Metatarsus ligament rupture


(Ruptura traumatica ligamenti pedis)

The foot bones comprise the 7 tarsal bones (ossa tarsi), the 5 metatarsal bones (ossa metatarsi) and the 14 bones in the toes (phalanx). Large or small ligaments (metarsus ligaments) run between all the bones, which stabilise the joints if twisted and running with directional change.


  1. Lig. tibiofibulare anterius
  2. Lig. talofibulare anterius
  3. Lig. talonaviculare
  4. Lig. calcaneocuboideum (Lig. bifurcatum)
  5. Lig. calcaneonaviculare (Lig. bifurcatum)
  6. Ligg. tarsi dorsalia
  7. Lig. cuneocuboideum interosseum
  8. Lig. calcaneocuboideum
  9. Lig. talocalcaneum interosseum
  10. Retinaculum mm. peroneorum inferius
  11. Lig. calcaneofibulare
  12. Lig. talocalcaneum laterale
  13. Lig. talofibulare posterius
  14. Lig. tibiofibulare posterius
  15. Fibula


  1. Ligamentum mediale/deltoideum
  2. Pars tibiotalaris posterior
  3. Pars tibiocalcanearis
  4. Retinaculum mm. flexorum (m. flexor hallucis longus)
  5. Lig. talocalcaneum mediale
  6. Lig plantare longum
  7. Lig. calcaneonaviculare plantare
  8. Lig. cuneonaviculare plantare
  9. Os naviculare
  10. Os cuneiforme mediale
  11. Ligg. cuneonavicularia dorsalia
  12. Lig talonaviculare
  13. Pars tibionavicularis
    (lig. deltoidei)
  14. Talus
  15. Pars tibiotalaris anterior
  16. Tibia
Cause: A violent twist of the joint can in light cases result in a strain or sprain of the ligament, whereas sever cases can result in full or partial rupture or tear.

Symptoms: Pain in the ligament also occuring with load (twist) on the joint which the ligament stabilises.

Acute treatment: Click here.

Examination: Clinical examination is normally not required in light cases (strain/sprain) with only minimal tenderness, and no discomfort when walking. More pronounced pain will demand examination to exclude bone fracture, bone membrane tear (periosteal avulsion), inflammation of the tendon sheath, concentration of fluid in the joint (traumatic arthritis/synovitis). A normal medical (evt. clinical) examination is usually sufficient in order to make the diagnosis. X-ray will confirm or exclude any suspicion of fracture. Small bone membrane tears are best seen under ultrasound scanning.

Treatment: Treatment of uncomplicated metatarsus ligament rupture will normally be conservative (rehabilitation).

Bandage: In the rehabilitation phase, tape can be used when running on uneven surfaces or running with rapid directional change begins. The tape has, however, not the same important purpose as for ligament injuries on the large outer or inner ligaments in the ankle, (tape-instruction).

Complications: If there is not a steady improvement in the condition consideration must be given as to whether the diagnosis is correct, or if complications have arisen: