Metatarsalgia

What is it?

Metatarsalgia is a common overuse injury described as pain in the forefoot that is associated with increased stress over the metatarsal head region. Metatarsalgia is often referred to as a symptom, rather than as a specific disease.

What causes them?

Common causes of metatarsalgia include:

  • metatarsophalangeal synovitis
  • avascular necrosis
  • sesamoiditis
  • inflammatory arthritis
  • Mortonís neuroma
  • Prominent metatarsal heads
  • Hypermobile foot joints
  • Excessive pronation
  • Forefoot equinus

Each is diagnosed separately, often with the aid of X-rays and diagnostic ultrasound. Diagnosis is the key to ensuring the treatment matches the actual condition

How are they treated?

Once the cause of the metatarsalgia is known the appropriate treatment can be given. These may include:

  • Trailing Felt padding to offload high pressure areas, which when successful will be replaced with an insole of some type.
  • Orthotic devices to aid the foot to function correctly thus normalising the forces.
  • Short-term relief may be from the removal of callus or corns under the metatarsal area.
  • Footwear advice and footwear modifications
  • Splinting all movement to completely rest the tissues

WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.