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Metatarsophalangeal joint

The metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJ) are the articulations in the forefoot between the heads of the metatarsals and the proximal phalanges 1.

Gross anatomy

The joint is formed by the articulation of the metatarsals with their adjacent proximal phalanges. They are condyloid synovial joints which allow for flexion, extension and limited adduction and abduction 2

First toe

The metatarsophalangeal joint of the first toe is stabilized by a capsuloligamentous complex and collection of tendons. The capsuloligamentous complex is comprised of:

  • fibrous capsule
  • collateral ligamentous complex
  • sesamoid-phalangeal ligaments (medial and lateral)
  • intersesamoid ligament
  • plantar plate
  • extensor hood

Additional supporting structures:

Lesser metatarsophalangeal joints

The lesser (second-to-fourth) metatarsophalangeal joints also have a capsuloligamentous complex which is comprised of 3:

  • fibrous capsule
  • collateral ligamentous complexes (proper and accessory)
  • plantar plate

Additional supporting structures:

Related pathology

Anatomy: Lower limb

Anatomy: Lower limb

Article information

rID: 63524
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • MTP joint
  • Metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ)

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: first MTPJ anatomy
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  • Figure 2: histology
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