Medical Illustrations

Picture of Foot

Picture of Foot Anatomy

The feet are located at the end of the legs and are used to stand and walk. Feet are very complex, comprised of 28 bones and 30 joints. The tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the feet number more than 100. Believe it or not, the feet absorb more than 100,000 pounds of pressure during one mile of walking. The foot is so intricate and capable of precise movements that small injuries or changes in the foot can affect its structure and contribute to pain when walking.

Fashion choices have long affected feet. The ancient Chinese practice of foot binding involved wrapping the feet to shorten them. Modern day high heels similarly stress the feet and contribute to hip, knee, and back problems. Shoes that are too narrow encourage the growth of bunions on the big toe. If shoes constrict the smaller toes, corns, clawing, or hammer toes may result. Shoes should be roomy and fit well so as to not cause or contribute to foot problems.

It is not advisable to undergo cosmetic surgery of the feet just to be able to wear fashionable shoes. The surgery carries the potential risk to cause harm. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society does not recommend or endorse cosmetic foot surgery.

Text Reference: Arthritis Foundation: “Anatomy of the Foot”