Metatarsalgia: Pain in Ball of Foot Surgery

Metatarsalgia: Pain in Ball of Foot

Pain in the ball of the foot may have a variety of causes including issues related to joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. This can be a very painful condition, which may limit walking and recreational activities, as well as choice of footwear.

Metatarsalgia Diagnosis:

Our foot and ankle specialists will examine your foot to assess the painful area and take a detailed history of the pain and symptoms. This is usually followed by investigations to identify the pathology and confirm the diagnosis before any treatment is commenced.

Metatarsalgia Causes & Treatment:

  • Mortons Neuroma:

    This benign swelling and thickening of the nerve often affects the ball of the 3rd and 4th toe,causing sharp shooting pain, burning and feeling of a lump. Investigations usually include ultrasound to confirm size and location followed by injections or, failing this, surgery.

  • Joint Swelling:

    this is often known as capsulitis or synovitis and can result from trauma, over-use or systemic factors associated with disease. After a detailed history we may request specialist investigations including X-rays and MRI followed by treatment with orthotics and injections.

  • Plantar Plate Tear:

    This ligament tear at the ball of the toe joint causes swelling and lump-like feeling. If left untreated this can lead to floating and hammer toe deformities. Specialised arthrogram MRI is required to confirm a diagnosis and often requires surgery if it is not treated immediately with splinting.

  • Hammer Toes:

    this can often cause pain in the ball of the foot due to the toes buckling. Surgical straightening of the toes can be performed to correct the underlying cause.

  • Long Metatarsal:

    A genetically long metatarsal can often cause forefoot imbalance and increased pressure, resulting in joint pain and problems. Shortening of the metatarsal can resolve this problem.