Your feet are complex and hard-working body parts. They contain 26 bones, 30 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your foot includes three main ligaments that connect your bones and provide support for the arch of the foot.
Foot ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect various bones in your foot. The ligaments in your foot help stabilize it. They also provide necessary support to the arches in your feet.
Because there are so many bones in the foot, there are also numerous ligaments connecting them. Some of the main ligaments in the foot are:
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Ligaments are bands of fibers interconnected in strong, cord-like ropes. In your feet, ligaments attach bones to each other. You have ligaments all over your body that hold bones together. Some ligaments also support internal organs.
The primary purpose of the foot ligaments is to stabilize and support the arch. The arch is formed by bones, ligaments and tendons. The arch gives shape and structure to your foot.
Foot ligaments help support your body’s weight. They also absorb the impact your body feels with every step.
Foot ligaments run throughout your foot. Ligaments connect all 26 bones in each foot. Different foot ligaments:
Just like other ligaments in the body, foot ligaments can stretch, strain or even tear. Foot ligament sprains are less common than injuries affecting the ankle ligaments. Sports that involve quick twisting motions — like basketball, soccer, football or dancing — increase the risk of foot ligament injuries.
You can sprain a ligament in your foot by twisting your foot or rolling your ankle. These injuries often occur along with an ankle sprain.
Foot ligament sprains are graded 1, 2 or 3, depending on the amount of damage to the ligament:
The plantar fascia ligament stretches along the bottom of your foot from your heel. When the plantar fascia ligament overstretches or tears, the inflammation leads to pain on the bottom of the heel.
Plantar fasciitis affects an estimated 2 million people per year.
You put stress on your plantar fascia ligament with each step you take. Anyone can get plantar fasciitis, but certain factors increase your risk:
A Lisfranc injury is also called a midfoot injury because it occurs in the Lisfranc joint in the middle of your foot. Falling or twisting your ankle can break the bones in the Lisfranc joint and tear ligaments.
Severe Lisfranc injuries may require surgery to repair fractured bones and torn ligaments. For less severe sprains, you may still need to wear a cast or boot on the affected foot and keep your weight off it for several weeks.
To prevent foot ligament injuries, it’s important to strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize your ankle. Foot ligament strains often happen when you roll or twist an unstable, weak ankle.
Other prevention measures include:
You should call your provider if you experience:
Your feet contain dozens of ligaments. These tough bands of tissue connect the many bones of the foot. They also stabilize your foot and provide support for your arches. Inflammation or tears in any of the foot ligaments can cause pain. Most foot ligament injuries heal with rest and nonsurgical treatments.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/25/2021.
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