Metatarsal bones

  • The metatarsal bones (also known as the metatarsus, latin: metatarsus, ossa metatarsi, ossa metatarsalia) are a group of five long bones in the foot, located between the tarsal bones and the phalanges.

    The five metatarsal bones lack individual names, and are numbered from the medial side of the foot: the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth metatarsal bone. The spaces between the metatarsal bones are called interosseous metatarsal spaces.

    Each metatarsal bone consist of:

    • base of metatarsal bone,
    • body of metatarsal bone,
    • head of metatarsal bone.

    The base or the proximal extremity of each metatarsal bone  articulates proximally with the tarsal bones (tarsometatarsal joints) and by its sides with each other at the intermetatarsal joints. The dorsal and plantar surfaces of the base are for attachment of ligaments.

    The body or shaft of each metatarsal bone extends between the base and the head, is prismoid in form, curved longitudinally, concave below and slightly convex above.

    The head or the distal extremity of each metatarsal bone has a convex articular surface articulating with one of the first row of the phalanges at the metatarsophalangeal joints. The sides of the head of the metatarsal bone are for the attachment of ligaments, while the plantar surface is grooved antero-posteriorly for the passage of the flexor tendons.