What is the proper anatomical term for the top of your foot?
March 18, 2007 10:27 AM   Subscribe

What is the proper anatomical term for the top of your foot?
posted by mattholomew to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
 
The instep.
posted by backupjesus at 10:39 AM on March 18, 2007


dorsum pedis
posted by jamaro at 10:52 AM on March 18, 2007


Yeah, the dorsum of the foot.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:12 AM on March 18, 2007


I see that the top of the foot is considered as dorsal in human anatomy. At first I would have thought, for consistency, that the top of the foot would be called ventral and the sole dorsal as in a person lying face down. But when you get beyond the wrist, dorsal and ventral are replaced by dorsal and palmar, the terms referring to the palm and back of the hand. Likewise for the foot the terms refer to the plantar (sole) and dorsal (top). This makes some sense in mechanical terms since when you are walking on all fours, the back the hand and top of the foot are folded and point dorsally. I wonder how these surfaces are oriented in view of ontogeny. Would the sole and palm be dorsal?
posted by JackFlash at 12:53 PM on March 18, 2007


med schooler--dorsum pedis like jamaro says; or dorsalis pedis
posted by uncballzer at 1:18 PM on March 18, 2007


JF - The top of both the foot and the hand is the dorsal surface. The opposite side of the hand is the palmar surface; the opposite side of the foot is called the plantar surface.

Don't know why you thought that dorsal would be down. The dorsal fin of the shark is on his back.
posted by yclipse at 3:32 PM on March 18, 2007


I didn't say that dorsal was down. Dorsal means back, spinal or posterior side and ventral means front, abdominal or anterior side. In that sense, the top of the foot faces front and the sole of the foot faces backwards when the foot is extended. Likewise, in a resting position, the back of the hands actually face forwards and the palms backwards. But as the docs say, they use other terms when referring to the extremities. I don't think they are using the terms in the ontogeny sense.
posted by JackFlash at 4:10 PM on March 18, 2007


The dorsalis pedis is an artery, not a surface aspect of the foot.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:57 PM on March 18, 2007


[humbled]

Yeah, but the shoe salesperson's gonna look at you funny when you say "it's a little tight in the dorsum pedis."
posted by backupjesus at 5:22 PM on March 18, 2007


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