The ankle is the base and primary support structure for the lower body to rest upon. Ankles allow for agile mobility, massive weight support, and the repeated pressure of walking and jogging.
The primary bones and major support structures of the joint are: the tibia, the primary bone that connects the inside of the leg to the ankle and forms the shin; the fibula, the secondary lower leg bone that is on the outside, or is exterior to the tibia; the calcaneus, which forms the back of the heel; and the talus, which is the centerpiece between the calcaneus and the tibia.
The primary tendons and ligaments (ligaments connect bones, tendons connect muscles and bones) of the ankle are the Achilles tendon, connecting the back of the calcaneus to the gastrocnemus, the calve muscle. There are arrays of tendons all along the top and bottom of the foot, with the primary nerve canal running on the inside of the ankle and through the arch of the foot. There is a significant amount of fascial tissue and softer tissue inside of the ankle socket to allow for greater surface area through pressure.
Here is a great video to get an overview of ankle functionality that is really well done and illustrated: Ankle Anatomy
We still have a little detail to add about the arch of the foot and the ankle’s spring like functionality. Here is a good look at the springing action of the ankle. We’ll cover the arch of the foot in our foot anatomy post 🙂