The human foot consists of the following structures: bones and joints, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. Each of these parts need care and have important jobs to do.
Bones and joints provide stability to the foot. Many bones make up the foot including the talus and the calcaneus or the heel bone. The subtalar joint connects the two bones so the foot can bend up and down. Because of this joint, the foot can rock for side to side as well. Below this joint are a group of five bones called tarsal bones. These bones make it possible for people to walk on different surfaces. Tarsal bones have extended bones called metatarsal bones. Connected to these metatarsals are the toes or phalanges. The big toe is the most important toe for walking. The ball of the foot has many different bones.
Ligaments are soft tissues that attach bones to bones. Tendons attach bones to muscles. The Achilles tendon attaches the heel bone to the muscles in the back of the leg called calf muscles. Without the Achilles tendon, people could not walk, run, or jump. The posterior tibial tendon attaches to the bottom of the foot and supports the arch and allows us to turn the foot toward the body. The anterior tibial tendon lets people lift the foot off the ground. The foot has many tendons that hold it together. Each tendon or ligament contains many fibers that appear rope-like. Thickness determines how much strength is in the ligament or tendon.
Foot muscles do not do much work. The muscles that move the foot are in the leg. Muscles form layers on the bottom of the foot. The main purpose of the foot muscles is to provide padding for the sole of the foot. Extensor digitorum and Extensor hallucis longus and brevis make up the muscles in the top surface while adductor and abductor hallucis along with abductor digiti minimi and flexor digitorum brevis make up the muscles on the bottom of the foot.
The main nerve in the foot is the tibial nerve. It controls the sensation to the bottom of the foot and the toes. Other nerves provide sensation to the outside of the foot and down the front of the foot.
The posterior tibial tendon also supplies blood to the foot. The dorsalis pedis is also an important secondary tendon where you can feel your pulse. The tendon is on the middle of the front of the foot.