- The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints of the foot are located between the metatarsals and the proximal phalanges of the toes.
- There are five metatarsophalangeal joints named #1-5, from the medial big-toe side to the lateral little-toe side.
- The metatarsophalangeal joints are synovial, diarthrotic, biaxial, condyloid joints.
- They allow:
- flexion/extension of the toes in the sagittal plane.
- abduction/adduction of the toes in the frontal plane.
- Abduction/Adduction of the toes at the MTP joints are movement relative to an imaginary line through the middle of the second toe when the second toe is in anatomic position.
- The second toe abducts in the frontal plane in both directions that it moves: tibial abduction and fibular abduction. The second toe cannot adduct.
- The MTP joint of the big toe is extremely important functionally during the gait cycle (walking). The final aspect of the support phase involves propulsion of the body by toeing off, with the majority of this power coming from the MTP joint of the big toe.