Metatarsalgia

What is Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a general term that refers to any painful foot condition that affects the ball of the foot. Many different foot conditions can cause metatarsalgia.  The most common cause of metatarsalgia is due to biomechanical conditions.  It is important for a foot and ankle specialist to determine the exact underlying pathology in order to receive the proper treatment.

Causes of Metatarsalgia:

  • Pes Planus (flat foot)
  • Pes Cavus (high arch foot)
  • Bunion
  • Hammertoe
  • Tailors Bunion
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Capsulitis
  • Bursitis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
  • Systemic Arthritis
  • Ankle equines (tight Achilles tendon)
  • Neuritis
  • Trauma
  • Bone Tumor
  • Soft Tissue Mass
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Skin conditions: ulcer, corns, infection, warts or blister

Imaging:

Your foot and ankle specialist will determine if imaging is needed based on your physical exam findings. Imaging may include:

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Bone scan
  • Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV)

Conservative Treatment of Metatarsalgia:

This depends on the underlying problem.  Your foot and ankle specialist will determine your treatment plan. It may include:

  • Protective padding
  • Orthotics
  • Toe taping
  • Braces
  • Splints
  • Supportive shoes gear
  • Topical creams
  • Injections
  • Physical therapy

Surgical Treatment for Metatarsalgia:

This depends on the underlying problem.  Your foot and ankle surgeon will determine your surgical treatment plan.

We encourage you to consult with a foot and ankle specialist for a complete assessment of your condition.