The wounded forefoot – an evolutionary perspective

  • B Zipfel University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: evolution, forefoot, ulcer, callus, bipedalism


The evolution of the human foot transformed the primitive, terrestrial and arboreal form of the foot into the specialised foot adapted to the bipedal mode of locomotion. However, it is thought that this transformation is not perfect and may lead to some of the foot disorders found in anatomically modern humans. In addition, modern lifestyles and footwear may contribute to pedal dysfunction, which may also result in foot ulcers, particularly in the forefoot. A basic understanding of the evolution of the human foot may help explain the aetiology of some foot wounds, thus assisting in planning the management of those disorders.

Author Biography

B Zipfel, University of the Witwatersrand

Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

General Review