ANATOMY - Foot 2

Foot and Ankle Anatomy

Part II: Foot Anatomy

The foot is a very complex joint with millions of combinations of movements and motions very similar to your hand. The most common form of foot pain is usually involves the heel. Thus, this section will concentrate around the heel.

The heel bone is called the calcaneus (meaning heel in Latin). This is the largest bone of your foot and it is connected to your heel cord (Achilles tendon) above and a large broad tendon on the sole of your foot called the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia helps keep the arch of your foot supported and provides support to your foot with every step. Sometimes this ligament becomes inflamed. When this happens, the medical community adds the ending "itis" to the name of the structure inflamed. Thus, your plantar fascia becomes plantar fasciitis. This condition can cause disabling pain if it is not treated correctly.

Sometimes heel spurs will form at the tip of the calcaneus. However, we, as orthopedic surgeons, generally do not believe the heel spur itself causes pain. Usually, the pain is from the plantar fascia.

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