Located in the foot, the calcaneus is also known as the heel bone. It is situated in the back of the foot, just below talus, near the ankle, tibia, and fibula bones of the lower leg. Of all of the bones in the foot, the heel bone is the largest. The calcaneus has an intricate geography. At the front, the heel bone features many curves to accommodate the talus and the many different tarsal bones, which lead to the metatarsals and phalanges. The back of the heel bone is not as complex, featuring a tuberosity and a medial process. The calcaneus provides insertion points for the abductor hallucis and the abductor digit minimi muscles. At the back of the heel, the Achilles tendon inserts into the rough area located on the superior side. The tendon, as well as other ligaments and muscles, is necessary for standing and making ambulatory motion. As such, a broken or fractured calcaneus will cause difficulty in standing and walking.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Calcaneus