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Foot Ankle. 1993 Oct;14(8):425-34.

Diastasis of bipartite sesamoids of the first metatarsophalangeal joint.

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Department of Sports Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York 10021.


Injury to the metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint of the great toe, often termed "turf-toe", is a common occurrence in football. We have identified four cases of first MP plantar capsular injury with diastasis of a bipartite sesamoid. In three cases, observation and protection resulted in progressive widening of the fragments associated with pain and disability. These players required resection of the distal sesamoid fragment and repair of the volar capsule. The fourth player underwent acute repair of the medial retinaculum and capsule. All players have had a full return to sports activity. Diastasis of components of a partite sesamoid provides objective evidence of disruption of the plantar capsular mechanism. Early recognition of this condition confirmed by stress radiographs is recommended. Treatment may include early protection followed by resection, if painful, or acute repair of the retinaculum. Previous descriptions of turf-toe have not included injuries to the sesamoid complex of the first MP joint. In our opinion, the term turf-toe should represent the consequences of a hyperextension injury to the first MP joint in which the volar capsule has been disrupted proximal to the sesamoid. A classification for first MP joint injuries is presented.

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