Anat Cell Biol.  2015 Jun;48(2):130-137. 10.5115/acb.2015.48.2.130.

Topography of human ankle joint: focused on posterior tibial artery and tibial nerve

  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Nursing, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Anatomy, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Anatomy, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Most of foot pain occurs by the entrapment of the tibial nerve and its branches. Some studies have reported the location of the tibial nerve; however, textbooks and researches have not described the posterior tibial artery and the relationship between the tibal nerve and the posterior tibial artery in detail. The purpose of this study was to analyze the location of neurovascular structures and bifurcations of the nerve and artery in the ankle region based on the anatomical landmarks. Ninety feet of embalmed human cadavers were examined. All measurements were evaluated based on a reference line. Neurovascular structures were classified based on the relationship between the tibial nerve and the posterior tibial artery. The bifurcation of arteries and nerves were expressed by X- and Y-coordinates. Based on the reference line, 9 measurements were examined. The most common type I (55.6%), was the posterior tibial artery located medial to the tibial nerve. Neurovascular structures were located less than 50% of the distance between M and C from M at the reference line. The bifurcation of the posterior tibial artery was 41% in X-coordinate, -38% in Y-coordinate, and that of the tibial nerve was 48%, and -10%, respectively. Thirteen measurements and classification showed statistically significant differences between both sexes (P<0.05). It is determined the average position of neurovascular structures in the human ankle region and recorded the differences between the sexes and amongst the populations. These results would be helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of foot pain.


Tibial nerve; Posterior tibial artery; Medial calcaneal branch; Foot pain; Coordinate

MeSH Terms

Ankle Joint*
Tibial Arteries*
Tibial Nerve*
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