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The phalanges of the foot are long bones located distal to the metatarsals. These phalanges are much shorter than their counterparts in the hand. The hallux, or big toe, consists of two phalanges, a proximal and a distal one. The other four toes consist of three phalanges: the proximal, middle and distal phalanges. Occasionally, there are only two phalanges in the little toe. Each phalanx (singular) consists of three parts: a proximal base, a shaft and a distal head. The phalanges are involved in three hinge joints: the metatarsophalangeal joints, the proximal interphalangeal joints and the distal interphalangeal joints. The metatarsophalangeal joints are formed by the articulation of the heads of the metatarsals with the bases of the proximal phalanges. The proximal interphalangeal joints are formed by the articulations between the heads of the proximal phalanges with the bases of the middle phalanges. The heads of the middle phalanges articulate with the bases of the distal phalanges to form the distal interphalangeal joints. These hinge joints allow flexion and extension.
Latin synonyms: Phalanges
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