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Broken Foot

Broken Foot Overview

Broken bones (also called fractures) in the foot are very common. Feet are very vulnerable to slipping and twisting. Our feet and toes lead us around when we walk and are on the receiving end of dropped objects. About one out of every 10 broken bones occurs in the foot.

The Anatomy of the Foot

The human foot has 26 bones. Consider the foot divided the foot into three parts: the hindfoot, the midfoot, and the forefoot.

  • There are two bones in the hindfoot: The talus, which is where the foot attaches to the leg, and the calcaneus, which forms the heel.
  • Five smaller bones called the navicular, cuboid, and three cuneiform bones make up the midfoot.
  • The long part of the foot is called the forefoot and contains 19 bones. There is a metatarsal for each of the five toes; the big toe is made up of two phalanges, and the other toes each have three phalanges.
  • In addition, the foot sometimes has small pebble-like bones called sesamoid bones. These bones do not perform any necessary function and are often called accessory bones.

Picture of the Anatomy of the Foot

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2015

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Lisfranc Fracture Symptoms and Treatment

When Napoleon led his army to disaster in the Russian winter, many of his soldiers suffered from frostbite and developed gangrene of the toes and feet. Dr. Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin figured out the anatomy of the foot, and found that cutting through joint spaces made amputation easier. His legacy is that fractures, dislocations, and sprains that affect the junction between the upper and lower foot bones bear his name. Lisfranc injuries refer to damage to the joints where the long thin metatarsal bones of the foot meet the tarsal bones (the cuboid and cuneiforms) that make up the midfoot.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fracture, Foot »

Approximately 10% of all fractures occur in the 26 bones of the foot.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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