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2.4.2 Main ligaments supporting the arches of the foot

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(2.28)

Now that we’ve seen the dry bones of the foot, let’s see what they’re like in the living body. We’re already familiar with the ligaments around the ankle. What we’ll look at now are the ligamentous structures that hold this apparently delicate arch of bones together, and enable it to support the whole weight of the body.

Here’s the foot with all the soft tissues removed, and all the joints and ligaments intact. On the dorsum of the foot there’s an almost continuous layer of ligaments, connecting the tarsal bones both to each another and to the metatarsals, and connecting the heads of the metatarsals together. The ligaments on the dorsum of the foot are strong ligaments, but the truly impressive ligaments, the ones which support the longitudinal arch, are on the underside of the foot.

First, here’s the short plantar ligament. It goes from here on the calcaneus, to here on the cuboid bone. Just in front of the short plantar ligament is the groove for the peroneus longus tendon. Lying directly beneath the short plantar ligament is the long plantar ligament. The long plantar ligament also starts here on the calcaneus, and goes all the way to the bases of the third, fourth and fifth metatarsals.

The long plantar ligament bridges over, or rather under, the peroneus longus tendon - here’s the tendon, going to its insertion on the base of the first metatarsal.

There’s another, even more impressive structure that supports the arch of the foot - the plantar aponeurosis. The plantar aponeurosis is a massive sheet of tendon-like tissue that runs the whole length of the foot. It starts here on the calcaneus. It fans out as it runs forward. As it approaches the MP joints, the plantar aponeurosis splits into five divisions. Most of ...

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(2.28)

Now that we’ve seen the dry bones of the foot, let’s see what they’re like in the living body. We’re already familiar with the ligaments around the ankle. What we’ll look at now are the ligamentous structures that hold this apparently delicate arch of bones together, and enable it to support the whole weight of the body.

Here’s the foot with all the soft tissues removed, and all the joints and ligaments intact. On the dorsum of the foot there’s an almost continuous layer of ligaments, connecting the tarsal bones both to each another and to the metatarsals, and connecting the heads of the metatarsals together. The ligaments on the dorsum of the foot are strong ligaments, but the truly impressive ligaments, the ones which support the longitudinal arch, are on the underside of the foot.

First, here’s the short plantar ligament. It goes from here on the calcaneus, to here on the cuboid bone. Just in front of the short plantar ligament is the groove for the peroneus longus tendon. Lying directly beneath the short plantar ligament is the long plantar ligament. The long plantar ligament also starts here on the calcaneus, and goes all the way to the bases of the third, fourth and fifth metatarsals.

The long plantar ligament bridges over, or rather under, the peroneus longus tendon - here’s the tendon, going to its insertion on the base of the first metatarsal.

There’s another, even more impressive structure that supports the arch of the foot - the plantar aponeurosis. The plantar aponeurosis is a massive sheet of tendon-like tissue that runs the whole length of the foot. It starts here on the calcaneus. It fans out as it runs forward. As it approaches the MP joints, the plantar aponeurosis splits into five divisions. Most of the fibers of each division pass into two slips, which pass forward and upward toward the MP joint. We’ll see where they go in a minute.

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