First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

What is First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Osteoarthritis?

First metatarsophalangeal joint (1st MTPJ) osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that causes the cartilage in the joint to break down. This can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint.

Who is at risk for 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis?

1st MTPJ osteoarthritis is most common in women, and it is more likely to occur as people get older. Other risk factors for 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis include:

  • Foot deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes

  • Repetitive activities that put stress on the joint, such as running and jumping

  • An injury to the joint

  • Genetics

What are the main symptoms of 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis?


The main symptoms of 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis are:

Pain in the ball of the foot

Stiffness in the joint

Swelling around the joint

Difficulty moving the joint

A feeling of instability in the joint

How is 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis diagnosed?

A doctor will diagnose 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis by taking a medical history, performing a physical examination, and ordering imaging tests. The physical examination will focus on assessing pain, tenderness, and swelling around the joint. Imaging tests that may be ordered include:

  • X-ray: X-ray can show any bone spurs or joint damage.
  • Ultrasound: ultrasound can demonstrate bony damage, as well as inflammation and fluid within the joint.
Contact Us 020 8004 6659

How is 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis treated?


Treatment for 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis typically involves conservative measures, such as:

  • Rest:

    Avoiding activities that aggravate the symptoms.
  • Ice:

    Applying ice packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
  • Over-the-counter:

    Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Arch supports:

    Wearing arch supports can help to reduce stress on the joint.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises:

    Once the pain has subsided, stretching and strengthening exercises can help to improve flexibility and strength in the muscles around the joint.

In some cases, more aggressive treatments may be necessary, such as:

  • Corticosteroid injections:

    Injecting corticosteroids into the joint can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • read:

    Physical therapy can help to improve the range of movement of the joint and help to build strength to compensate for arthritis in the joint.
  • Surgery:

    Surgery is typically only considered for severe cases of 1st MTPJ osteoarthritis that do not respond to other treatments. Surgery options include joint replacement, fusion, or arthroplasty.