Metatarsals [I-V] - Ossa metatarsi [I-V]


The metatarsus consists of five bones which are numbered from the medial side (ossa metatarsalia I.-V.); each presents for examination a body and two extremities.

Common Characteristics of the Metatarsal Bones.—The body is prismoid in form, tapers gradually from the tarsal to the phalangeal extremity, and is curved longitudinally, so as to be concave below, slightly convex above. The base or posterior extremity is wedge-shaped, articulating proximally with the tarsal bones, and by its sides with the contiguous metatarsal bones: its dorsal and plantar surfaces are rough for the attachment of ligaments. The head or anterior extremity presents a convex articular surface, oblong from above downward, and extending farther backward below than above. Its sides are flattened, and on each is a depression, surmounted by a tubercle, for ligamentous attachment. Its plantar surface is grooved antero-posteriorly for the passage of the Flexor tendons, and marked on either side by an articular eminence continuous with the terminal articular surface.

Articulations.—The base of each metatarsal bone articulates with one or more of the tarsal bones, and the head with one of the first row of phalanges. The first metatarsal articulates with the first cuneiform, the second with all three cuneiforms, the third with the third cuneiform, the fourth with the third cuneiform and the cuboid, and the fifth with the cuboid.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from


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