Conditions Conducive for Metatarsal Surgery

Here in California, there’s never an off-season! Whether it’s summer and you’re heading to the coast, or winter and you’re heading to the mountains, activities are non-stop, which means there’s never a good time for surgery. Pain in the ball of your foot, however, can put a damper on your year-round fun, and sometimes a surgical procedure is the only way to find relief.

Metatarsalgia is characterized by ball of foot pain caused by irritated and inflamed long bones (metatarsals) behind each of your toes. This condition can occur for a variety of different reasons, and treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Athlete with ball of foot pain

Sometimes, it’s simply a nagging injury or overuse, and rest, shoe modifications, padding, medication, and orthotics are enough to relieve symptoms. Being overweight can stress metatarsal bones as well, and in this case, an appropriate diet to achieve a healthy weight is all that is necessary to resolve the issue. However, sometimes you may have an underlying condition that leaves you no choice but to consider undergoing metatarsal surgery. Stress fractures and Frieberg’s disease are among such conditions. Others include:

Deformities. Abnormalities in foot structure, like bunions and claw or hammertoes, can cause an uneven distribution of weight, putting too much pressure on the ball of your foot. Surgery to correct the deformity may be necessary to relieve pain.

Arthritis. Inflammation of joints can occur where the metatarsals meet the toes, resulting in ball of foot pain. If conservative methods do not provide relief, a surgical procedure may be your best option.

Diabetes. Nerve damage often associated with diabetes can lead to metatarsalgia. Managing your disease will help, but if pain persists, it’s best to have metatarsal surgery to avoid other complications.

Morton’s Neuroma. Also a nerve problem, this condition affects the nerve that runs between the metatarsals. You may have to have surgery to help disperse pressure away from the offending nerve.

Tight Achilles Tendons. This can make your ankle stiff and place too much pressure on metatarsal heads. When are not enough, releasing the tendon surgically may be necessary.

Knowing what’s behind your metatarsalgia is essential to knowing how to treat the problem, and determining if metatarsal surgery is required. If you are experiencing pain in the ball of your foot, make an appointment to find out why! Call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108, and we’ll get you on the right course for recovery, so you can get back to doing the things you love!

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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