FOOT LIGAMENT SYSTEM- The foot has the highest density of ligament tissue per square inch in the body. Given the large amount of joints and ligaments, it would be reasonable that this complex is important to total body function. This picture shows the specific ligaments of the foot and the intricacy of their structure and LINKS.
Recent research shows ligaments have two functions and can be grouped into two anatomical categories. One function is that of static stabilizers of joints and the second function is sensory or proprioceptive. The presence of mechanoreceptors implies a sensory role for some ligaments and that this afferent information could regulate the stiffness of the muscles surrounding the joint and improve its stability.It now is clear that there are two types of ligament structure types:
The ligaments with a high percentage of collagen fascicules are the static stabilizers or in tensegrity terms, the tension elements. The ligaments with a high percentage of water and space are involved in gathering afferent information such as tension, position and speed of movement.
An example in the foot is the large, Long Plantar ligament (9) which is primarily a tension stabilizer with dense collagen. The Bifurcate/Y Ligament (11) is a receptor-rich sensory ligament informing the CNS about midfoot motion and position.
All of these tissues have a role in ensuring function of the foot but also giving the entire body proprioceptive information.