The metatarsal and phalanges bones of the foot are similar in number and position to the metacarpal and phalanges bones of the hand. The five metatarsal bones are numbered I to V starting on the medial side with the big toe. The first metatarsal bone is larger than the others because it plays a major role in supporting the body's weight. The 14 phalanges of the foot, as with the hand, are arranged in a proximal row, a middle row, and a distal row, with the big toe, or hallux, having only a proximal and distal phalanx.
The foot's two arches are formed by the structure and arrangement of the bones and are maintained by tendons and ligaments. The arches give when weight is placed on the foot and spring back when the weight is lifted off of the foot. The arches may fall due to a weakening of the ligaments and tendons in the foot.