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Alternative Names

  • Calcaneum
  • Plural: calcanei or calcanea


  • General
    • Largest tarsal bone/ bones of foot
    • Calcaneal tuberosity forms the heel where the Achilles Tendon inserts
  • Anatomic description
    • Cuboid articulates with the triangular anterior surface
    • Talus and Navicular share a space called the talocalcaneonavicular joint
    • Thalamic portion: inferior to the posterior articular facet is condensed to approximately 1 cm
    • Calcaneal sulcus: groove that runs posteromedially
    • Middle calcaneal facet: supported by the sustentaculum tali and articulates with the middle facet of the talus
    • Anterior calcaneal facet: articulates with anterior talar facet, supported by calcaneal beak
  • Articular facets
    • Superolateral fragment contains the articular facets
    • Superior articular surface contains three facets that articulate with the Talus
    • Posterior facet is the largest and is the major weight bearing surface
    • Middle facet is anteromedial on sustentaculum tali
    • Anterior facet is often confluent with middle facet
  • Sinus tarsi
    • Canal formed between calcaneal sulcus (interosseous sulcus or calcaneal groove) and talar sulcus
    • Occupied by the interosseous talocalcaneal ligament
  • Sustentaculum Tali (talar shelf)
  • Bifurcate ligament
    • Connects the dorsal aspect of the anterior process to the cuboid and navicular
  • Lateral surface
    • Calcaneal tubercle (or trochlear process)
    • Flat and subcutaneous, with a central peroneal tubercle for the attachment of the Calcaneofibular Ligament
    • Lateral Talocalcaneal Ligament attaches antero-superiorly to the peroneal tubercle
  • Medial surface
    • Talus attaches via Interosseous Ligament, thick medial talocalcaneal ligaments
    • The groove inferior to it transmits the Flexor Hallucis Longus tendon
    • The neurovascular bundle runs adjacent to the medial border of the calcaneus
  • Embryology
    • Ossification center develops between 4th and 7th week of fetal development
  • Muscle insertion via Achilles Tendon to middle facet of posterior surface of calcaneus
  • Muscle origin


  • Actions
    • Transfers most of the body weight from the limb to the ground
    • Plantarflexion
    • Flexion of the knee
    • Steadying the leg on the ankle during standing
  • Forms two joints

Vascular Supply

  • Branches of Posterior Tibial Artery
    • Medial calcaneal arteries
    • Medial and lateral plantar arteries
  • Branches of the Anterior Tibial Artery
    • Artery of the tarsal sinus and tarsal canal (via lateral tarsal artery)
  • Branches of Fibular Artery
    • Lateral calcaneal arteries
    • Posterior calcaneal arterial anastomosis


Clinical Significance

See Also


Created by:
John Kiel on 30 June 2021 22:05:04
Last edited:
30 June 2021 23:21:05