Human Foot Anatomy

At the foot evaluation clinic in Puebla we have been conducting gait analysis for more than 5 years , also known as a baropodometric study . Our study is designed to obtain information on the unloading of weight on the sole of the foot , analyze the behavior of the lower extremities during the walk and know how foot conditions can modify body posture , therefore, today we will focus on describing the characteristics of the human foot .

The human foot is a complex unit for transfer.

The human foot is a complex mechanical structure made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 22 muscles (13 of them are extrinsic, that is, they originate in the leg and are attached to the bones of the foot) and 107 ligaments . In general, the foot is divided into 3 parts which are detailed below: 

1.- Retropied 

Composed of the talus and calcaneus (heel). 

2.- Midfoot 

Formed by the cuboid, navicular and 3 cuneiform bones that constitute the plantar arches.

3.- Forefoot 

Composed of the 5 metatarsals that form the metatarsus and the phalanges, it is important to note that the big toe has two phalanges while the rest have 3.

The human foot is divided into three zones.

The sole of the foot is made up of bony and ligamentous elements, giving rise to the well-known plantar vault, a structure supported by three arches: 

  • medial arch 
  • side bow 
  • transverse arc   
Arches of the human foot

Said joint complex will be responsible for distributing the weight loads through the different joint units and thanks to our platform with sensors it will be possible to detect the weight load and support points on the sole of the foot . Specifically, with the baropodometric study, hyperload points can be obtained and specialists in biomechanics will interpret these results to finally explain to the patient the observed alterations, their possible repercussions on sports and daily activities, in addition to providing the corresponding treatment that can be the physiotherapeutic intervention, custom orthopedic insoles orthotics , among others. 

What is the functionality of the foot?

The foot is the base of support for the body and its function is both static, adapting to the irregularities of the ground and providing stability, and dynamic, cushioning the impact and reusing the accumulated energy in some way, depending on the position of the foot, there will be certain or not . effects on the joints. 

As we explain to our patients at the foot evaluation clinic in Tlaxcala and Puebla, it is important to point out that injuries or problems in the foot affect the knee joint and vice versa, although the hip also affects the foot since it is the joint that directs the supports. Addressing the subject of the ankle and toes a bit , within its functions is to carry out immobilization while the plantar vault is in charge of stabilization. 

The development of the plantar arches is a process that begins with maturation, that is, we are born with flat feet and at the moment the weight loads begin, the formation of these is stimulated, from the age of 6 or 7 and at 12 or 14 years are consolidated. 

It should be noted that the foot has another cushioning system such as a kind of coating of fat located on the base of the heel, this fat is capable of resisting the forces that occur when walking at a speed of less than 5 km/h, when there are Alterations with this cushioning system can develop various types of pain in the heel .

Bones that make up the foot 

Mentioned below are the bones of the human foot :

  • Talus: The only bone that articulates with the leg .
  • Calcaneus: It is located below the talus bone, essential for maintaining balance.
  • Scaphoid: Also known as navicular, its function is to mechanically unite the tarsal bones with those of the metatarsal, in addition to providing stability to the foot .
  • Cuboid: Its function is to transmit the force coming from the ankle to the rest of the foot .
  • First cuneiform: Also known as cuneiform, they are a row of 3 bones that are located in the tarsus, the first cuneiform communicates with the scaphoid and the first metatarsal.
  • Second cuneiform: It is located between the first and third cuneiform.
  • Third cuneiform: It is located in the innermost part having the scaphoid behind and laterally with the cuboid.
  • First metatarsal: Bone that communicates distally with the phalanges of the big toe.
  • Second metatarsal: It communicates in its distal part with the second phalanx.
  • Third metatarsal: It communicates in its distal part with the third phalanx.
  • Fourth metatarsal: It communicates in its distal part with the fourth phalanx.
  • Fifth metatarsal: It communicates in its distal part with the fifth phalanx.
  • Phalanges: Each of the 5 fingers have three phalanges except for the big toe, which only has two. This explains why the body only has a total of 14 phalanges on each foot, which are the smallest bones of the foot and are highly articulable, their names are proximal, medial, and distal.
human foot bones

Human foot muscles

To make the foot move, it requires contractile units called muscles, the human foot has two groups of muscles.

  • extrinsic

They originate in the leg and reach the ankle or foot, they are responsible for carrying out the movements of flexion, inversion and eversion. 

  • intrinsic 

They are muscles that originate and insert in the foot, they are responsible for the movement of the fingers, support of the weight of the body and its movement during locomotion.

At the foot evaluation clinic in Tlaxcala and Puebla we are at your disposal to advise you and answer any questions related to pathologies in your children’s feet , we make rest insoles insoles for runners insoles for diabetics insoles for athletes insoles children’s orthopedics and all kinds of custom-made orthopedic insoles if you want more details contact us.

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