The range of rotation of the talus in the horizontal plane was studied in the cadaveric ankle under conditions which simulated normal load-bearing. In the unloaded state there was 25 degrees of rotation, approximately half of which resulted from movement of the inferior tibiofibular joint. Rotation was load-dependent in both the intact ankle and in the ankle rendered unstable by division of the ligaments. Experimental division of the ligaments increased the range of rotation. The malleoli were contact areas during flexion and extension but excision of their articular surfaces caused only a moderate increase in rotation. The factors which limit talar rotation in intact and injured ankles are discussed.