Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 33 On the Bones of the Foot

THE DIGITS OF THE FOOT

Coming after the metatarsal bones are the the toes (L, C in figs. 1, 2; i, i to h, h in the skeletons), which are all made of three bones each [phalanx proximalis, p. media, p. distalis] (s, t, u in figs. 1, 2) like those that are in the hand, the big toe alone excepted. Among the others, it [hallux] alone is made of only two bones (f, x in figs. 1, 2) so that the anterior part of the foot’s concavity will press more firmly on the ground. 86 For this purpose the large ossicles [ossa sesamoidea] (y, w in fig. 2) also help considerably, which were said to lie at the first internode of the big toe when I described the sesamoid bones. 87 In that chapter I dealt no less with the ossicles of the hand than with those of the foot (since both work in the same way).

The foot has one bone less than the hand, contrary to Galen’s view

It is clear that the foot is one bone short of the number in the hand. The hand consists of twenty-seven bones, not counting the sesamoids. There are eight carpals, four metacarpals, and fifteen digital bones. The foot, however, has just twenty-six bones: the calcaneus, the talus, the navicular bone, four tarsal bones, five metatarsals, and fourteen toe bones. I believed this should be added on account of Galen, who writes in the second book of Commentaries on Hippocrates’ book “On Fractures” (where he says that the human foot is made of many small bones no differently than the hand 88 ) that there are twenty-seven bones in the foot just as there are in the hand; 89 little thinking, by Hercules, that he was counting the cuboid bone twice, or four other tarsal bones besides the cuboid. He does likewise in the same book when he says 90 that the four bones of the tarsus are articulated to the cuboid bone and the navicular bone. 91 But let this suffice about all the bones of the human fabric. 92 Let us now consider the nails and cartilages, which still remain if everything that strengthens, supports, and sustains the body is to be completed as was undertaken.



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 33 On the Bones of the Foot