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The metatarsophalangeal joints (MTP joints), also informally known as toe knuckles, are the joints between the metatarsal bones of the foot and the proximal bones (proximal phalanges) of the toes. They are condyloid joints, meaning that an elliptical or rounded surface (of the metatarsal bones) comes close to a shallow cavity (of the proximal phalanges).
The ligaments are the plantar and two collateral.
Left: toes adducted (pulled towards the center) and spread (abducted); right, both feet clenched (plantar flexed)
The upper foot is clenching (plantarflexing) at the MTP joints and at the joints of the toes; the central foot is lifting the toes (dorsiflexing) at the MTP joints; and the foot flat on the ground off to the side is in a neutral position.
Kneeling with the MTP joints dorsiflexed (except the MTP joint of the little toe)
Measuring the dorsiflexion of the MTP joints
- This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 359 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)