Bones of the foot #1: Tarsal bones

Bones of the foot #1: Tarsal bones. Anatomy & FunctionKey facts about the anatomy of the tarsal bones
~ 3 min

The bones of the foot (ossa pedis) include the tarsal bones (ossa tarsi), the metatarsals (ossa metatarsi), and the phalanges (phalanges/ossa digitorum).

Tarsal bones (ossa tarsi)
Tarsal bones (ossa tarsi)

Let us examine the tarsal bones. These are 7 small bones that form two rows — a proximal and a distal row.

The bones of the proximal row are the following:

  • talus (talus)

Talus (talus)
Talus (talus)
  • calcaneus (calcaneus)

    Calcaneus (calcaneus)
    Calcaneus (calcaneus)

    Now come the bones of the distal row:

  • navicular (os naviculare)

    Navicular (os naviculare)
    Navicular (os naviculare)
  • cuboid (os cuboideum)

    Cuboid (os cuboideum)
    Cuboid (os cuboideum)
  • medial cuneiform (os cuneiforme mediale)

    Medial cuneiform (os cuneiforme mediale)
    Medial cuneiform (os cuneiforme mediale)
  • intermediate cuneiform (os cuneiforme intermedium)

    Intermediate cuneiform (os cuneiforme intermedium)
    Intermediate cuneiform (os cuneiforme intermedium)
  • lateral cuneiform (os cuneiforme laterale)

    Lateral cuneiform (os cuneiforme laterale)
    Lateral cuneiform (os cuneiforme laterale)

The talus consists of several parts:

  • body (corpus tali)

    Body (corpus tali)
    Body (corpus tali)
  • head (caput tali)

    Head (caput tali)
    Head (caput tali)
  • neck (collum tali)

    Neck (collum tali)
    Neck (collum tali)

On the body of the bone is the trochlea of the talus (trochlea tali).

Trochlea of the talus (trochlea tali).
Trochlea of the talus (trochlea tali).

This trochlea has three articular surfaces:

  • superior surface (facies superior), connecting to the inferior articular surface of the tibia

    Superior surface (facies superior)
    Superior surface (facies superior)
  • medial malleolar facet (facies malleolaris medialis), connecting to the ankle surface of the tibia

    Medial malleolar facet (facies malleolaris medialis)
    Medial malleolar facet (facies malleolaris medialis)
  • lateral malleolar facet (facies malleolaris lateralis), connecting to the ankle surface of the fibula

    Lateral malleolar facet (facies malleolaris lateralis),
    Lateral malleolar facet (facies malleolaris lateralis),

    The posterior process of the talus (processus posterior tali) is derived from the body of the bone.

    Posterior process of the talus (processus posterior tali)
    Posterior process of the talus (processus posterior tali)

    This process has a groove for the tendon for the flexor hallucis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi flexoris hallucis longi), which divides the process into a medial tubercle (tuberculum mediale)

    Tendon for the flexor hallucis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi flexoris hallucis longi)
    Tendon for the flexor hallucis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi flexoris hallucis longi)
    Medial tubercle (tuberculum mediale)
    Medial tubercle (tuberculum mediale)

    and a lateral tubercle (tuberculum laterale).

    Lateral tubercle (tuberculum laterale)
    Lateral tubercle (tuberculum laterale)

    The lower part of the talus also has three articular surfaces that connect to the calcaneus:

  • the anterior facet for the calcaneus (facies articularis calcanea anterior)

  • the middle facet for the calcaneus (facies articularis calcanea media)

  • the posterior facet for the calcaneus (facies articularis calcanea posterior)

    Between the posterior and middle facets lies talar sulcus (sulcus tali), to which the ligaments are attached.

    The head of the talus has a navicular articular surface (facies articularis navicularis) that connects to the navicular.

    The calcaneus is under the talus.

    Calcaneus
    Calcaneus

    At the back of the calcaneus lies the calcaneal tuberosity (tuber calcanei).

    Calcaneal tuberosity (tuber calcanei)
    Calcaneal tuberosity (tuber calcanei)

    From the calcaneal tuberosity the lateral process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus lateralis tuberis calcanei)

    Lateral process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus lateralis tuberis calcanei)
    Lateral process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus lateralis tuberis calcanei)

    and the medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus medialis tuberis calcanei) depart.

    Medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus medialis tuberis calcanei)
    Medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity (processus medialis tuberis calcanei)

    The upper part of the calcaneus also has three articular surfaces that connect to the talus:

  • the anterior talar articular surface (facies articularis talaris anterior)

  • the medial talar articular surface (facies articularis talaris media)

  • the posterior talar articular surface (facies articularis talaris posterior)

Between the posterior and middle talar articular surfaces lies a calcaneal sulcus (sulcus calcanei). Together with the corresponding talar sulcus, it forms the tarsal sinus (sinus tarsi), in which there is a ligament that connects these two bones.

Tarsal sinus (sinus tarsi)
Tarsal sinus (sinus tarsi)

On the medial side, the so-called sustentaculum tali is derived from the talus.

Sustentaculum tali
Sustentaculum tali

On the front part of the bone there is an articular surface for the cuboid (facies articularis cuboidea), which connects to the cuboid.

On the lateral surface there is the groove for the tendon of the fibularis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi fibularis longi).

Groove for the tendon of the fibularis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi fibularis longi)
Groove for the tendon of the fibularis longus (sulcus tendinis musculi fibularis longi)

On its lateral surface there is also the fibular trochlea (trochlea fibularis).

Fibular trochlea (trochlea fibularis)
Fibular trochlea (trochlea fibularis)

On the navicular, the tuberosity of the navicular (tuberositas ossis navicularis) can be distinguished.

Tuberosity of the navicular (tuberositas ossis navicularis)
Tuberosity of the navicular (tuberositas ossis navicularis)

And on the cuboid we can see the tuberosity of the cuboid (tuberositas ossis cuboidei).

Tuberosity of the cuboid (tuberositas ossis cuboidei)
Tuberosity of the cuboid (tuberositas ossis cuboidei)

There are no specific formations on the cuneiform bones, which should be separately mentioned.

Dictionary

Tarsal bones

bones of foot
ossa pedis
tarsal bones
ossa tarsi
metatarsals
ossa metatarsi
phalanges
phalanges/ossa digitorum
talus
talus
calcaneus
calcaneus
navicular
os naviculare
cuboid
os cuboideum
medial cuneiform
os cuneiforme mediale
intermediate cuneiform
os cuneiforme intermedium
lateral cuneiform
os cuneiforme laterale
body of talus
corpus tali
head of talus
caput tali
neck of talus
collum tali
trochlea of talus
trochlea tali
superior surface
facies superior
medial malleolar facet
facies malleolaris medialis
lateral malleolar facet
facies malleolaris lateralis
posterior process of talus
processus posterior tali
groove for tendon for flexor hallucis longus
sulcus tendinis musculi flexoris hallucis longi
medial tubercle
tuberculum mediale
lateral tubercle
tuberculum laterale
anterior facet for calcaneus
facies articularis calcanea anterior
middle facet for calcaneus
facies articularis calcanea media
posterior facet for calcaneus
facies articularis calcanea posterior
talar sulcus
sulcus tali
navicular articular surface
facies articularis navicularis
calcaneal tuberosity
tuber calcanei
lateral process of calcaneal tuberosity
processus lateralis tuberis calcanei
medial process of calcaneal tuberosity
processus medialis tuberis calcanei
anterior talar articular surface
facies articularis talaris anterior
middle talar articular surface
facies articularis talaris media
posterior talar articular surface
facies articularis talaris posterior
calcaneal sulcus
sulcus calcanei
tarsal sinus
sinus tarsi
sustentaculum tali
sustentaculum tali
articular surface for cuboid
facies articularis cuboidea
groove for tendon of fibularis longus
sulcus tendinis musculi fibularis longi
fibular trochlea
trochlea fibularis
tuberosity of navicular
tuberositas ossis navicularis
tuberosity of cuboid
tuberositas ossis cuboidei
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