Nerves in Foot and Ankle

diagram of nerves in foot and ankle.

diagram of nerves in foot and ankle.

The joints and muscles of the ankle and foot need to be maintained properly. Nerves offer the ankle and foot with sensation and also inform the muscles when to contract when to relax. The ankle and foot require nerve supply to function appropriately. Here’s a take a look at the nerves that keep the foot and ankle kicking.

Nerves in Foot

Tibial nerve: This nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve. It diminishes the leg, between the heads of the gastrocnemius, and passes under the soleus. It curves under the median malleolus and continues into the foot. It innervates all the muscles in the posterior compartment of the leg.

Typical fibular (peroneal) nerve: This nerve branches off the sciatic nerve in the popliteal region (behind the knee). It travels posterior to the head of the fibula to enter the lateral compartment of the leg deep to the fibularis longus. Here it divides into the superficial and deep fibular nerves.

The superficial fibular (peroneal) nerve goes through the lateral compartment of the leg and innervates the muscles in the lateral compartment and the skin over the anterior portion of the ankle and the dorsum of the foot.

The deep fibular (peroneal) nerve runs through extensor digitorum longus and down the interosseous membrane. Then it crosses the tibia and gets in the dorsum of the foot. It innervates the muscles in the anterior compartment of the leg and the dorsum of the foot. It likewise provides a small region of skin in between the first (big) and second toes.

Sural nerve: This nerve (formed by the union of branches from both tibial and common fibular nerve) likewise runs between the heads of the gastrocnemius, however it runs under the lateral malleolus. It innervates the skin on the lateral side of the leg and foot.

Saphenous nerve: This nerve is a branch of the femoral nerve and runs down the medial portion of the leg to the median part of the foot and innervates the skin on the medial side of the ankle and foot.

Medial plantar nerve: This branch of the tibial nerve runs in between the kidnapper hallucis and flexor digitorum brevis in the foot. It innervates the skin of the medial side of the sole of the foot, and it’s the nerve supply for the a few of the foot muscles.

Lateral plantar nerve: This nerve, also a branch of the tibial nerve, runs between the quadratus plantae and flexor digitorum brevis. It innervates the skin on the lateral part of the sole and several little muscles of the foot.

Plantar digital nerves: These nerves branch off the median and lateral planter nerves. They innervate the skin and nail beds of the toes.

Calcaneal branches of the tibial and sural nerve: These branches run down to the posterior portion of the heel and innervate the skin of the heel.

Nerves in Ankle

The nerve supply of the ankle is from nerves that pass by the ankle on their way into the foot. The tibial nerve runs behind the medial malleolus. Another nerve crosses in front of the ankle on its method to top of the foot. There is also a nerve that passes along the outer edge of the ankle.

The nerves on the front and external edge of the ankle control the muscles in this location, and they provide sensation to the top and outside edge of the foot.

Bottom Line

The nerves of the foot assistance move the body and keep balance both while it’s moving and at rest. All these nerves extend as branches of nerves in the leg that travel through the ankle and into the foot. The sural nerve branches from the tibial and common fibular nerves and is responsible for feeling on the outside of the foot and the little toe. The median and lateral plantar nerves are the 2 biggest nerves in the bottom of the foot. Working together, the plantar nerves command the many little muscles of the feet and toes to create the continuous, subtle shifting of the feet that keeps us from falling down. At the same time, these nerves provide messages to the brain that bring details about the angles and position of joints, the length and stress of muscles, or perhaps the speed of motions so that through the interaction of the nerve system with the muscles of the lower extremities, balance may be preserved.

Image by encyclopedia britannica


Last modified: August 2, 2018

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