Every finger has three joints. The thumb has two. These joints allow our fingers to bend and straighten. There are 26 bones in the foot; 19 are bones in the forefoot 5 metatarsals and 14 phalanges. Trauma and the injury to the foot often causes one or more of the toe bones to break fracture. Prolonged repetitive movements can cause a type of broken toe called a stress or hairline fracture.
The most common site of arthritis in the foot is at the base of the big toe. This joint is called the metatarsophalangeal, or MTP joint. It's important because it has to bend every time you take a step. If the joint starts to stiffen, walking can become painful and difficult. In the MTP joint, as in any joint, the ends of the bones are covered by a smooth articular cartilage.
Turf toe refers to an injury that affects the ligaments around a person's big toe. It is a common sports injury, particularly among football and soccer players who play on artificial turf. Pushing forcefully off the big toe, as players do when they begin to run or jump, puts repeated stress on the joints around this area, which are known as the metatarsophalangeal MTP joints. Dancers, gymnasts, and basketball players are also at risk of developing the condition. The repeated flexing of the big toe on hard surfaces during these activities can lead to the ligaments stretching or tearing.
Big toe, great toe or the medical term "hallux"—whatever you call that first toe of yours, it is an important digit you do not want to injure, because it could turn out to be a bigger problem than you think. One such injury is "turf toe," something that happens in football or other sports when the toe is forcefully bent in the wrong way. Other types of big toe injuries occur during everyday activities, such as dropping a heavy object on the foot or even badly stubbing your toe.