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Bones of Foot

Dr Mark Nelson

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Bones of the Foot

The disarticulated bones of the left foot (picture/photo from above)
(The talus and calcaneus remain articulated)
There are 26 bones in each foot, not including the 2 sesamoid bones located underneath the first metatarsal head.

1 Calcaneus
2 Talus
3 Navicular
4 Medial cuneiform
5 Intermediate cuneiform
6 Lateral cuneiform
7 Cuboid
8 First metatarsal
9 Second metatarsal
10 Third metatarsal
11 Fourth metatarsal
12 Fifth metatarsal
13 Proximal phalanx of great toe
14 Distal phalanx of great toe
15 Proximal phalanx of second toe
16 Middle phalanx of second toe
17 Distal phalanx of second toe


Bones of the tarsus (the back part of the foot)
    Navicular bone
    Cuboid bone
    Medial, intermediate and lateral cuneiform bones

Bones of the metatarsus (the forepart of the foot)
    First to fifth metatarsal bones (numbered from the medial side)

Bones of the toes or digits
    Phalanges -- a proximal and a distal phalanx for the great toe;
        proximal, middle and distal phalanges for the second to fifth toes

Sesamoid bones
    Two always present in the tendons of flexor hallucis brevis

Origin and meaning of some terms associated with the foot
Tibia: Latin for a flute or pipe; the shin bone has a fanciful resemblance to this wind instrument.
    Fibula: Latin for a pin or skewer; the long thin bone of the leg. Adjective fibular or peroneal, which is from the Greek for pin.
    Tarsus: Greek for a wicker frame; the basic framework for the back of the foot.
    Metatarsus: Greek for beyond the tarsus; the forepart of the foot.
    Talus (astragalus): Latin (Greek) for one of a set of dice; viewed from above the main part of the talus has a rather square appearance.
    Calcaneus: from the Greek for heel; the heel bone.
    Navicular (scaphoid): Latin (Greek) for boat-shaped; the navicular bone roughly resembles a saucer-shaped coracle.
    Cuboid: Greek for cube-shaped.
    Cuneiform: Latin for wedge-shaped.
    Phalanx: Greek for a row of soldiers; a row of bones in the toes. Plural phalanges.
    Sesamoid: Greek for shaped like a sesame seed.
    Digitus: Latin for finger or toe. Digiti and digitorum are the genitive singular and genitive plural -- of the toe(s).
    Hallux: Latin for the great toe. Hallucis is the genitive singular -- of the great toe.
    Dorsum: Latin for back; the upper surface of the foot. Adjective dorsal.
    Plantar: adjective from planta, Latin for the sole of the foot.

Reprinted with permission from the American Podiatric Medical Association

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Last modified: 10/13/10