We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Medial Malleolus?

By Meg Higa
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The medial malleolus is the spherical bony protrusion on the inner side of the leg, just above the ankle joint. A similar protrusion on the outer side, called the lateral malleolus, is attached to the fibula bone of the lower leg. The former bulge is the terminal end of the tibia, or shin bone; both serve as anchor point for the ligaments and tendons that secure the foot to the leg. Although the medial malleolus is in a protected location and not particularly prone to traumatic injury, stress fractures that are sometimes overlooked can occur. Orthopedic doctors strongly recommend treatment of such micro-fractures.

In the leg, the medial malleolus begins flush with the tibia and tapers down and outward into a pyramid shape. The outer surface of the bone just beneath the skin is slightly convex; correspondingly, the inner surface in contact with both the tibia and the talus bone of the foot is concave. Attached to the coarsened — and slightly depressed — base of the pyramid is the deltoid ligament, which holds the ankle joint in place. The lateral malleolus is similar in shape and nearly identical in function.

The two bones of the lower leg are the fibula and tibia. The latter, the larger of the two, connects the femur bone of the upper thigh at the knee with the talus bone of the foot at the ankle. On the lower back side of the fibula is the lateral malleolar sulcus, and on the back side of the tibia is the medial malleolar sulcus — vertical grooves along which a twin set of tendons nestles and extends to connect the foot. These critical tendons are partially covered and protected by the two malleoli.

Fracture of the medial malleolus is uncommon. The tibia is a necessarily strong bone, but excess stress from compression or torsion, such as landing from a jump or rolling an ankle, can cause trauma. Likewise, the bones of the foot are not immune to trauma. When such leg injuries occur, the likelihood that the medial malleolus also will have sustained a fracture is increased. It will vary in severity and type, the most common being a clean avulsion or a hairline stress fracture.

Of course, blunt force can cause the bone to chip. Fractures can sometimes result from running, jumping, sports that involve sudden change of direction or weight being repeatedly exerted on the ankle joint. Often, the pain, bruise and swelling of a micro-fracture dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a dull ache, sometimes also felt in the Achilles tendon. Tenderness might persist, "pins and needles" or numbness might be prominent, or pain might be felt only during certain types of movements by the ankle.

Treatment for a medial malleolus fracture is determined by it severity. A displaced fracture might require a prosthetic plate and cortical screws, and an undisplaced break might require only immobilization for several weeks. A stress fracture of the medial malleolus, if ignored, usually will worsen and require reconstructive surgery. If diagnosed and treated early, the prognosis for full recovery from most fractures is exceptionally good.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.