Ankle bones

The ankle is a synovial joint formed by the bones of the lower leg tibia and fibula and the bones of the foot, the talus and calcaneus. 

The landmarks of the lower extremity forming the ankle are the:

lateral malleolus situated at the edge of the fibula

posterior malleolus on the back side of the tibia

medial malleolus in the medial lower edge of the tibia

The femur, knee and lower leg

The lower extremity, commonly named leg, is connected to the body at the pelvic girdle by the hip joint and is divided into two long segments separated by the knee joint: the thigh and the lower leg (calf and shin), the latter extending to the ankle and the foot. 

The lower extremity supports the body weight and permits ambulation. Its ability to bend and rotate facilitates many functions such as standing, walking, running, jumping, riding, driving and more.  Consequently, any pathology of the lower extremity severely affects our mobility, thus impairing most daily activities and occupations.

Anatomy of the pelvis

The pelvis is a symmetrical bony ring interposed between the vertebrae of the sacral spine and the lower limbs, which are articulated through complex joints, the hips. It supports the spinal column and connects the upper body to the lower extremities.  Importantly, the pelvis functions as the reservoir for the abdominal organs including the bladder, intestine, and uterus in women or prostate in men.

The pelvis is a symmetrical bony girdle. It consists of three strong bones fused together: the ilium, ischium and pubis. These bones merge to form bilateral concave sockets named acetabulum, which accommodate the femur heads to form the hip joints.

The ilium is the largest flat bone located on either side of the upper portion of the pelvis, including the iliac crest, which is the protruding tip bone of the pelvis that is easily felt with palpation.

The pubis is the smallest bone at the anterior side of the pelvis. Both ends of the pelvis are fused by the symphysis pubis consisting of a cartilaginous flexible tissue.

Males and females differ significantly in the anatomy of the pelvis: Females’ pelvis is wider and the pubis shorter than males’. This is an adaptation to child bearing and birth. In pregnant women the symphysis is extended to allow for the passage of the child through the birth canal.

The spine

The spine is divided into four segments:  

Cervical spine (C1 to C7) forms the neck displaying the most flexible section of the spine;  

Thoracic spine (T 1 to 12) connects to the rib cage thus having limited flexibility; 

Lumbar spine (L1 to L5) including the largest vertebrae suited to support most of the body weight;  

Sacrum (S1 to S5) consisting of fused vertebrae that attach laterally to the hip ring, and joining underneath to the tailbone or coccycx formed by five fused bones.

The shoulder

The anatomy of the provides the strength and functionality of the upper body. It is a complex structure of bones, muscles and ligaments with the ability to lift weights and create enormous strength. The shoulder can counteract an extreme impact but is also vulnerable to to a range of pathologies due to inactivity, overuse and trauma. Repetitive action also also sees an increase in wear and tear of the connective tissue causing pain, limited mobility and structures degradation.

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints of the body as it allows for almost a 360 degree motion. In its complex function, the shoulder must be mobile enough to allow for the wide range of actions of the arms and hands, but also stable enough to execute lifting, pushing and pulling. The compromise between mobility and stability may result in a large number of shoulder conditions that are less frequent in other joints of the body.

The arm and elbow

The arm also referred to as the upper limb is connected to the chest by the shoulder joint. It is divided into two segments separated by the elbow: the upper arm and the forearm, the latter extending to the wrist and the hand.