Metatarsalgia is a condition in the forefoot in which there is pain.  The word metatarsalgia is rather a generic nonspecific term.  There are many possible diagnoses that can be grouped into metatarsalgia.  These include capsulitis of the metatarsal phalangeal joint, neuroma, arthritis, fracture, tumor, avascular necrosis and the various superficial skin conditions including verruca, and other hyperkeratotic lesions.  A doctor must have a thorough knowledge of foot anatomy and pathology to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

There are a few other things that need to be evaluated as well.  What is the quality of range of motion of your big toe joint?  Is there hallux limitus or rigidus? Is the 1st metatarsal elevated or hypermobile?  Is your first metatarsal short compared to the 2nd metatarsal?  These conditions can cause increased loading and pressure onto the 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsal heads.

If you are having pain in your forefoot, make an appointment for a thorough exam of your foot/feet and weight bearing x-rays (it’s important to see how the bones line up during weight bearing for a true appreciation of any pathology)

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