Background: Injury to the metatarsophalangeal or interpha-langeal joints of the hallux is an unusual clinical problem.
Materials and Methods: This investigation represents a retrospective case series accumulated over a twenty year period of ninety-three beach soccer players who were treated for an osteo-chondral injury of the hallux metatarsophalangeal or interpha-langeal joints of their dominant (kicking) foot.
Results: Eighty-one patients underwent surgical excision of an avascular osteo-chondral fragment that had been identified by both plain radiography and magnetic resonance imaging. All but two patients were able to return to participation with either minimal or no pain. Two patients progressed to hallux rigidus and metatar-sophalangeal joint arthritis.
Conclusion: This retrospective case series describes a sports-related injury of the hallux metatar-sophalangeal or interphalangeal joints that is likely produced by hyper-flexion or hyperextersion. This descriptive case series might well characterize heretofore unexplained post-traumatic pain and swelling involving the hallux.