Subtalar joint

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For a review of anatomical terms, see Anatomical position and Anatomical terms of location.
Subtalar joint
Subtalar Joint.PNG
Subtalar Joint
Ligaments of the medial aspect of the foot.
Latin Articulatio subtalaris,
articulatio talocalcanea
Gray's p.352
MeSH A02.835.583.378.831.780
TA A03.6.10.101
FMA 35198
Anatomical terminology

In human anatomy, the subtalar joint, also known as the talocalcaneal joint, is a joint of the foot. It occurs at the meeting point of the talus and the calcaneus.


The joint allows inversion and eversion of the foot, but plays no role in dorsiflexion or plantarflexion of the foot.[1]

It is considered a plane synovial joint,[2] also commonly referred to as a condyloid joint.

The subtalar joint can also be considered a combination of the anatomic subtalar joint discussed above, and also the talocalcaneal part of the talocalcaneonavicular joint. This is the more common view of the subtalar joint when discussing its movement. When both of these articulations are accounted together, it allows for pronation and supination to occur.

Relation of bones[edit]

The talus is oriented slightly obliquely on the anterior surface of the calcaneus.

There are two points of articulation between the two bones: one anteriorly and one posteriorly:

  • At the anterior talocalcaneal articulation, a concave area of the talus fits on a convex surface of the calcaneus.[3]
  • The posterior talocalcaneal articulation is formed by a concave surface of the talus and a convex surface of the calcaneus.

The subtalar joint contributes to 10% of dorsiflexion of the ankle. There are three articulating facets between the talus and the calcaneus, delineated as the anterior, middle and posterior facets. The sustentaculum tali forms the floor of middle facet, and the anterior facet articulates with the head of the talus, and sits lateral and congruent to the middle facet. The posterior facet is the largest of the three, and separated from the others by the tarsal canal.

Ligaments and membranes[edit]

The main ligament of the joint is the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament, a thick, strong band of two partially joined fibers that bind the talus and calcaneus. It runs through the sinus tarsi, a canal between the articulations of the two bones.

There are four additional ligaments that form weaker connections between the talus and calcaneus.

A synovial membrane lines the capsule of the joint, and the joint is wrapped in a capsule of short fibers that are continuous with the talocalconeonavicular and calcaneocuboid joints of the foot.


  1. ^ Kyung Won, PhD. Chung (2005). Gross Anatomy (Board Review). Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 123. ISBN 0-7817-5309-0. 
  2. ^ Moore and Agur. Essential Clinical Anatomy. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7817-6274-8
  3. ^

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