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Great toe

Recommended video: Regions of the lower limb [20:39]
Regions of the lower limb seen from the anterior and posterior views.

The great toe or hallux is located on the medial side and represents the first digit of the foot.

It is made up of two phalanges, a proximal and a distal one. These articulate with each other at the first interphalangeal joint. The proximal phalanx of the great toe articulates with the first metatarsal to form the first metatarsophalangeal joint.

Additionally, two ovoid-shaped ossicles called sesamoids are found beneath the head of the first metarsal. These are separated from each other by the intersesamoidal ridge. The sesamoids are embedded within the medial and lateral slips of the tendon of the flexor hallucis brevis muscle. They function to absorb weight-bearing pressure and help reduce friction at the head of the metatarsal.

Overall, the great toe assists with providing additional leverage to the foot when it pushes off the ground during walking, running and other activities.

The most common problems afflicting the great toe are injury through mechanical wear, bunions and arthritis, particularly gouty arthritis.

Terminology English: Great toe
Synonyms: Big toe, 1st digit of foot

: Hallux
Synonyms: Digiti pedis primus
Defintion The great toe represents the first digit of the foot.

Learn more about the other regions of the lower limb with the following study unit:

Great toe: want to learn more about it?

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