The human foot must sustain not only our weight, but also absorb the shock of each step we take. The foot also helps propel us as we walk and run. Such an important part of the body requires many points of movement, and therefore, many small bones. Almost 25 per cent of the bones in our body are in our feet, along with more than 100 muscles, tendons that attach muscle to bone and ligaments that connect bone to bone. Refer to Reference 1 to see the specific bones described below.
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The heel is made up of two major bones. The talus (2) connects the foot to the two lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and allows the ankle to move up and down. Under the talus is the calcaneus (1) or the "heel bone." Because this bone supports the body's weight, it is necessarily the foot's biggest bone.
The middle area of the foot is composed of five bones. The navicular (3) bone is nearest the calcaneus and is rectangularly shaped. On the inside of the arch is the medial cuneiform (4), and working outward toward the lateral side of the foot is intermediate cuneiform (5), the smallest of the mid-foot bones. Next is the lateral cuneiform (6) with the cuboid (7), the largest mid-foot bone, on the side opposite the arch.
The long bones of the foot are the first metatarsal (8) on the arch or big toe side of the foot. Beside that is the second metatarsal (9), then the third metatarsal (10), the fourth metatarsal (11) and the fifth metatarsal (12) on the little toe side.
The big toe consists of two bones: the proximal phalanx of the great toe (13) nearest the first metatarsal, and the distal phalanx of the great toe (14). The next toe, or second toe, contains three bones: the proximal phalanx of the second toe (15), the middle phalanx of the second toe (16), and the distal phalanx of the second toe (17). The third, fourth and fifth toes also contain three similarly named bones each.
There are 26 bones in each foot if we do not count the two tiny round sesamoid bones found in the tendon beneath the first metatarsal. We have 33 joints in each foot and ankle, myriad blood vessels and nerves throughout and a large cushion of fat under the calcaneus.
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