Plantar calcaneonavicular ligament (Spring ligament)

What is Plantar Calcaneus?

Plantar calcaneus or plantar calcaneous ligament is a band of connective tissue that connects your heel bone to the bottom part of your foot. This band helps support the arch of your foot and keeps it from collapsing inward when walking or running. Without this support, the arch collapses inward causing pain and discomfort.

The plantar calcaneus is composed of three parts: the soleus muscle, the fascia and the tendon. The soleus muscles are located at the front of your lower leg and work to extend your toes forward.

They are responsible for most of your natural gait. The fascia runs along both sides of your foot and attaches to other bones such as the tibia, fibula, metatarsals and talons. The tendon runs through the middle of your foot and attaches to the ball of your big toe. Together these tissues form the plantar calcaneus.

How Does Spring Ligament Injury Occur?

A person’s body has many structures that function together to provide comfort and protection during normal activities. These include joints, tendons, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. When these structures are disrupted or injured, it is called an injury. When there is a tear in the bond between two muscles, it is called a strain. A tear in the tendon is called a tendonitis. A separation in any bone is called a fracture. When there is an interruption in the blood supply to any part of the body, it’s called an infarction.

Sprain is a common condition that occurs when you overstretch or tear a ligament. This condition causes pain, swelling, bruising and decreases the range of motion in the joints.

A sprain can happen to anyone without any age or gender discrimination. When you overstretch or tear the ligament of your foot it is called a plantar fascia sprain. This injury can be caused by some certain conditions like obesity, weak arches or flat feet, which weaken the ligaments supporting the foot. Other causes of plantar fasciitis are sports like running, dancing etc.

A person’s weight is transferred through the foot while walking or running creating a lot of pressure on the foot. This pressure spreads over the foot causing stress to the joints of the foot.

When a person has flat feet, the arch of the foot collapses causing the plantar fascia to be overstretched or torn because of excessive stretching. A sprain can also occur when a person lands on the feet after jumping.

Sprains cause pain, swelling and bruising. You can’t stand or walk properly because of this condition.

It is easy to understand that it may take a long time for recovery.

What are the Symptoms?

A person with a plantar fascia tear or sprain may experience the following symptoms:

Tenderness on the bottom of the foot

Swelling and bruising in that area

Difficulty and pain in moving the toes

Pain while walking, running or jumping

What are the Causes?

There are many reasons behind plantar fascia injury such as:

Excessive weight or obesity: When you are overweight putting extra pressure on your feet, it may cause pain in your foot.

Diabetes: People with uncontrolled blood sugar or diabetes usually suffer from injuries of the foot. This is mainly because the nerve that supplies blood to the foot does not work properly.

Serious injury: Any accident or injury that can cause damage to the nerves, muscles and bones of the foot may also damage the plantar fascia.

Sudden changes in activity level: If you suddenly start participating in certain sports or exercises that put a great deal of pressure on your feet, you are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis. This especially true if you are overweight or have flat feet.

Age and gender: There is no concrete evidence to prove that either; however, plantar fasciitis is more common in middle-aged women.

Symptoms of a torn plantar fasciia typically affect the heel and the underside of your foot. The most common symptom is pain felt when you get out of bed in the morning.

The pain can be so severe that it is nearly impossible to put any weight on your foot. You will often feel a noticeable gap between your heel and the floor when you stand up. The pain may also be present when you take your first few steps in the morning or after a long day of being on your feet.

In people over the age of 60, a common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. As you age, the plantar fascia ligament weakens, and since this ligament is responsible for helping your foot arch return to its natural position, it can cause your foot to flatten out.

This can place a lot of strain on your plantar fascia and may lead to the inflammation of the ligament over time.

A lot of people suffer from heel spurs, which are tiny calcium deposits that form on the underside of your heel bone where it attaches to your plantar fascia. While you can experience a great deal of heel pain from plantar fasciitis without having a heel spur, studies show that most people who have this condition have at least one heel spur.

Sources & references used in this article:

Acquired adult flat foot due to isolated plantar calcaneonavicular (spring) ligament insufficiency with a normal tibialis posterior tendon by M Tryfonidis, W Jackson, R Mansour, PH Cooke… – Foot and ankle …, 2008 – Elsevier

Tear of the plantar calcaneonavicular (spring) ligament causing flatfoot: a case report by DC Borton, TS Saxby – The Journal of Bone and Joint …, 1997 –

Anatomy of the spring ligament by A Taniguchi, Y Tanaka, Y Takakura, K Kadono… – JBJS, 2003 –

Anatomic reconstruction technique for a plantar calcaneonavicular (Spring) ligament tear by E Palmanovich, S Shabat, YS Brin, V Feldman… – The Journal of Foot and …, 2015 – Elsevier

Spring ligament of the ankle: normal MR anatomy. by J Rule, L Yao, LL Seeger – AJR. American journal of …, 1993 – Am Roentgen Ray Soc

Endoscopic repair of the superficial deltoid ligament and spring ligament by TH Lui – Arthroscopy techniques, 2016 – Elsevier

Gross, histological, and microvascular anatomy and biomechanical testing of the spring ligament complex by WH Davis, M Sobel, EF DiCarlo… – Foot & ankle …, 1996 –