Starting Position



The first interphalangeal joint allows for extension and flexion of the distal phalanx of the great toe. Extension and flexion can be assessed with the patient seated or in the supine position. In either position, the great toe should lie in line with the longitudinal of the foot. The examiner stabilizes the foot and proximal phalanx of the great toe with one hand along the medial aspect of the foot and gasps the distal phalanx of the great toe with the other. To assess extension the examiner should move the distal phalanx cephalad (toward the patient’s head). To assess flexion the examiner should move the distal phalanx caudally (away from the patient’s head).

Ending position



Normal passive range of motion of the first interphalangeal joint is 0° of extension and 90° of felxion.

Clinical Significance



Interarticular fractures at the first interphalangeal joint may result in decreased range of motion.

Figures