Maybelle Kempf

Maybelle Kempf

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


The tarsal bones are a group of seven bones located in the foot that play a crucial role in providing stability, support, and flexibility. These small yet remarkable bones form the back part of the foot, connecting the lower leg bones with the metatarsal bones of the midfoot.

Although the tarsal bones may seem insignificant compared to the larger bones of the body, they are an essential component of the foot’s intricate structure. Beyond their functional importance, tarsal bones also hold several captivating facts that shed light on their fascinating nature.

In this article, we will uncover 17 captivating facts about tarsal bones that will not only enhance your knowledge of human anatomy but also give you a newfound appreciation for the intricacy and complexity of the human foot.

Table of Contents

There are seven tarsal bones in each foot.

The tarsal bones, also known as the tarsus, are a group of seven small bones located in the back part of the foot. They are the talus, calcaneus, navicular, cuboid, and three cuneiform bones.

The tarsal bones form the posterior half of the foot.

These bones make up the posterior half of the foot, providing a solid foundation and allowing for movements such as walking, running, and jumping.

The talus bone connects your foot to your leg.

The talus bone, also known as the ankle bone, forms the connection between the foot and the leg bones, allowing for up and down movements of the foot.

The calcaneus is the largest tarsal bone.

The calcaneus, or heel bone, is the largest tarsal bone and plays a crucial role in weight-bearing and shock absorption.

The navicular bone supports the arch of the foot.

Situated towards the medial side of the foot, the navicular bone helps maintain the height and integrity of the foot’s arch.

The cuboid bone provides stability to the lateral side of the foot.

Located on the outer side of the foot, the cuboid bone acts as a support structure, maintaining stability during movements.

The cuneiform bones are wedge-shaped.

The three cuneiform bones, namely the medial cuneiform, intermediate cuneiform, and lateral cuneiform, help distribute the weight of the body across the foot and provide a stable base.

Tarsal bones articulate with the metatarsal bones.

The tarsal bones connect with the metatarsal bones, forming the midfoot and allowing for a wide range of motion.

Ligaments and tendons help stabilize the tarsal bones.

The tarsal bones are supported and held in place by various ligaments and tendons, ensuring proper alignment and stability of the foot.

Tarsal bones are crucial for balance and proprioception.

These bones, along with sensory receptors in the foot, contribute to our sense of balance and awareness of our body’s position in space.

The tarsus is responsible for shock absorption.

During activities such as running or jumping, the tarsal bones help absorb the impact and distribute the forces evenly across the foot.

Tarsal coalition is a condition where two or more tarsal bones fuse together.

In some cases, two or more tarsal bones can fuse, leading to a condition known as tarsal coalition. This can affect foot movement and cause pain.

Injuries to the tarsal bones can result from sports or trauma.

Fractures, dislocations, or sprains can occur in the tarsal bones as a result of sports injuries or accidents.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the nerves in the tarsal tunnel.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerves in the tarsal tunnel at the inner side of the ankle become compressed, leading to pain, tingling, and numbness in the foot.

Tarsal bones can be affected by arthritis.

Conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can impact the tarsal bones, causing joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

Understanding the tarsal bones is essential for diagnosing foot disorders.

Medical professionals rely on their knowledge of tarsal bones to diagnose and treat various foot conditions and ailments.

Proper foot care and support can promote tarsal bone health.

Wearing appropriate footwear, maintaining good posture, and performing regular foot exercises can help keep the tarsal bones healthy and mitigate the risk of injuries or foot problems.

Now that you know these captivating facts about tarsal bones, you have a greater appreciation for the role they play in maintaining the foundation of our feet. Take care of your feet, and they will take care of you!


The tarsal bones are a fascinating and important part of the human anatomy. These 17 captivating facts provide insight into the structure, function, and significance of tarsal bones. From their role in supporting the weight of the body to their ability to adapt to different surfaces, tarsal bones play a crucial role in our movement and mobility.

Understanding the anatomy and function of tarsal bones is essential for healthcare professionals, students, and anyone interested in human anatomy. By delving into these facts, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexity and intricacy of our skeletal system, specifically the tarsal bones.

Whether you’re studying anatomy or simply curious about the human body, learning about the tarsal bones provides valuable insights into our remarkable physiology.


Q: What are tarsal bones?

A: Tarsal bones are a group of seven bones located in the foot, connecting the tibia and fibula to the metatarsal bones.

Q: What is the function of tarsal bones?

A: Tarsal bones provide stability and support to the foot, allowing for walking, running, and various movements.

Q: How many tarsal bones are there?

A: There are seven tarsal bones: talus, calcaneus, navicular, cuboid, and the three cuneiform bones (medial, intermediate, and lateral).

Q: Where are tarsal bones located?

A: Tarsal bones are found in the ankle and foot region of the human skeletal system.

Q: Can tarsal bones be fractured?

A: Yes, tarsal bones can be fractured due to trauma or excessive force on the foot.

Q: What are some common disorders or conditions associated with the tarsal bones?

A: Some common disorders or conditions related to tarsal bones include arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and tarsal coalition.

Q: Can tarsal bones be surgically repaired?

A: In some cases, surgery may be required to repair tarsal bone fractures or correct certain conditions affecting the tarsal bones.

Q: How can I take care of my tarsal bones?

A: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, wearing proper footwear, and practicing good foot hygiene are essential for taking care of your tarsal bones.

Q: Are tarsal bones the same in all individuals?

A: While the basic structure and function of tarsal bones are the same in all individuals, there may be variations in size and shape among different people.