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Fourth Metatarsal Bone
Skeletal System

Fourth Metatarsal Bone

Os quartum metatarsi

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Quick Facts

Location: Foot.

Bone Type: Long bone.

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

Articulates With: Cuboid bone, lateral cuneiform bone, third and fifth metatarsal bones, proximal phalanx of fourth toe.

Arterial Supply: Plantar and dorsal metatarsal arteries.

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Key Features & Anatomical Relations

The fourth metatarsal bone is one 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: proximal and distal articular facets, lateral cuneiform articular facet, and third and fifth metatarsal articular facets.

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

The fourth metatarsal bone is located:

- proximal to the proximal phalanx of fourth toe;

- distal to the cuboid and lateral cuneiform bones;

- medial to the fifth metatarsal bone;

- lateral to the third metatarsal bone.

It articulates with the:

- proximal phalanx of fourth toe at the fourth metatarsophalangeal joint;

- cuboid and lateral cuneiform bones, contributing to the formation of the tarsometatarsal joints;

- third and fifth metatarsal bones, contributing to the formation of the intermetatarsal joints.


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

- body, which appears in utero at third month;

- head, which appears during the third to fourth years.

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

Surface Anatomy

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

- its dorsal aspect can be palpated;

- the head is palpable during plantarflexion of the toes.

List of Clinical Correlates

- Fracture

- Lisfranc injury

- Brachymetatarsia

- Neuropathic (diabetic) foot ulcer of the metatarsal head


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 fifth metatarsal bone is composed of the base, styloid process or tuberosity, diaphysis, neck, and head.

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