Full Health Information » Foot Anatomy

The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, and numerous tendons. Complex biomechanics keep all these parts in the right position and moving together. Given these intricacies, it is not surprising that most people will experience some problem with their feet at some time in their lives.
Within each foot, the essential structure can be summed up 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.
Common Conditions and Treatments
  • Arthritic Deformities
  • Athlete's Foot
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Corns and Calluses
  • Diabetic Feet
  • Dry and Cracked Skin
  • Flat Foot
  • Foot and Ankle Injuries
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel Pain
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Nail Problems
  • Neuromas
  • Peripheral Neuropathies
  • Plantar Warts
  • Warts
  • Heel Pain
Plantar fasciitis is the term commonly used to refer to heel and arch pain traced to an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. More specifically, plantar fasciitisis an inflammation of the connective tissue, called plantar fascia, that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. Overpronation is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. As the foot rolls inward excessively when walking, it flattens the foot, lengthens the arch, and puts added tension on the plantar fascia. Over time, this causes inflammation.
Also known as heel spur syndrome, the condition is often successfully treated with conservative measures, such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications. In persistent cases, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT) may be used to treat the heel pain.