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by Galvez 5amily 6 months ago in body

Foot Anatomy - Bones, Tendons And Other Parts Of The Foot

Anatomy Of The Foot

The foot is the region of the lower limb that begins from the ankle joint. The foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These important structures strengthen the

foot and help to maintain its posture.

Some of the important structures of the foot are discussed below


In the foot, we have three groups of bones

1. Tarsals

2. Metatarsals

3. Phalanges

Tarsal bones

These are divided into three groups

Proximal group

The proximal group has two bones namely the talus (ankle bone) and calcaneus (heel bone). The talus articulates superiorly with tibia and fibula making the back of the foot known as hindfoot

Intermediate group

Navicular bone- It lies between the proximal and distal group of tarsal bones

Distal group

In the distal group from lateral to medial, we have one cuboid bone and three cuneiforms (lateral, intermediate, and medial)

Metatarsal bones

We have five metatarsal bones, they are numbered from one through five from medial to lateral.

The head of the first metatarsal bone articulates with two sesamoid bones

The sides of the bases of metatarsal bones (from two to five) articulate with each other

The fifth metatarsal bone has a prominent tuberosity on its lateral side


These are the bones of toes. We have 14 phalanges in total, two in the great toe and 3 in each other toe


There are 33 joints in the foot

Ankle joint

It is a synovial hinge joint. It involves talus of tarsal bones and tibia fibula (bones of the leg region)

Articular surfaces are covered with hyaline cartilage

Plantarflexion and dorsiflexion are possible at this joint

Intertarsal joint

There are several intertarsal joints. These joints are synovial in nature

The following movements are possible here

• Inversion

• Eversion

• Supination

• Pronation

Transverse tarsal joint

This joint is formed between talocalcaneonavicular and calcaneocuboid joint


The muscles of the foot are arranged in two groups

1. Muscles of sole of the foot

2. Muscles of the dorsum of the foot

There are four layers of the muscles of the sole of the foot

First layer- Abductor hallucis, Flexor digitorium brevis, Abductor digiti minimi

Second layer- Quadratus plantae, Lumbricals (4), Flexor digitorium longus tendon, Flexor hallucis longus tendon

Third layer- Flexor digiti minimi brevis, Flexor hallucis brevis, Adductor hallucis

Fourth layer- Interossei, Dorsal (4), Planter (3), Paroneus longus tendon, Tibialis posterior tendon

Muscles of the dorsum of the foot

This group has two muscles

1. Extensor hallucis brevis

2. Extensor digitorium brevis

Tendons and ligaments

Tendons and ligaments are very much similar to each other

These are soft tissues made up of collagen fibers

Ligaments attach muscles to muscles while tendons attach muscles to bones


Achilles tendon or Calcaneal tendon

It is an important tendon of the foot

It is the tough band of fibrous tissue, it connects the calf muscles to the calcaneus (heel) bone

The other tendons of the foot are listed below

• The tendon of fibularis longus muscle

• The tendon of fibularis brevis muscle

• The tendon of tibialis posterior muscle


Some ligaments of the foot are listed below

• Long plantar ligament

• Lateral ligament

• Anterior talofibular ligament

• Medial deltoid ligament

Blood supply


The blood is supplied to the foot by the branches of two main arteries namely posterior tibial artery and dorsalis pedis

Posterior Tibial Artery

The posterior tibial artery bifurcates into lateral and medial plantar arteries by entering into the sole.

Then the lateral plantar artery joins with the deep plantar artery (the

terminal end of dorsalis pedis) and forms deep plantar arch whose branches supply the toes of the foot

Dorsalis pedis artery

The anterior tibial artery continues

to form the dorsalis pedis artery. It enters into the dorsum of the foot and

continues as the deep plantar artery and then enters in the sole of the foot by

passing between the metatarsal one and two


There is an interconnected network of deep and superficial veins in the foot. Deep veins follow the course of arteries and superficial veins drain into the dorsal venous arch.

The great saphenous vein and the small saphenous vein arise from the two sides of the dorsal venous arch. These two veins drain a large amount of blood of the foot

Nerve supply

There are five main nerves that innervate the foot namely

1. Tibial nerve

2. Deep fibular nerve

3. Superficial fibular nerve

4. Sural nerve

5. Saphenous nerve

These five nerves are responsible ofr the cutaneous or general sensory innervation of the foot

Important structures of the foot

Arches of the foot

The bones of the foot are arranged in such a manner that they form structures like arches

There are three main arches of the foot

Medial longitudinal arch

The calcaneum, the talus, the navicular bone, three cuneiform bones and the first three metatarsal bones combine to form the medial longitudinal arch

Lateral longitudinal arch

The calcaneum, the cuboid, and the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones combine to form the lateral longitudinal arch

Transverse arch

The bases of the metatarsal bones, the cuboid, and the three cuneiform bones combine to form the transverse arch

Plantar aponeurosis

It is the thickening of deep fascia in the sole of the foot. It begins with the medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity and extends as a longitudinal band towards the toes of the foot. It becomes diverged when it reaches the toes of the foot and then it finally merges with the bones, ligaments, and the dermis of the skin. It supports the longitudinal arch of the foot and protects the deeper structures that lie in the sole of the foot

Anatomical importance of the foot

The foot is an important part of the whole body. It serves many important functions although its main functions are

• It supports body weight

• It helps in propelling the body forward in walking and running by acting as a lever

Read more about Foot Anatomy

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