How To Palpate Metatarsophalangeal Joints

With your thumbs, palpate the anterior aspect of each ankle joint, noting any bogginess, swelling, or tenderness.

Feel along the Achilles tendon for nodules and tenderness.

Palpate the heel, especially the posterior and inferior calcaneus, and the plantar fascia for tenderness.

Localized tenderness in arthritis, ligamentous injury, or infection of the ankle

Rheumatoid nodules; tenderness in Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, or partial tear from trauma

Bone spurs may be present on the calcaneus; pain over the plantar fascia suggests plantar fasciitis.

Palpate the metatarsophalangeal joints for tenderness. Compress the forefoot between the thumb and fingers. Exert pressure just proximal to the heads of the 1st and 5th metatarsals.

Tenderness on compression is an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Acute inflammation of the first metatarsophalangeal joint is associated with gout.

Palpate the heads of the five meta-tarsals and the grooves between them with your thumb and index finger. Place your thumb on the dorsum of the foot and your index finger on the plantar surface.

Pain and tenderness, called metatarsalgia, seen in trauma, arthritis, vascular compromise

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  • Lindsey Stjohn
    How to palpate metatarsophalangeal joints?
    5 months ago

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