Medical Gross Anatomy
Anatomy Tables - Joints

Joints and Ligaments of the Lower Limb - Listed Alphabetically

Joint or ligament Description Notes
acetabular labrum a fibrocartilage rim around the acetabulum the acetabular labrum deepens the acetabulum; it cups around the head of the femur and holds it firmly in the acetabulum
ankle joint the articulation between the distal tibia, the medial malleolus of the tibia, the lateral malleolus of the fibula and the talus a synovial hinge joint; the ankle is reinforced by the deltoid ligament (anterior tibiotalar, tibionavicular, tibiocalcaneal, posterior tibiotalar parts), the anterior talofibular lig., the calcaneofibular lig. and the posterior talofibular lig.; because of the shape of the talus, the ankle is most stable when the foot is dorsiflexed; the ankle is often injured when the foot is plantar flexed
anterior cruciate ligament a ligament connecting the anterior aspect of the intercondylar eminence of the tibia with the medial surface of the lateral femoral condyle an intracapsular ligament located within the fibrous joint capsule of the knee but external to the synovial cavity of the knee; the anterior cruciate ligament limits the anterior movement of the tibia relative to the femur in all positions of joint movement; clipping-type injuries tear the anterior cruciate ligament because the leg is forced anteriorly relative to the femur which places great stress on the anterior cruciate ligament
anterior talofibular ligament a ligament that connects the lateral malleolus of the fibula with the anterolateral surface of the talus it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
anterior tibiofibular ligament the ligament that connects the distal ends of the tibia and the fibula anteriorly this ligament reinforces the tibiofibular syndesmosis (at the distal ends of these bones)
anterior tibiotalar ligament part of the deltoid ligament connecting the medial malleolus of the tibia with the talus it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
calcaneofibular ligament a ligament that connects the lateral malleolus of the fibula with the calcaneus it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
deltoid ligament the ligament that connects the medial malleolus of the tibia with the talus, navicular and calcaneus the deltoid ligament reinforces the ankle joint; it has the shape of the Greek letter delta, hence its name; it has four parts (from anterior to posterior): anterior tibiotalar lig., tibionavicular lig., tibiocalcaneal lig., posterior tibiotalar lig.
fibular collateral ligament the collateral ligament of the knee that connects the lateral epicondyle of the femur with the head of the fibula an extracapsular ligament, not part of the fibrous capsule of the knee; the fibular collateral ligament passes superficial to the tendon of origin of the popliteus m.
hip joint the articulation between the os coxae and the head of the femur a synovial ball and socket joint; it is reinforced by capsular ligaments (iliofemoral, pubofemoral, ischiofemoral, zona orbicularis); the fibers of the articular capsule become taut on hip extension and lax on hip flexion; dislocation injuries of the hip are most common when the hip is flexed (sitting in a car seat during an impact that causes the knees to strike the dash board, for example)
iliofemoral ligament the ligament reinforcing the anterior surface of the articular capsule of the hip joint the iliofemoral ligament is shaped like an inverted "Y"; it connects the anterior inferior iliac spine to the anterior surface of the intertrochanteric line of the femur; also known as: ligament of Bigelow
infrapatellar bursa, deep the bursa lying between the patellar ligament and the tibia synovial membrane, the deep infrapatellar bursa reduces friction between the patellar ligament and the tibia
infrapatellar bursa, superficial a subcutaneous bursa overlying the patellar ligament synovial membrane
interosseous ligaments of the foot ligaments that reinforce intertarsal (gliding) synovial joints they connect adjacent tarsal bones; they are named for the two bones that they connect and whether they are located on the dorsal or plantar surface of those bones
interosseous membrane of the leg the membrane that connects the interosseous borders of the shafts of the tibia and fibula a syndesmosis
interphalangeal joints the articulations between the proximal and middle phalanges (proximal interphalangeal joint, abbreviated PIP) or the middle and distal phalanges (distal interphalangeal joint, abbreviated DIP) a synovial hinge joint; these joints are strengthened by medial and lateral collateral ligaments
ischiofemoral ligament the ligament reinforcing the posterior surface of the articular capsule of the hip joint the ischiofemoral ligament connects the body of the ischium to the posterior portion of the femoral neck
knee joint the articulation between the femoral condyles and the tibial condyles a synovial hinge joint; it is reinforced by intracapsular ligaments (anterior & posterior cruciate ligaments) and two types of collateral ligaments (capsular - tibial collateral ligament, and extracapsular - fibular collateral ligament); the medial and lateral menisci are contained within the joint capsule
lateral meniscus an intra-articular disc within the knee joint located between the lateral femoral condyle and the lateral tibial condyle fibrocartilage; it is attached to the coronary ligament and the intercondylar eminence of the tibia
ligament of the head of the femur an intracapsular ligament that attaches to the fovea of the head of the femur and to the acetabular fossa the ligament of the head of the femur contains a small artery (the a. of the ligament of the head of the femur) which supplies the femoral head; in fractures of the neck of the femur the retinacular aa. that course along the neck may be damaged, so that the artery to the head may be the only blood supply to the head and proximal neck
long plantar ligament a ligament that connects the plantar surface of the calcaneus, cuboid and the bases of the lateral 3 metatarsal bones a ligament that reinforces a complex set of intertarsal (gliding) synovial joints; the long plantar ligament supports the longitudinal arch of the foot
longitudinal arch of the foot the arch that passes from the calcaneus to the talus to the navicular to the cuneiforms to the metatarsal a series of plane synovial joints; the longitudinal arch of the foot is formed by the shapes of the metatarsal bones and is supported by the plantar calcaneonavicular (spring) ligament and many other small interosseous ligaments; the tendons of the tibialis anterior and tibialis posterior mm. also play a supporting role in maintaining the longitudinal arch of the foot
medial meniscus an intra-articular disc within the knee joint located between the medial femoral condyle and the medial tibial condyle fibrocartilage; it is attached to the tibial collateral ligament, coronary ligament and intercondylar eminence of the tibia; its attachment fo the tibial collateral ligament results in injury to the medial meniscus whenever the medial collateral ligament is injured
metatarsophalangeal joint the articulation between the head of a metatarsal and the base of a proximal phalanx a synovial condyloid (or ellipsoid) joint; it is strengthened by medial and lateral collateral ligaments; the joint has two planes of motion: flexion/extension and abduction/adduction which may be combined to yield circumduction
patellar ligament the tendon of insertion of the quadriceps femoris muscle the quadriceps femoris tendon connects the quadriceps femoris muscle group to the patella and the patellar ligament connects the patella to the tibial tuberosity; the patella is a sesamoid bone within the quadriceps femoris tendon
plantar calcaneocuboid ligament a ligament that connects the calcaneus with the cuboid on their plantar surfaces a ligament that reinforces a complex set of intertarsal (gliding) synovial joints; it supports the longitudinal arch of the foot; also known as: short plantar ligament
plantar calcaneonavicular ligament a ligament that connects the sustentaculum tali with the plantar surface of the navicular bone a ligament that reinforces a complex set of intertarsal (gliding) synovial joints; it supports the longitudinal arch of the foot; also known as: spring ligament
posterior cruciate ligament a ligament connecting the posterior aspect of the intercondylar eminence with the lateral surface of the medial femoral condyle an intracapsular ligament located within the fibrous joint capsule of the knee but external to the synovial cavity of the knee; the posterior cruciate ligament limits the posterior movement of the tibia relative to the femur in all positions of joint movement
posterior meniscofemoral ligament an intracapsular ligament that connects the posterior part of the lateral meniscus with the lateral surface of the medial femoral condyle may be absent
posterior talofibular ligament a ligament that connects the lateral malleolus of the fibula with the posterolateral surface of the talus it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
posterior tibiofibular ligament the ligament that connects the distal ends of the tibia and the fibula posteriorly this ligament reinforces the tibiofibular syndesmosis (at the distal ends of these bones)
posterior tibiotalar ligament part of the deltoid ligament connecting the medial malleolus of the tibia with the talus posteriorly it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
prepatellar bursa a subcutaneous bursa overlying the patella synovial membrane; inflammation of this bursa leads to the condition known as "housemaid's knee" (prepatellar bursitis), so named because housemaids at one time traumatized this bursa while scrubbing floors on their hands and knees
pubofemoral ligament the ligament reinforcing the medial surface of the articular capsule of the hip joint the pubofemoral ligament connects the pubic portion of the rim of the bony acetabulum to the medial surface of the femoral neck
suprapatellar bursa the superior extension of the synovial membrane of the knee joint it passes deep to the quadriceps femoris tendon; the suprapatellar bursa reduces friction between the quadriceps femoris tendon and the femur
tarsometatarsal joints the articulations between the distal row of tarsal bones and the proximal ends of the metatarsal bones gliding synovial joints; they are reinforced by dorsal and plantar ligaments which limit the motion between adjacent bones
tibial collateral ligament the collateral ligament of the knee joint connecting the medial epicondyle of the femur with the medial surface of the medial condyle of the tibia the tibial collateral ligament reinforces the medial surface of the articular capsule of the knee; it is attached to the medial meniscus which has clinical relevance - when the tibial collateral ligament tears in a clipping-type injury (knee abduction), the medial meniscus also tears
tibiocalcaneal ligament part of the deltoid ligament connecting the medial malleolus of the tibia with the sustentaculum tali it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
tibionavicular ligament part of the deltoid ligament connecting the medial malleolus of the tibia with the navicular it is a ligament that reinforces the ankle joint
transverse acetabular ligament the ligament that spans the acetabular notch near the rim of the acetabulum the acetabular branch of the obturator artery enters the hip joint by passing beneath the transverse acetabular ligament; the artery of the ligament of the head of the femur is a branch of the acetabular a.
transverse arch of the foot the arch that passes through the distal row of tarsal bones a series of plane synovial joints; the transverse arch of the foot is supported by the shape of the tarsal bones, many small interosseous ligaments and the tendons of the fibularis longus m., tibialis anterior m. and tibialis posterior m.
zona orbicularis circularly oriented ligamentous fibers that reinforce the capsule of the hip joint the zona orbicularis fibers tend to constrict the fibrous joint capsule around the neck of the femur, helping to hold the head of the femur in the acetabulum

The material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest & Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York
Copyright 1995, unauthorized use prohibited.
The excellent editorial assistance of
Dr. Pat Tank, UAMS
is gratefully acknowledged.