Foot Anatomy - helping you walk tall

26 bones, 30 joints, over 100 muscles and ligaments

Even though our feet may seem rather plain, they are actually one of the most amazing structures of our bodies. Each foot has 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 ligaments and muscles to keep it functioning. We can help your feet function better.

It is important that our feet are healthy

Our feet support our weight, balance our bodies and carry the average person more than 100,000 miles in a lifetime. While strong and flexible enough to absorb 500 pounds of impact (for example impact caused by running) the structure of the foot is extremely delicate, which is why foot problems are so common. The foot has three main areas: Forefoot, Midfoot and Hindfoot


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Midfoot

The midfoot has five irregularly shaped tarsal bones. It forms the arch of the foot and also acts as a shock absorber. The bones in the midfoot are connected to forefoot and hindfoot by the plantar fascia which is the arch ligament.


Hindfoot

The hindfoot is composed of three joints that link the midfoot to the ankle or talus. The top of the ankle is connected to two bones in the lower leg called the tibia and fibula which form a hinge that allows the foot to move up and down. The heel bone or calcaneus is the largest bone in the foot. It joins the ankle to form a subtalar joint, this enables the foot to rotate at the ankle.



Forefoot

The forefoot is composed of five toes, known as phalanges, and their connecting long bones known as metatarsals.

Each toe or phalanx consists of a number of small bones. The big toe, also the hallux, has two phalanges and two joints. It also features two tiny, round sesamoid bones which allow it to move up and down.

The remaining four toes each have three phalanges and two joints. The phalanges are connected to the metatarsal long bones by phalangeal joints found at the ball of the foot. The forefoot bears half the body's weight and balances pressure on the ball of the foot.

Muscles, tendons and ligaments

Supporting the bones and joints are a network of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

There are about twenty muscles in the foot. These give the foot its shape by holding the bones in position, and expand and contract to allow movement in the bones and joints.