Arches of the foot.


Functions of the arches:

  1. To facilitate weight transmission
  2. To confer resilience
  3. To protect the soft tissues
Formation of the arches

Configuration of the articular surfaces.

Maintenance of the arches:

  • The intrinsic ligaments of the foot.
  • Extrinsic ligaments e.g. deltoid
  • Intrinsic muscles.
  • Tendons of extrinsic muscles.



Major support structures

Medial longitudinal arch (a)

Calcaneous, talus, navicular, cuneiforms and 1st and 3rd metatarsals.

* Talus is keystone in the center


  • Plantar ligaments especially calcaneonavicular ligaments.
  • Tendons of anterior and posterior tibialis.
  • Deltoid ligament
  • Intrinsic foot muscles related to medial 3 metatarsals.
  • Plantar aponeurosis.

Lateral longitudinal arch (b)

  • Distal end of Calcaneous
  • Proximal end of the cuboid: lateral 2 muscles

* Cuboid is the key stone

  • Long and short planter ligament.
  • Intrinsic muscles in the lateral side of the foot.
  • Plantar aponeurosis
  • Peroneus longus and brevis.

Transverse arch:

  • Deep transverse intrinsic ligaments
  • Plantar ligaments
  • Intrinsic muscles especially dorsal interossei and transverse head of adductor hallucis
  • Peroneus longus and brevis
  • Cuneiforms
  • Bases of metatarsals

Home | OG anatomy | Gross Anatomy | Topic Index | Chapter 12

CHAPTER 12: The Foot