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March 26, 1927


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School CHICAGO

JAMA. 1927;88(13):994-998. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680390022008

The subject of metatarsal arch disturbances is attaining the increasing importance it deserves. For a long period it was a general conception that nearly every condition occurring in this region was a "Morton's toe," named after the Philadelphian who described it in 1876. In 1889, Poullson of Lyons wrote on this subject. The term metatarsalgia, meaning pain in this region, is a symptom and does not describe the pathologic condition.

The anatomy of the metatarsal region is very important. The skeleton of these parts consists of the metatarsal bases, shafts and heads. The proximal phalanges and sesamoids are accessory structures often closely allied to metatarsal disturbances. The metatarsophalangeal joints are simple ball and socket joints surrounded by capsules lined with synovial membrane. Like other joints, therefore, they are subject to stress, strain, injury, growth disturbance and infection. The muscles of this region are the plantar and dorsal interossei, the lumbricales

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