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What Is a Metatarsalgia?  

Pain in the ball of your foot, the area between your arch and the toes, is called metatarsalgia. The pain usually centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in this area under the toes.












Calluses: If one of your metatarsal bones is too long, the bone may take on extra weight. This extra pressure on the metatarsal bone can cause a callus, or buildup of skin, to form. The combination of the extra weight on the bone and the callus can cause pain; however, a callus does not need to be present for the patient to have pain.

Bunions: Metatarsalgia often is associated with a bunion deformity of the big toe. In this case, the big toe metatarsal bone cannot support the weight it needs to, and the weight shifts to the smaller metatarsal bones.

Hammertoes: A hammertoe can increase the chance of experiencing metatarsalgia pain. Hammertoes can push the metatarsal bone into the ground, which increases the pressure on the bone.

Another cause can be shoes that don't fit properly. Tight shoes squeeze the foot and increase pressure, while loose shoes let the foot slide and rub, which creates friction. Torn ligaments or inflammation also can cause metatarsalgia. Pain on the underside of the foot may indicate a torn ligament or inflammation of the joint.


Although Adductovarus toes are readily apparent, to arrive at a diagnosis, Dr Martins will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and examine your foot. During the physical examination, the doctor may attempt to reproduce your symptoms by manipulating your foot and will study the contractures of the toes. In addition, Dr Martins may take x-rays to determine the degree of the deformities and assess any changes that may have occurred.




Nonsurgical Treatment

There is a variety of treatment options for Metatarsalgia:

Minimally Invasive Treatment- Hyaluronic Acid Injections

Volume restoration of the plantar pad with a injection session of HA dermal filler under the metatarsal heads provides a nonsurgical, long-lasting, well-tolerated, and efficient treatment to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with metatarsalgia. These are not covered and off- label treatments that on average provide 6-9 months of relief. 

Surgical Options

Metatarsalgia at times have to be surgically corrected due to elongated  metatarsals, ridged hammertoes and /or  severe bunion deformity. At times a single shortening metatarsal (Weil) procedure is needed or extensive reconstruction to re-align the metatarsals. Dr Martins will discuss both conservative and surgical options with post op recovery and return to work/ activity time frame 



Always look for a Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon with years of experience in this type surgery when choosing your doctor.

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