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Skeletal System of the Foot

The human foot and ankle is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing exactly 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The foot can be subdivided into the hindfoot, the midfoot, and the forefoot: The hindfoot is composed of the talus (or ankle bone) and the calcaneus (or heel bone). The two long bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula, are connected to the top of the talus to form the ankle. Connected to the talus at the subtalar joint, the calcaneus, the largest bone of the foot, is cushioned inferiorly by a layer of fat. The five irregular bones of the midfoot, the cuboid, navicular, and three cuneiform bones, form the arches of the foot which serves as a shock absorber. The midfoot is connected to the hind- and fore-foot by muscles and the plantar fascia. The forefoot is composed of five toes and the corresponding five proximal long bones forming the metatarsus. Similar to the fingers of the hand, the bones of the toes are called phalanges and the big toe has two phalanges while the other four toes have three phalanges. The joints between the phalanges are called interphalangeal and those between the metatarsus and phalanges are called metatarsophalangeal (MTP). Both the midfoot and forefoot constitute the dorsum (the area facing upwards while standing) and the planum (the area facing downwards while standing). The instep is the arched part of the top of the foot between the toes and the ankle. About 26 bones in the human foot provide structural support. These foot bones can be grouped into 3 parts, as follows: tibia, fibula tarsus: talus, calcaneus, cuneiformes, cuboid, and navicular metatarsus: first, second, third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal bone phalanges There can be many sesamoid bones near the metatarsophalangeal joints, although they are only regularly present in the distal portion of the first metatarsal bone.