The ankle joint is located at the junction of the leg and the foot. It is made up of three bones: the tibia, the fibula and the talus. The ankle joint allows the foot to dorsiflex (point the foot up) and plantarflex (point the foot down).
Ligaments (strong fibrous bands of tissue that connect two bones) are located on each side of the ankle joint to create stability in the joint. Tendons (strong fibrous structures that connect muscle to bone) are located throughout the foot to allow for motion in the other parts of the foot such as the movement of the toes. Cartilage is the specialized joint tissue that covers bones and allows the bones to move in relationship to each other with minimal friction. Loss of the cartilage can decrease joint function and produce pain, stiffness, swelling and warmth.