Foot bones: Everything you need to know
The foot is an intricate part of the body, consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles.
The bones and joints in the feet experience wear and tear, so conditions that cause damage to the foot can directly affect its health.
This article outlines the basic anatomy of the foot bones, along with some of the most common conditions affecting these bones.
Foot bones and anatomy
The human foot consists of 26 bones. These bones fall into three groups: the tarsal bones, metatarsal bones, and phalanges.
The tarsal bones are a group of seven bones that make up the rear section of the foot.
Tarsal bones include:
· The talus, or ankle bone: The talus is the bone at the top of the foot. It connects with the tibia and fibula bone of lower leg.
· The calcaneus, or heel bone: The calcaneus is largest of the tarsal bones. It sits below the talus and plays an essential role in supporting body weight.
· The tarsals: These five bones form the arch of the midfoot. They are the medial, intermediate, and lateral cuneiforms, the cuboid, and the navicular.
The metatarsal bones are a group of five tubular bones in the middle of the foot. They connect to the tarsal bones and the phalanges.
The metatarsals sit in a row, and doctors number them one to five. The first one sits closest to the arch of the foot, and number five sits at the outer edge of the foot.
The phalanges are the bones in the toes. The second to fifth toes each contain three phalanges.
From the back of the foot to the front, doctors call them the proximal, middle, and distal phalanges.
The big toe or hallux contains only two phalanges, which are proximal and distal.
The metatarsal phalangeal joints are the joints between the metatarsals and the proximal phalanx of each toe. These joints form the ball of the foot.
The first metatarsal phalangeal joint sits in line with the big toe. It is a common area for foot pain and other problems.
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