Bones of the foot #2: Metatarsal bones and phalanges

Bones of the foot #2: Metatarsal bones and phalanges. Anatomy & FunctionKey facts about the anatomy of the metatarsal bones and phalanges of the foot
~ 3 min

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

Metatarsal bones (ossa metatarsi)
Metatarsal bones (ossa metatarsi)

The metatarsus consists of five small tubular bones. Each metatarsal has three parts:

  • base (basis ossis metatarsi)

  • body (corpus ossis metatarsi)

  • head (caput ossis metatarsi)

Base (basis ossis metatarsi)
Base (basis ossis metatarsi)
Body (corpus ossis metatarsi)
Body (corpus ossis metatarsi)
Head (caput ossis metatarsi)
Head (caput ossis metatarsi)

The base has an articular surface for articulation with the tarsal bones and the head has an articular surface for articulation with the proximal phalanges.

The head of the first metatarsal bone is split, with two small sesamoid bones (ossa sesamoidea) adjacent to it.

Sesamoid bones (ossa sesamoidea)
Sesamoid bones (ossa sesamoidea)

The fifth metatarsal bone has a tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal (tuberositas ossis metatarsalis V) to which the fibularis brevis is attached.

Tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal (tuberositas ossis metatarsalis V)
Tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal (tuberositas ossis metatarsalis V)

The spaces between the metatarsals are called intermetatarsal spaces (spatia interossea metatarsi).

Intermetatarsal spaces (spatia interossea metatarsi)
Intermetatarsal spaces (spatia interossea metatarsi)

Let us now examine the phalanges of the foot (phalanges

/ ossa digitorum pedis). There are the following toes:

  • I – great toe (hallux)

  • II – second toe (digitus secundus pedis)

  • III – third toe (digitus tertius pedis)

  • IV – fourth toe (digitus quartus pedis)

  • V – little toe (digitus minimus pedis)

    Phalanges of the foot (phalanges / ossa digitorum pedis)
    Phalanges of the foot (phalanges / ossa digitorum pedis)

    All toes except for the great toe have three phalanges:

  • proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)

    Proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)
    Proximal phalanx (phalanx proximalis)
  • middle phalanx (phalanx media)

    Middle phalanx (phalanx media)
    Middle phalanx (phalanx media)
  • distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)

    Distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)
    Distal phalanx (phalanx distalis)

    The great toe has no middle phalanx.

    The phalanges have three parts, just like the metatarsals:

  • base (basis phalangis)

    Base (basis phalangis)
    Base (basis phalangis)
  • body (corpus phalangis)

    Body (corpus phalangis)
    Body (corpus phalangis)
  • head (caput phalangis)

Head (caput phalangis)
Head (caput phalangis)

The bases and heads of the phalanges have articular surfaces for articulation with other bones (depending on the phalanx it is either a metatarsal or another phalanx). And the ends of the distal phalanges are slightly flattened and contain the tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis).

Tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis)
Tuberosity of the distal phalanx (tuberositas phalangis distalis)
Dictionary

Metatarsals and phalanges

bones of foot
ossa pedis
tarsal bones
ossa tarsi
metatarsals
ossa metatarsi
phalanges of foot
phalanges/ossa digitorum
base of metatarsal
basis ossis metatarsi
body of metatarsal
corpus ossis metatarsi
head of metatarsal
caput ossis metatarsi
sesamoid bones of foot
ossa sesamoidea
tuberosity of fifth metatarsal bone
tuberositas ossis metatarsalis V
intermetatarsal spaces
spatia interossea metatarsi
great toe
hallux
second toe
digitus secundus pedis
third toe
digitus tertius pedis
fourth toe
digitus quartus pedis
little toe
digitus minimus pedis
proximal phalanx of foot
phalanx proximalis
middle phalanx of foot
phalanx media
distal phalanx of foot
phalanx distalis
base of phalanx of foot
basis phalangis
body of phalanx of foot
corpus phalangis
head of phalanx of foot
caput phalangis
tuberosity of distal phalanx of foot
tuberositas phalangis distalis
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