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Foot Anatomy

Constructed of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons, the human foot is very intricate! Elaborate biomechanics keep all parts correctly positioned and moving together. Given these complexities, it is not at all a surprise that most people will experience some problem with their feet at one time or another.

Within each foot, there is an essential structure as follows:

  • Seven short tarsal bones make up the heel and back of the instep.
  • Five metatarsal bones spread from the back of the foot toward front and make up the structure for the ball of the foot. Each metatarsal is associated with one of the toes.
  • Fourteen phalanges, small bones, form the toe structure.
  • Tarsal and metatarsal bones provide the structure for the arch of the foot.
  • Bands of ligaments connect and hold all the bones in place.
  • A thick layer of fatty tissue under the sole helps absorb the pressure and shock that comes from walking and everyday movements.