Tarsal bones

  • The tarsal bones (also known as the tarsus, Latin: ossa tarsi) form a group of seven articulating bones in the foot located between the bones of the lower leg (tibia, fibula) and the metatarsal bones of the foot.

    There are seven tarsal bones in each foot, each individually named, and they are: 

    • calcaneus,
    • talus,
    • cuboid bone,
    • navicular bone,
    • medial cuneiform bone,
    • intermediate cuneiform bone,
    • lateral cuneiform bones.

    These bones articulate with each other, as well as with the leg bones and metatarsals. Each one has a specific location, shape, landmarks, and articulations, discussed in detail separately.

    The calcaneus is a large bone forming the heel. It articulates with both the cuboid and the talus bones.

    The talus (or ankle bone) is an irregularly shaped bone that links the foot and the leg through the ankle joint. It has three main parts named the body, head, and neck of the talus.

    The cuboid bone is located most laterally in the distal part of the tarsus. It has a cuboid-shape with six surfaces, three of them being articular surfaces. The cuboid bone articulates with the calcaneus, fourth and fifth metatarsal bones, and the lateral cuneiform bone.

    The navicular bone is a boat-shaped bone located on the top and inner side of the foot. It participates in linking the ankle bone (talus) to the cuneiform bones of the foot.

    There are three cuneiform bones: the medial or first, the intermediate or second, and the lateral or third cuneiform bone. These bones lie between the navicular bone and the first three metatarsal bones, medially to the cuboid bone.