-filled sac you can get on your foot or ankle, as well as other joints throughout your body. They occur when your ligaments and joints secrete fluid. You can get a ganglion cyst on the top or bottom of your foot, and the cysts can vary in size from small to large.

Why do I have a lump near my ankle? ›

Ankle lumps have many possible causes, including trauma, infections, inflammatory diseases, benign (noncancerous) cysts and tumors, and (rarely) cancer.

Why does the top of my foot hurt near my ankle? ›

Tendinitis — The extensor tendons in your ankle run along the top of your foot and are responsible for lifting your foot upward. Inflammation along one of the extensor tendons can cause pain on the top of your foot near the ankle. This is known as tendinitis.

What is the best treatment for arthritis in the feet? ›

Foot and Ankle Arthritis Treatment
  • Steroid medications injected into your joints.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to help with swelling.
  • Pain relievers.
  • Pads or arch supports in your shoes.
  • Canes or braces for support.
  • Shoe inserts that support your ankle and foot (orthotics)
  • Physical therapy.
  • Custom-fitted shoes.
Mar 31, 2022

What helps arthritis in feet and ankles? ›

Non-surgical methods to treat foot and ankle arthritis include:
  1. Weight control.
  2. Custom-made shoes or orthotics.
  3. Inserts that support the ankle and foot.
  4. Bracing for joint support.
  5. Using a cane or walker to take stress off the affected joint.
  6. Physical therapy.
  7. Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling in the joints.
Jan 31, 2019

What home remedy can I use for foot nerve pain? ›

No wound or injury to your feet is too minor for a consultation with a doctor. Soak it away. A warm bath might be the easiest -- and least expensive -- home treatment for nerve pain. Warm water temporarily increases blood flow to the legs and can help ease stress as well.

What are the different types of foot pain? ›

  • Types of Foot Pain.
  • Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Posterior Tibial Tendonitis.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Bunions.
  • Hammertoe.
  • Metatarsalgia.
  • Turf Toe.
May 10, 2021

What are some foot diseases? ›

Foot Diseases Newtown PA
  • Gout. This condition is caused by the buildup of the salts of uric acid in joints. ...
  • Arthritis. Developing arthritis in the feet can cause swelling, redness, and pain. ...
  • Charcot Foot. ...
  • Foot Cancer. ...
  • Ollier's Disease. ...
  • Kohler's Disease. ...
  • Sever's Disease. ...
  • Raynaud's Disease.

What is the anatomy of the ankle? ›

The true ankle joint, which is composed of three bones: the tibia, the larger and stronger of the two lower leg bones, which forms the inside part of the of the ankle. the fibula, the smaller bone of the lower leg, which forms the outside part of the ankle.

What are the parts of the ankle? ›

The true ankle joint is composed of three bones, seen above from a front, or anterior, view: the tibia which forms the inside, or medial, portion of the ankle; the fibula which forms the lateral, or outside portion of the ankle; and the talus underneath.

How many bones are in the ankle and foot? ›

The foot and ankle consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, and many muscles, tendons and ligaments. Bones of the Ankle. The ankle joint connects the leg with the foot, and is composed of three bones: tibia, fibula and talus.

Where is your ankle on your foot? ›

The ankle is a large joint made up of three bones: The shin bone (tibia) The thinner bone running next to the shin bone (fibula) A foot bone that sits above the heel bone (talus)

They sometimes cause pain.. Swelling may be a symptom and questions should establish:. If it is painful or tender.. You may go into further details about how your problem affects your life and the treatment you have received at the end of the session when discussing the findings.. Palpate the medial and lateral malleoli and along the joint line across the front of the ankle feeling for tenderness and swelling.. Palpate the Achilles tendon, feeling for tenderness and soft tissue changes such as rheumatoid nodules, which are quite common in this area.. This movement is at the ankle joint.

These include, respectively, the tibialis anterior; thetibialis posterior; and the pair of peroneal tendons (peroneus longus andbrevis).. (Indeed,the first hit on Google for the term “tendonitis” takes you to a site about“tendinitis.”) Although it is certainly acceptable to use “Tendinopathy” as anall-encompassing term denoting a disease of a tendon, it may be helpful tothink of three distinct disorders:. Tendonitis , also known as Tendinitis, refers to a painful clinical conditionwhere there is acute pain and swelling due to microtearing of the tendon andthe resulting inflammatory response.. Therefore,while the term tendonitis will be used broadly in this chapter, it should bekept in mind that the described condition may not be tendonitis, per see.. Tibialis Anterior tendonitis leads to pain and oftenswelling in the front of the ankle and into the medial midfoot (Figure 4).Symptoms typically occur in middle aged and older individuals.. Tibialis Posterior tendonitis presents as medial ankle andarch pain, worsened with prolonged standing and often in conjunction with aflat foot and prominent navicular bone on the medial aspect of the foot.. Patients with peroneal tendonitis present with pain and,occasionally, swelling near the posterolateral ankle (Figure 5).. Figure 4: Location of pain and swelling in tibialis anterior tendonitis. Suspected tibialis anterior tendonitis can be evaluated withplain x-rays of the foot and ankle which might reveal bone injury or arthrosisin the ankle or midfoot joints.. In the case of suspected peroneal tendonitis, plainweight-bearing x-rays are likely to show evidence of a high arched footpattern, but the main goal of radiographs is to exclude a fracture of the fifthmetatarsal, bony prominences that can irritate the tendons or lateral anklearthrosis.. Anterior ankle pain, similar to that of tendonitis, is morecommonly caused by ankle arthritis or anterior ankle impingement.. In patients with a large peroneal tendon tear or a bonyprominence that abrades the tendon, surgical repair with resection of theirritant may be beneficial.. Rheumatoid conditions predispose to joint capsular laxityand tendon attenuation and may cause posterior tendon dysfunction.. Tendonitis; tendinitis, tendonosis, tendinosis, tendinpathy,inflammation; tibialis anterior; peroneus longus; peroneus brevis; posteriortibial tendonitis, acquired adult flatfoot deformity; accessory navicular. Performresistance tests for each tendon to determine strength, function, and pain thatmay be related to tendon injury or other pathology.

There are bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in each of these sections.. The foot is a complex structure comprised of bones (including the phalanges, metatarsals, tarsals, and calcaneus), muscles that enable flexion and extension, ligaments that connect bone to bone, and tendons (like the Achilles tendon) that connect bone to muscles.. Like any body part that's made up of bone, muscle, joints, and connective tissues, the feet are subject to a variety of medical problems, including:. It is often the result of pressure caused by high heel shoes or from conditions such as arthritis, nerve compression, or fractures or tears in ligaments that support the ball of the foot.. Among some of the more common structural problems exclusive to the foot are plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, pes planus (flat feet), heel spurs, mallet toes, claw toes, metatarsalgia, and Morton's neuroma.. For foot problems caused by anatomical deformities, foot orthotics (inserts worn inside the shoes) can help compensate for these problems and reduce pain.. Among some of the more common structural foot problems are bunions, claw toes, flat feet, hammertoes, heel spurs, mallet toes, metatarsalgia, Morton's neuroma, and plantar fasciitis.. The treatment can vary based on the condition but may involve over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, foot orthotics, custom-fitted shoes, physical therapy, or surgery.


1. Foot and Ankle Anatomy Review
(Institute of Physical Art)
2. 02 Foot Ankle Anatomy Part 1 Bony Anatomy
(Ed Mulligan)
3. Ankle & Foot Anatomy: Bony Landmarks
(Dr. Jacob Goodin)
4. Foot & Ankle: Orthopedic Anatomy Series: Exploring Your Body From the Inside Out
5. Anatomy Of The Foot & Ankle - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
(nabil ebraheim)
6. Ankle and Foot Structure and actions
(The Noted Anatomist)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 09/19/2022

Views: 6053

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.