Sports Medicine/wierd foot anatomy

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Question
Dr. Weil,
         I was looking in my Frank Netter book on the anatomy of the sole and I am wondering if my foot is different. First of all, when looking at my sole and bending the large toe into extension I see a prominent tendoneus structure running from the 1st metatarsal and ending somewhere near the heel, i figure this is the flexor hallucis longus tendon. It seems to be the most superficial structure, yet according to Netter's, the flexor digitorum tendons crisscross on TOP. I don't even see anything superficial at all. Also what exactly does the plantar fascia feel like when palpating, because mine must be very thin. BTW other than sleeping and showering i have spent the past 20 some years wearing sneakers. I have only in the past couple years been attempting to spend some time walking barefoot and i never could really flex my toes at all. I have in the past year manually released the metatarsal heads, so now i have very mobile toes in both flexion and extension, albeit the flexion strength is not there. Have you ever seen someone who's FHL tendon was on top?

Answer
Hi Frank- You might be looking at the abductor hallucis which lies along the medial border of the foot and ends in tendon that inserts along with flexor hallucis breviis into the medial side of the 1st  phalanx of the great toe. Flexor Hallucis longus runs medically & inserts into the base of the terminal phalanx of the great toe. The flexor tendons are on the plantar surface, the extensor tendons on top. You can palate the plantar fascia, the tendon like bottom cover of the foot that runs from the toes to the heel easily when you  extend your toes or when you flex them. Plantar fascia has medial, middle & lateral bands.
Walking barefoot, using all the intrinsic foot muscles & tendons have probably enhanced the flexion, extension capabilities of your feet along with your range of motion & "adjustment" of your metatarsal phalangeal joints. Nothing wrong with including some barefoot activities but wearing sneakers all the time usually is not something that we would expect would cause "lack of mobility". Interesting question, Frank, hope this is helpful-- Dr. Bob Weil

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Dr. Bob Weil

Expertise

Diagnosis & treatment & PREVENTION of foot & foot related lower extremity sports related problems. Indications & uses of prescription in shoe orthotics. Foot, ankle functional exercises for injury prevention & enhanced performance. Specific specialty in orthotic use in figure skating & hockey. Access to all topics re sports medicine at sportsdoctorradio.com- radio shows & articles re "the physical & mental challenges of the high performance youth athlete.

Experience


Publications
Podiatry Management Magazine, 9/10/10, "Hitting the Airwaves- this podiatrist uses his own radio show to promote Podiatry Podiatry Management Mag-6/-7/2010, "Figure Skating, Olympic Gold, & Podiatry Lower Extremity Review,7/2012, Pediatric Obesity weighs on Bones & Joints Numerous articles,"the sports doctor"- listed sportsdoctorradio.com- news articles 3 years of weekly radio shows, "the sports doctor", listed sportsdoctorradio.com-radio shows

Education/Credentials
BA degree science Univ. Louisville, Doctor Podiatric Medicine, Scholls College Podiatric Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Past/Present Clients
Treated many athletes in all sports, tennis- John McEnroe, Tracy Austin, numerous members of 85 Super Bowl Bears Evan Lysacek, 2010 men's Olympic Gold Medal figure skating champion.

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