What Causes Metatarsal Syndrome?

This condition is also called metatarsalgia, and it causes swelling and pain around the bones, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues in the ball of your foot, typically between the toes. It can feel like you have something in your shoe causing the feeling, but when you check there’s nothing there!

Metatarsal syndrome can have more than one cause, and in fact, may be the result of several problems which makes diagnosis quite complicated. Always have your foot doctor perform an evaluation to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Contributing factors to developing metatarsal syndrome include the following:

  • Hammertoe and bunion complications—Hammertoes and bunions frequently have made an appearance first before a diagnosis of metatarsal syndrome is made.
  • Improper footwear—High-heeled shoes can put a huge amount of pressure on the ball of the foot, which explains why women who wear pumps frequently experience metatarsalgia.
  • Neuroma and neuropathy—A neuroma is an abnormal growth of the fibers and tissues in the ball of the foot that responds to excessive pressure. Nerve damage from diabetes can also contribute to the severity of a neuroma.

Treating metatarsal syndrome

The pain of metatarsalgia will often subside by resting the foot to relieve stress and pressure. Once the source of the pressure is stopped, the swelling will go down and the tissue can heal. Specially designed metatarsal cushions in your shoes will help to isolate the area and redistribute pressure so you can comfortably wear shoes during healing.

If you have discomfort and pain in the ball of your foot, seeing your podiatrist is the best way to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Foot doctors Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico and Dr. Payel Ghosh and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 to make an appointment online today.


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