Dr. Ned Ramadan, DPM
Reconstructive Foot Surgeon, LLC
228 New Haven Ave
Foot Anatomy: Your Amazing Feet
The foot is a vital organ in our daily life that enables our mobility. It is a well-designed anatomical structure that requires little attention for the normal functioning. Anatomically, a foot is a complex structure; consist of 42 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints, and at least 50 ligaments and tendons made of strong fibrous tissues to keep all the moving parts together to support the entire body and distributing it to the ground by the curve of the foot or sole … plus 250,000 sweat glands. The foot is an evolutionary marvel, capable of handling hundreds of tons of force — your weight in motion — every day. The foot’s myriad parts, including the toes, heel, and ball, work in harmony to get you from one place to another. But the stress of carrying you around puts your feet at high risk of injury, more so than other parts of your body.
The abnormality of feet affects the spine, hip, leg and knee and lead to the muscle spasm, pain, rupture (tear), and joint pathologies head to toe. This occurs due to the unbalanced arrangement of the bones. Consequently, the results of the flatting arch are a twisted ankle, tilting inward freeze or bending tendons in the foot and lower leg. Correct medical management may prevent the deformity from getting worse. The common deformities of the foot include hammertoe, clubfoot, flat feet and pes cavus (high arch foot type).
Many foot problems, including hammertoes, blisters, bunions, corns and calluses, heel spurs, claw and mallet toes, ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot, can develop due to neglect, ill-fitting shoes, and simple wear and tear. Your feet also can indicate if your body is under threat from a serious disease. Peripheral vascular disease from the swollen legs and feet with skin pigmentation(discoloration) and tissue scarring to pale, shiny, taut blanched skin with lack of digital hair. Organ disorders and failure manifest in feet, toes and toenails. Gout, for instance, will attack the foot joints first such as big toe, arch, heel, ankle and Achilles tendon. Other arthritis like systemic lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (the autoimmune diseases) and diabetes affect the toes and feet.
In Summary, feet are complex structures with tendons and ligaments acting as pulleys and levers to enable us to perform our daily activities. Proper body weight distribution with or without pathology should be addressed and corrected with various conservative modalities from custom inserts, braces, various shoes and exercises. When feet hurt, the whole body hurts. Numerous diseases manifest in the feet and lower leg first. Unfortunately, our “tires” do not get changed; therefore, do your very best to take care of them.