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Anatomy of the Talus Bone

Instructor: Dominic Corsini
This lesson describes the location, function and structure of the talus bone. It helps to explain how the talus is vital to the structure of your ankle and how the talus links other bones together. When you're done with the lesson, don't forget to test your new knowledge of this key bone with a quiz.

Talus Bone Function and Location

The human body contains 206 different bones. Have you ever broken one of these bones? Many people have broken arms, fingers and wrists. In fact one of the most commonly broken bones is the clavicle, or collarbone. While breaks in the upper body may inhibit dexterity, they rarely restrict mobility. However, breaking a bone in the foot or ankle region greatly restricts mobility.

If you've injured your ankle you've probably really injured the talus bone or a structure associated with it, such as torn cartilage. The talus bone forms the primary connection between the lower leg and foot and is vital for mobility. In fact, the structure of the talus bone is so unique it can form the connection between numerous other bones such as the tibia, fibula, calcaneus (heel) and navicular or tarsal bones found in the foot.

For a more detailed look at the talus bone and its location, have a look at the image below.

Talus Bone Location
Talus Bone Location

Talus Bone Structure

When the talus bone is viewed as part of the ankle assembly, surrounding bone largely covers its unique structure. For a more 'inside' look, take a look at the second image below.

Talus Bone Structure
Talus Bone Structure

Here you can clearly see how the talus bone is perfectly shaped to function as a link between the lower leg and foot. You can also see how the top of the bone contains a sort of depression or grove. This depression allows the lower leg bones, or the tibia and fibula, to rest neatly atop the talus.

Think of the talus as a cradle for these bones to reside in. The roundedness of this cradle is important for movement because it allows the foot to flex upward and extend downward. For example, while moving your foot around, imagine your lower leg bones rotating inside these cradles. If you feel around your ankle, you can almost locate the exact spot where these bones connect.

Let's go back to the image of the talus and examine the lower left portion of the illustration. Here you'll notice how the bone curves upward and inward, thereby creating a sort of pocket on the underside of the bone. This pocket is where the calcaneus, or heel, bone fits in. Thus, the talus forms a direct link between the heel and lower leg.

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