Counting and naming the bones

Nick Savva is a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon with a special interest in foot and ankle surgery, and works from Dorset County Hospital.

We asked Nick to count and name the bones in the hand and foot for us, which (after surgery hours) he very kindly did.  Nick is doing one of the ‘creative presentations’ for our event on Saturday 26th May at 3pm.




“There are certain aspects that are very beautiful. If you take a cross section through the bones of the middle of the foot, they are constructed like a Roman arch… a Roman arch in both directions.

One of the bones is called the navicular. This means boat in Latin as it is boat shaped. The Greeks called it the scaphoid for the same reason.

The talus used to be called the astragalus, which means dice.  If you cut a bit off the talus of a cow it’s a perfect square. They were used as some of the first dice.”

(Nick Savva – Foot and Ankle Surgeon)


“We tend to imagine the bones of the body as hard/inert, but all the bones, including the bones of the skull, are alive and changing.  It is in the bones that the red blood cells are formed.  The skeleton can renew itself over 20 months”

Body, Space, Image – Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay

opposition movement of the thumb

Bones of the foot

And a collection of images of the bones of the hands and feet, taken from the plastic skeletons that Evelyne O’Hare from Bridport Chiropractic lent us: