The role of the passive structures in the mobility and stability of the human ankle joint: a literature review

Foot Ankle Int. 2000 Jul;21(7):602-15. doi: 10.1177/107110070002100715.


The mobility and stability of the ankle joint have been extensively investigated, but many critical important issues still need to be elucidated. However, there seems to be a general agreement on several important observations. A more isometric pattern of rotation for the calcaneofibular and the tibiocalcaneal ligaments with respect to all the others has been reported. Many recent studies have found changing positions of the instantaneous axis of rotation, suggesting that the hinge joint concept is an oversimplification for the ankle joint. A few recent works have also claimed anterior shift of the contact area at the tibial mortise during dorsiflexion, which would imply combined rolling and sliding motion at this joint. Many findings from the literature support the view of a close interaction between the geometry of the ligaments and the shapes of the articular surfaces in guiding and stabilizing motion at the ankle joint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Ligaments, Articular / anatomy & histology
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiology*
  • Movement*
  • Pliability
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotation