ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND.: Although rare in occurrence, a dorsal dislocation of the 1st metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint has been successfully treated using surgical and/or non-operative treatment. No descriptions of conservative intervention following a dorsal dislocation of the MTP joint in an athlete participating in a high contact sport are present in the literature. OBJECTIVES.: The purpose of this case report is to describe the intervention and clinical reasoning during the rehabilitative process of a collegiate football player diagnosed with a 1st MTP joint dorsal dislocation. The plan of care and return to play criteria used for this athlete are presented. CASE DESCRIPTION.: The case involved a 19-year-old male Division IA football player, who suffered a traumatic dorsal dislocation of the 1st MTP joint during practice. The dislocation was initially treated on-site by closed reduction. Non-operative management included immobilization, therapeutic exercises, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, manual treatment, modalities, prophylactic athletic taping, gait training, and a sport specific progression program for full return to Division IA football. OUTCOMES.: Discharge from physical therapy occurred after six weeks of treatment. At discharge, no significant deviations existed during running, burst, and agility related drills. At a six-month follow-up, the patient reported full return to all football activities including contact drills without restrictions. DISCUSSION.: This case describes an effective six-week rehabilitation intervention for a collegiate football player who sustained a traumatic great toe dorsal dislocation. Further study is suggested to evaluate the intervention strategies and timeframe for return to contact sports.
North American journal of sports physical therapy (NAJSPT) 09/2010; 5(3):131-42.