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First Metatarsal Bone
Skeletal System

First Metatarsal Bone

Os primum metatarsi

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Quick Facts

Location: Foot.

Bone Type: Long bone.

Key Features: Head, body, base, medial and lateral surfaces, proximal and distal articular facets, and tuberosity.

Articulates With: Medial cuneiform bone, proximal phalanx of great toe.

Arterial Supply: Plantar and dorsal metatarsal arteries; medial plantar artery.

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Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The first metatarsal bone is the shortest of the five metatarsal bones of the foot. It is classified as a long bone and includes the following bony features:

- parts: head, body and base;

- surfaces: medial and lateral surfaces;

- landmarks: tuberosity, sesamoid grooves, and proximal and distal articular facets.

More information regarding these bony features can be found in the Parts, Surfaces and Landmarks tabs for this bone.

The first metatarsal bone is located:

- proximal to the proximal phalanx of great toe;

- distal to the medial cuneiform bone;

- medial to the second metatarsal bone.

It articulates with the:

- proximal phalanx of great toe at the first metatarsophalangeal joint;

- medial cuneiform bone, contributing to the formation of the tarsometatarsal joints.


Ossification of the first metatarsal bone occurs at two ossification centers, these are found in the:

- body, which appears in utero at third month;

- base, which appears during the third year.

These ossification centers fuse with each other during the 17th and 20th years (Standring, 2016).


In some individuals:

- the first metatarsal bone presents an articular facet for the second metatarsal bone;

- an accessory bone, known as the os intermetatarseum, may be associated with the first metatarsal bone (Standring, 2016).

Surface Anatomy

The following bony features of the first metatarsal bone are relevant to surface anatomy:

- its medial surface is subcutaneous and therefore easily palpated along its entire length;

- the head is palpable, especially during plantarflexion of the great toe.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Fracture

- Lisfranc injury

- Brachymetatarsia

- Neuropathic (diabetic) foot ulcer of the metatarsal head

- Morton’s syndrome


Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Metatarsal Bone

ScienceDirect image

The heads of the metatarsal bones are connected by the deep transverse ligament that, along with the interosseous ligaments, helps maintain the transverse arch of the foot.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

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