Your Foot Anatomy Questions Answered

How complex is the human foot?

Foot anatomy is quite detailed and more complex than most people think.

In any normal foot you will find a total of 26 bones in each foot; (28 bones if you count the 2 little sesamoid bones near the big toe joint).

These 26 bones consist of:

  • The phalanges or the toe bones ( 14 in all);
  • Metetarsals or forefoot bones (5 in all);
  • seven tarsal bones.

    The tarsal bones include:

  • 3 cuneiforms (medial, intermediate and lateral);
  • The cuboid bone;
  • The navicular bone;
  • The calcaneus or heel bone; and
  • The talus bone which lies just below the ankle joint.

    In the normal foot, the second toe appears slightly longer than the first and the third toes.

    There are three main joints of primary importance in lower limb biomechanics. These include:

  • the subtalar joint.
    This joint lies between the calcaneus (heel bone) and the talus (the bone below the ankle joint).

  • the midtarsal joint.
    This joint is really two joints - the joint between the talus and the navicular bone as well as the joint between the calcaneus and the cuboid bone.

  • the first metatarsophalangeal joint.
    This is the joint between the great toe and the first metatarsal - the big toe joint.

    foot anatomy bone structure

    These boney structures lie beneath more than twenty different muscles and over one hundred different ligaments. In amongst all this we have a network of blood vessels and nerves providing essential nutrients and messages enabling it all to function.

    WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.

    Still have a question about your foot problem, leg pain or you just need some footwear advice?

    Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.

    More info on foot pain and foot anatomy

    To find a Podiatrist or Foot Doctor near you visit our Find a Podiatrist page and click on your country.

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