In anatomy there are many surface landmarks, and a number of them are found on the feet. The bony bump at the end of the fifth metatarsal bone is such a landmark. Remember, this is the bone that helps to determine one edge of the waistline guideline. When you put your thumb across the bottom of the foot from this bony protuberance, you divide the arch, creating the waistline.
Some of the landmarks deal with muscles — the placement of muscles in relationship to their function. Some are the bony points that muscles attach to. Other landmarks deal with blood supply, marking the area of primary flow. Still other landmarks represent nerve placement. Some landmarks denote direction or movement. There are many such landmarks on the feet and ankles.
Locating the Landmarks Some of the landmarks are on the top and sides of the foot:
The medial malleolus is the high spot on the inside of the anklebone.
The lateral malleolus is the high spot on the outside of the anklebone.
he great saphenous vein is on top of the foot.
The great sphenous nerve is on top of the foot.
he extensor digitorum brevis are muscles on top of the foot.
he dorsalis pedis artery is on the top of the foot.
The dorsal venous arch is on top of the foot.
Some of the landmarks are on the bottom of the foot. These are bony protuberances with odd shapes for connective tissue attachment:
Sesamoid bones, under the head of the first metatarsal
Base of the first metatarsal
Head of the fifth metatarsal
Tuberosity of the navicular
Tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal
Tuberosity of the calcaneus
Some of the landmarks are on the back of the foot:
The peroneus longus and brevis are muscle and tendons from the leg.
The small saphenous vein is on the back of the ankle.
The sural nerve comes in on the back of the ankle.
The tendo calcaneus is connected to the heel.
The flexor hallicus longus is a muscle to the great toe.
The posterior tibial artery is on the back of the ankle.
The posterior tibial nerve is on the back of the ankle.
These landmarks might be used to explain a direction for a reflex technique. At times, these landmarks remind you of the movement the foot can make at these areas. These landmarks may denote the placement of a reflex point. For example, the area of a sciatic reflex point is connected to the actual nerve placement. Often you will notice this link between reflexes and landmarks. What came first?
Two landmarks, the medial and lateral malleolus, form the bony area called the ankle. The true anklebone actually sits in between these bony ends of the lower leg. It is known as the talus. The ankle area consists of the seven tarsal bones plus the two malleolus.
An Explanation of Some of the Terms
Some of these names may sound familiar to you now. Great! You are paying attention. A term used before is tuberosity, which means bony, large protrusion. Tuberosity of the fifth metatarsal is the bony bump at the end of the last metatarsal. This bump pops out on the outside edge of the foot; it is greater on some than on others, but everyone has this bump. In reflexology, this landmark helps you to find the outside end of the waistline guideline.
Malleolus is a large bony formation at the end the shinbone, also known as the tibia. There is a malleolus on either side of the leg: one at the end of the shinbone on the inside of the leg and one at the end of the fibula, the smaller bone on the outside of the leg.