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Bones of the foot

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Recognize the 3 groups of bones of the foot.
  2. List the 26 bones of the foot.
  3. Name the main joints formed by the bones of the foot.

Watch videos

The human foot contains 26 bones that are divided into 3 groups. The most proximal are the tarsal bones, which consist of seven irregularly shaped bones, homologous to the carpal bones of the hand. Next are the five long metatarsal bones which are equivalent to the metacarpals​​​​​​​ of the hand. Finally, the phalanges of the foot form the toes in an identical manner to which the phalanges of the hand form the fingers. The lateral four toes are made up of three phalanges (proximal, middle, and distal), while the great toe consists of only two phalanges (proximal and distal).

The foot is also traditionally divided into 3 regions; the hindfoot, midfoot and forefoot. The tarsal bones are contained in the hindfoot and midfoot, while the metatarsals and phalanges lie in the forefoot.

Check out the video below to find more about the bones and joints of the foot.

Take a quiz

That was a lot of information! Test your knowledge on the bones of the foot with the quiz below.

You can also customize your own quiz to be tested on some more topics other than the bones of the foot. For example, the following quiz covers bones, muscles, ligaments and neurovascular structures of both the ankle and foot.

Download the following PDF worksheets and identify the bones of the foot.


Browse atlas

Take a closer look at the bones of the foot in the gallery below. 


Key points about the bones of the foot
Bones Tarsal bones: Talus, calcaneus, navicular, medial cuneiform, intermediate cuneiform, lateral cuneiform, cuboid
Metatarsal bones 1-5

Phalanges of foot
: Proximal, middle and distal phalanx (toes 2-5); proximal and distal phalanx (great toe)
Joints Talocrural joint: Talus ↔ tibia/ fibula (a.k.a. ankle joint)
Subtalar joint
: Talus ↔ calcaneus
Calcaneocuboid joint
: Calcaneus ↔ cuboid
Talonavicular joint
: Talus ↔ navicular bone
Tarsometatarsal joints
: Medial, intermediate and lateral cuneiform, cuboid bones ↔ metatarsal bones
Metatarsophalangeal joints
: Metatarsal bones ↔ proximal phalanges
Proximal interphalangeal joints
: Proximal phalanges ↔ middle phalanges
Distal interphalangeal joints
: Middle phalanges ↔ distal phalanges

Well done!

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