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Distal phalanges (foot)

The distal phalanges (foot) are located at the end of each toe. Three phalangeal bones make up each digit, articulating with each other at bending joints. The distal phalanges come at the end, right below the toenail.

The distal phalanges articulate with the intermediate phalanges, which are joined to the proximal phalanges. Those bones, in turn, connect to the metatarsals of the foot.

The toe bones within the foot are similar to that of the fingers of the hand. After all, both the hand and the foot are comprised of five total digits. However, the phalanges of the foot bear subtle but distinct differences. The hand features a thumb, which is structurally different from the fingers. The foot's big toe is structurally the same as the other toes. Also, finger bones tend to be longer, while the toe bones tend to be flatter and stubbier.

The distal phalanges provide a home for both the toenail and the fleshy pad on the underside of each toe. Since they come at the end of the toe, they are sometimes referred to as the terminal phalanges.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Distal phalanges (foot)

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