Tarsal joints

Joint of the foot: TarsusAnatomy, functions, innervation and blood supply of joints of the tarsal joints
~ 11 min

In addition to the ankle joint, which is discussed in a separate video, the joints of the foot include several more groups: the joints of the tarsal bones, the joints between the tarsal and metatarsal bones, and the joints of the phalanges.

Let’s learn about the joints of the tarsus. The subtalar joint (articulatio subtalaris)

Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)
Subtalar joint (art. subtalaris)

The bones forming the joint are the talus (talus) and calcaneus (calcaneus).

The articular surfaces involved in the formation of the joint are the posterior calcaneal articular surface of the talus (facies articularis calcanea posterior) and the posterior talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris posterior).

Posterior calcaneal articular surface of the talus (facies articularis talaris posterior calcanei)
Posterior calcaneal articular surface of the talus (facies articularis talaris posterior calcanei)

The articular capsule is attached at the edges of the articular surfaces, as well as to the bottom and roof of the socalled tarsal sinus (sinus tarsi). It is a small space between the talus and calcaneus, located in front of the talus joint.

According to the classification, the joint is cylindrical, uniaxial, simple, and combined with the talocalcaneonavicular joint (articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis) and the calcaneocuboid joint (articulatio calcaneocuboidea).

Accordingly, these joints function together as a single functional unit. Their mobility is quite poor, but some extent of motions still takes place. Namely, pronation and supination, abduction and adduction, flexion extension.

The fixing apparatus of the joint is composed of several ligaments:

  • The lateral talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale)

    Lateral talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale)
    Lateral talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale)
    Lateral talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale)
    Lateral talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale)
  • The medial talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum mediale)

    Medial talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum mediale)
    Medial talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum mediale)
  • The posterior talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum posterius)

    Posterior talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum posterius)
    Posterior talocalcaneal ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum posterius)
  • The talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum interosseum)

    Talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum interosseum)
    Talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum interosseum)

    The latter is located in the tarsal sinus, connects the surfaces of the grooves of the calcaneal and talus bones facing each other.

    The following vessels and nerves take part in the blood supply and innervation of the joint.

  • Arteries: posterior tibial artery, fibular artery

  • Nerves: plantar part — medial and lateral plantar nerves, dorsal part — deep fibular nerve

    The talocalcaneonavicular joint (articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis)

    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)
    Talocalcaneonavicular joint (art. talocalcaneonavicularis)

    The bones forming the joint are the talus (talus), calcaneus (calcaneus) and navicular bone (os naviculare).

    The articular surfaces involved in the formation of the joint are the navicular articular surface (facies articularis navicularis), the anterior calcaneal articular surface of the talus (facies articularis calcanea anterior), the middle calcaneal articular surface of the talus (facies articularis calcanea media), the anterior talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris anterior), the middle talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris media), and the posterior articular surface of the navicular bone (facies articularis posterior).

    Anterior talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris anterior)
    Anterior talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris anterior)
    Middle talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris media)
    Middle talar articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis talaris media)

    The joint capsule is attached along the edges of the articular surfaces.

    According to the classification, the joint is ball and socket type, uniaxial, combined (with the subtalar joint (articulatio subtalaris) and the calcaneocuboid joint (articulatio calcaneocuboidea).

    The ligamentous apparatus of the joint consists of several ligaments.

  • The talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (ligamentum talocalcaneum interosseum)

    Talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (lig. talocalcaneum interosseum)
    Talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (lig. talocalcaneum interosseum)
  • The plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (ligamentum calcaneonaviculare plantare)

    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare)
  • The talonavicular ligament (ligamentum talonaviculare)

    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular ligament (lig. talonaviculare)

    The following vessels and nerves take part in the blood supply and innervation of the joint.

  • Arteries: articular branches of the deep tibial and fibular arteries

  • Nerves: medial plantar nerve, deep fibular nerve

    The transverse tarsal joint (articulatio tarsi transversa) or the Chopart joint

    Transverse tarsal joint (art. tarsi transversa)
    Transverse tarsal joint (art. tarsi transversa)
    Transverse tarsal joint (art. tarsi transversa)
    Transverse tarsal joint (art. tarsi transversa)

    It is formed by two separate joints: the calcaneocuboid (articulatio calcaneocuboidea) and talonavicular joints. The latter is essentially part of the talocalcaneonavicular joint (articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis). The articular cavities of these two joints form an S-shaped line running across the long axis of the foot.

    Let’s learn about the calcaneocuboid joint (articulatio calcaneocuboidea).

    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)
    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)
    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)
    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)

    The bones forming the joint are the calcaneus bone (calcaneus) and the cuboid bone (os cuboideum).

    The articular surfaces involved in the formation of the joint are the cuboid articular surface of the calcaneus (facies articularis cuboidea) and the posterior articular surface of the cuboid bone (facies articularis posterior).

    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)
    Calcaneocuboid joint (art. calcaneocuboidea)

    The articular capsule is thick on the medial side, and thinner and looser on the lateral side.

    Calcaneocuboid joint – capsule (art. calcaneocuboidea)
    Calcaneocuboid joint – capsule (art. calcaneocuboidea)

    The articular cavity is usually isolated from other joints, sometimes it communicates with the cavity of the talocalcaneonavicular joint (articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis).

    According to the classification, the joint is saddle-shaped, uniaxial, and combined (with the subtalar joint (articulatio subtalaris) and with the talocalcaneonavicular joint (articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis).

    Almost no motions take place in this joint.

    The fixing apparatus of the joint is composed of several ligaments:

  • The plantar calcaneocuboid ligament (ligamentum calcaneocuboideum plantare)

    Plantar calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum plantare)
    Plantar calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum plantare)
  • The long plantar ligament (ligamentum plantare longum) is the strongest ligament of the foot, which arises from the lower surface of the calcaneus and inserts into the bases of the 2nd-5th metatarsals. By rolling over the cuboid bone through the groove of the fibular muscle tendon, it turns this groove into a channel.

    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
    Long plantar ligament (lig. plantare longum)
  • The bifurcate ligament (ligamentum bifurcatum) arises from the superior border of the calcaneus and divides into two bundles, or two independent ligaments:

    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
    Bifurcate ligament (lig. bifurcatum)
  • The calcaneonavicular ligament (ligamentum calcaneonaviculare) inserts into the posterolateral edge of the navicular bone

    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
    Calcaneonavicular ligament (lig. calcaneonaviculare)
  • The calcaneocuboid ligament (ligamentum calcaneocuboideum) inserts into the dorsal surface of the cuboid bone.

    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)
    Calcaneocuboid ligament (lig. calcaneocuboideum)

    The bifurcate ligament is called the key of the Chopart joint, since when it is dissected, the transverse joint of the tarsus is easily dismembered.

    The following vessels and nerves take part in the blood supply and innervation of the joint.

  • Arteries: lateral tarsal artery

  • Nerves: deep fibular nerve, sural nerve, lateral plantar nerve

    The talonavicular joint (articulatio talonaviculare) is part of the transverse tarsal joint.

    Talonavicular joint (articulatio talonaviculare)
    Talonavicular joint (articulatio talonaviculare)

    The bones forming the joint are the talus (talus) and navicular bone (os naviculare).

    The articular surfaces forming the joint are the articular surface on the head of the talus (caput tali) and the proximal articular surface of the navicular bone (facies articularis proximalis).

    According to the classification, this is a ball and socket joint.

    The cuneonavicular joint (articulatio cuneonavicularis)

    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)
    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)
    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)
    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)
    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)
    Cuneonavicular joint (art. cuneonavicularis)

    The bones forming the joint are the medial cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme mediale), the intermediate cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme intermedium), the lateral cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme laterale) and the navicular bone (os naviculare).

    The articular surfaces forming joint are the posterior articular surfaces of the cuneiform bones (facies articularis posterior) and the distal articular surface of the navicular bone (facies articularis distalis)

    The joint capsule is attached along the edge of the articular cartilages.

    The articular gap continues between the cuneiform bones, sometimes communicating with the cavity of the tarsometatarsal joints.

    According to the classification, the joint is plane.

    Almost no motions take place in this joint.

    The fixing apparatus of the joint is composed of several ligaments:

  • The dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligamenta cuneonavicularia dorsalia)

    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
    Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament (ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia)
  • The plantar cuneonavicular ligaments (ligamenta cuneonavicularia plantaria)

    Plantar cuneonavicular ligaments (ligg. cuneonavicularia plantaria)
    Plantar cuneonavicular ligaments (ligg. cuneonavicularia plantaria)
  • The intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)

    Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)
    Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)
  • The dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligamenta intercuneiformia dorsalia)

    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament – superior view (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament – superior view (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
  • The plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia plantaria)

    Plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligg. intercuneiformia plantaria)
    Plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligg. intercuneiformia plantaria)

    The cuboideonavicular joint (articulatio cuboideonavicularis).

    The bones forming the joint are the cuboid bone (os cuboideum) and the navicular bone (os naviculare).

    The ligamentous apparatus of the joint consists of the plantar cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare plantare) and the dorsal cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare dorsale).

    Plantar cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare plantare)
    Plantar cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare plantare)
    Dorsal cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare dorsale)
    Dorsal cuboideonavicular ligament (ligamentum cuboideonaviculare dorsale)

    Almost no motions take place in this joint.

    And the last joints of the tarsus are the intercuneiform joints (articulationes intercuneiformes) and the cuneocuboid joint (articulatio cuneocuboidea).

    Intercuneiform joints (articulationes intercuneiformes)
    Intercuneiform joints (articulationes intercuneiformes)

    The bones forming these joints are the medial cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme mediale), the intermediate cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme intermedium), the lateral cuneiform bone (os cuneiforme laterale) and the cuboid bone (os cuboideum).

    The fixing apparatus of the joint is composed of several ligaments:

  • The dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligamenta intercuneiformia dorsalia)

    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament – superior view (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament – superior view (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
    Dorsal intercuneiform ligament (ligg. intercuneiformia dorsalia)
  • The plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia plantaria)

    Plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligg. intercuneiformia plantaria)
    Plantar intercuneiform ligaments (ligg. intercuneiformia plantaria)
  • The intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)

    Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)
    Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments (ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea)
  • The dorsal cuneocuboid ligament (ligamenta cuneocuboideum dorsale)

  • The plantar cuneocuboid ligament (ligamenta cuneocuboideum plantare)

Dictionary

Joint of the foot

Talocalcaneal joint
articulatio subtalaris
Talus
talus
Calcaneus
calcaneus
Navicular bone
os naviculare
Cuboid bone
os cuboidea
Posterior calcaneal articular facet of the talus
facies articularis calcanea posterior
Posterior talar articular surface of the talus
facies articularis talaris posterior
Tarsal sinus
sinus tarsi
Talocalcaneonavicular joint
articulatio talocalcaneonaviculari
Calcaneocuboid joint
articulatio calcaneocuboidea
Lateral talocalcaneal ligament
ligamentum talocalcaneum laterale
Medial talocalcaneal ligament
ligamentum talocalcaneum mediale
Posterior talocalcaneal ligament
ligamentum talocalcaneum posterius
Talocalcaneal interosseous ligament
ligamentum talocalcaneum interosseum
Navicular articular surface
facies articularis navicularis
Anterior calcaneal articular facet of the talus
facies articularis calcanea anterior
Middle calcaneal articular facet of the talus
facies articularis calcanea media
Anterior talar articular surface of the talus
facies articularis talaris anterior
Middle talar articular surface of the talus
facies articularis talaris media
Posterior articular facet of the navicular bone
facies articularis posterior
Talocalcaneal joint
articulatio subtalaris
Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament
ligamentum calcaneonaviculare plantare
Talonavicular ligament
ligamentum talonaviculare
Transverse tarsal joint
articulatio tarsi transversa
Talocalcaneonavicular joint
articulatio talocalcaneonavicularis
Plantar calcaneocuboid ligament
ligamentum calcaneocuboideum plantare
Long plantar ligament
ligamentum plantare longum
Bifurcate ligament
ligamentum bifurcatum
Calcaneonavicular ligament
ligamentum calcaneonaviculare
Calcaneocuboid ligament
ligamentum calcaneocuboideum
Talonavicular joint
articulatio talonaviculare
Articular surface on the head of the talus
caput tali
Proximal articular facet of the navicular bone
facies articularis proximalis
Cuneonavicular joint
articulatio cuneonavicularis
Medial cuneiform bone
os cuneiforme mediale
Intermediate cuneiform bone
os cuneiforme intermedium
Lateral cuneiform bone
os cuneiforme laterale
Distal articular facet of the navicular bone
facies articularis distalis
Dorsal cuneonavicular ligament
ligamenta cuneonavicularia dorsalia
Plantar cuneonavicular ligaments
ligamenta cuneonavicularia plantaria
Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments
ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea
Dorsal intercuneiform ligament
ligamenta intercuneiformia dorsalia
Plantar intercuneiform ligaments
ligamenta intercuneiformia plantaria
Cuboideonavicular joint
articulatio cuboideonavicularis
Plantar cuboideonavicular ligament
ligamentum cuboideonaviculare plantare
Dorsal cuboideonavicular ligament
ligamentum cuboideonaviculare dorsale
Intercuneiform joints
articulationes intercuneiformes
Cuneocuboid joint
articulatio cuneocuboidea
Intercuneiform interosseous ligaments
ligamenta intercuneiformia interossea
Dorsal cuneocuboid ligament
ligamenta cuneocuboideum dorsale
Plantar cuneocuboid ligament
ligamenta cuneocuboideum plantare
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