The Talus (astragalus; ankle bone) is the second largest of the tarsal bones. It occupies the middle and upper part of the tarsus, supporting the tibia above, resting upon the calcaneus below, articulating on either side with the malleoli, and in front with the navicular. It consists of a body, a neck, and a head.
The Body (corpus tali)
- The superior surface (Picture 1) of the body presents, behind, a smooth trochlear surface, the trochlea, for articulation with the tibia. The trochlea is broader in front than behind, convex from before backward, slightly concave from side to side: in front it is continuous with the upper surface of the neck of the bone.
- The inferior surface (Picture 2) presents two articular areas, the posterior and middle calcaneal surfaces, separated from one another by a deep groove, the sulcus tali. The groove runs obliquely forward and lateralward, becoming gradually broader and deeper in front: in the articulated foot it lies above a similar groove upon the upper surface of the calcaneus, and forms, with it, a canal (sinus tarsi) filled up in the fresh state by the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament. The posterior calcaneal articular surface is large and of an oval or oblong form. It articulates with the corresponding facet on the upper surface of the calcaneus, 63 and is deeply concave in the direction of its long axis which runs forward and lateralward at an angle of about 45° with the median plane of the body. The middle calcaneal articular surface is small, oval in form and slightly convex; it articulates with the upper surface of the sustentaculum tali of the calcaneus.
- The medial surface (Picture 3) presents at its upper part a pear-shaped articular facet for the medial malleolus, continuous above with the trochlea; below the articular surface is a rough depression for the attachment of the deep portion of the deltoid ligament of the ankle-joint.
- The lateral surface (Picture 4) carries a large triangular facet, concave from above downward, for articulation with the lateral malleolus; its anterior half is continuous above with the trochlea; and in front of it is a rough depression for the attachment of the anterior talofibular ligament. Between the posterior half of the lateral border of the trochlea and the posterior part of the base of the fibular articular surface is a triangular facet (Fawcett 64) which comes into contact with the transverse inferior tibiofibular ligament during flexion of the ankle-joint; below the base of this facet is a groove which affords attachment to the posterior talofibular ligament.
- The posterior surface is narrow, and traversed by a groove running obliquely downward and medialward, and transmitting the tendon of the Flexor hallucis longus. Lateral to the groove is a prominent tubercle, the posterior process, to which the posterior talofibular ligament is attached; this process is sometimes separated from the rest of the talus, and is then known as the os trigonum. Medial to the groove is a second smaller tubercle.
The Neck (collum tali) is directed forward and medialward, and comprises the constricted portion of the bone between the body and the oval head. Its upper and medial surfaces are rough, for the attachment of ligaments; its lateral surface is concave and is continuous below with the deep groove for the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament.
The Head (caput tali) looks forward and medialward; its anterior articular or navicular surface is large, oval, and convex. Its inferior surface has two facets, which are best seen in the fresh condition. The medial, situated in front of the middle calcaneal facet, is convex, triangular, or semi-oval in shape, and rests on the plantar calcaneo-navicular ligament; the lateral, named the anterior calcaneal articular surface, is somewhat flattened, and articulates with the facet on the upper surface of the anterior part of the calcaneus.
The talus articulates with four bones: tibia, fibula, calcaneus, and navicular.