Bone Structure of the Feet

Although the skeletal formation of the foot is comparable to the hand the foot is stronger as it is weight bearing but subject to less movement.

The bones of the foot can be identified into 3 sections:

  • Tarsal
  • Metatarsal
  • Phalanges

The foot starts at the two bones of the lower leg, the Tibia and Fibula.  There is combination of bones that form the Tarsals, and these make up the upper portion of the foot and ankle.

There are 7 Tarsal bones, and these are:

  1. Calcaneus – This is the largest bone of the foot (otherwise known as the heel) this bone points in an upwards direction compared to the other bones which point downward.
  2. Talus – This is the 2nd largest bone in the foot and is shaped irregularly and forms the lower part of the ankle joint.
  • Cuboid – This is located near the little toe (the fifth phalanx) and is on the outside and is multifaceted in shape.
  1. Cuneiforms – these are the closest to the 5 metatarsal bones and consist of 3 small bones. They form a row starting at the inside of the foot and then moves toward to the cuboid on the outside of the foot.
  2. Navicular: This curved bone sits between the talus and cuneiforms.

There are five metatarsal bones in each foot. Like the bones of the hand, these nearly parallel bones create the body of the foot. Numbered one through five, the bone that sits behind the big toe is number one, and the one behind the little toe is number five.

The phalanges create the toes. Each toe consists of three separate bones and two joints, except for the big toe, which has only two bones — distal and proximal phalanges — and one joint, like the thumb in the hand. The phalanges are made up of the distal phalanges at the tip, middle phalanges, and proximal phalanges, closest to the metatarsals.


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