Foot Anatomy

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Your feet are amongst the most complex structures in your entire body. They are made up of dozens of bones, ligaments, joints, and tendons that work together to allow you to perform a variety of movements. They are also responsible for supporting the weight of your entire body throughout the day, cushioning the numerous impacts that you receive without even noticing. Here are some of the basic components of foot anatomy:





There are  26 bones (plus 2 sesamoid bones), 33 joints, over 30 ligaments and over 7000 nerve endings in each of our feet.  These bones support the rest of our foot anatomy and include the bones in the lower leg (tibia and fibula), along with the talus, calcaneus, cuboid, navicular, three cuneiform bones, five metatarsals, and fourteen phalanges. Some people also have sesamoid bones in their feet; sesamoids are small bones which are embedded in a tendon or muscle. When they are present, it is usually near the distal portion of the first metatarsal bone.


Our feet have 19 muscles each. Foot muscles are usually divided into two groups: extrinsic and intrinsic muscles. Extrinsic muscles are the ones that originate in the lower leg and attach into the foot, such as the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Nearly all the muscles that originate in the lower leg attach to the foot. Intrinsic foot muscles, on the other hand, are the muscles that originate in the foot itself.


The natural shape of our foot anatomy forms several arches. Two of them are longitudinal arches, along with one, lower transverse arch. These arches make it easier to walk, run, and apply weight to our feet by redistributing weight loads evenly across the foot.


There are many other structures that make up our foot anatomy. Dozens of tendons, ligaments, and joints work together to give our feet movement and stability. Layers of fatty tissue cover certain spots to improve shock absorption.

It is easy to see why there are so many injuries, diseases, and conditions like Mortons neuroma that can cause foot pain. Due to their complexity, location, and function, there is a wide variety of illnesses and abnormalities, both congenital and acquired, that tend to affect our foot anatomy. We might overlook our feet, but any condition that causes foot pain or discomfort can have a tremendously negative effect in our daily lives. That is why it is always wise to take care of our feet, through simple steps such as wearing supportive footwear or orthotics, in order to prevent foot injuries and diseases. Talk to a Podiatrist Sydney today.




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