Let’s count! 28 bones, 14 phalanges, 7 tarsal bones, 5 metatarsals, and 2 sesamoids. This is what makes up ONE foot. Does it sound like we are on an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy? We will take a moment to make these crazy words make a little more sense.
The phalanges are all the bones that form our toes. 4 of our toes have 3 phalanges but the big toe only has 2. This becomes obvious when you bend your toes (some are more flexible than others). Try bending your toes and count how many times each toe bends. The tarsal bones make up the back portion of your foot. There are even individual names for these 7 tarsal bones: calcaneus, talus, navicular, cuboid, and 3 bones are all called cuneiforms. There is a group of long bones that run between the toes (phalanges) and the ankle bones (tarsal bones) called the metatarsals. Metatarsals help us to stand and walk properly. These are also the most commonly fractured bones of our feet. Last but not least, we have the sesamoids. These two bones are small and pea-shaped but very important! They are located below the big toe joint and allow the big toe to move and push off during walking and running. If you have any pain in the ball of your foot, you could have sesamoiditis which is inflammation in this area and the tendons they are embedded in.
Do you have any questions? Maybe reading through this called attention to an area that does seem to bother you sometimes. Call or email us to schedule an appointment for a thorough evaluation so we can narrow down which location of your foot is causing you trouble. You may just be able to identify the bone for us (wink, wink). We look forward to hearing from you soon and providing further education and explanations!