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Surface Anatomy of the Foot

Updated: May 27, 2023

In this section Cypress Foot and Ankle specialist Dr. Christopher Correa discusses Surface Anatomy of the foot ankle. Foot structure and function is a complex network of 26 bones with numerous ligaments, and tendons which are working and moving simultaneously to during gait to absorb and store energy and summarily convert that stored energy into kinetic energy to create smooth effortless locomotion. As an example, each of the smaller toes have 7 different muscles controlling their motion with some of these muscles starting up near the knee.


Here is some surface anatomy to help better describe exactly where your pain is located. On either side of the ankle there are 2 boney bumps. The bump on the outside of the ankle (Away from the other foot) is called the lateral malleolus and is made up of the distal end of the long skinny bone in your leg call the fibula (Green arrow). On the inside of the ankle the bump on that side is called the medial malleolus (Red arrow) and is made up of the end of the larger leg bone call the tibia.



Surface anatomy of the foot


On the foot there are 5 long bones called metatarsals (Dark blue arrow) that align with the 5 toes. On the outside of the foot at the base of the 5th digit there is a bump known at the head of the 5th metatarsal (Light blue arrow). On the inside of the foot at the base of the 1st digit there is a bump known at the head of the 1st metatarsal (Yellow Arrow) and is often associated with a bunion deformity.



Surface anatomy of the foot

Surface anatomy of the foot


On the outside of the foot midway between the heel bone and the head of the 5th metatarsal is another boney bump. This correlates with the base of the 5th metatarsal and is otherwise known as the styloid process (Purple arrow). Located approximately 1cm below and 1cm forward to the medial malleolus (see above) is another lump known as the tuberosity of the Navicular.



Surface anatomy of the foot

Surface anatomy of the foot


All of these lumps may be larger and smaller in some people depending on anatomy by the presence of these bump is not abnormal. That being said they should never hurt! If you are experiencing pain or problems with any of these locations or others call the experts at Select Foot and Ankle Specialists today and schedule a consultation.

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