A Morton’s Neuroma is a common cause of forefoot pain and can feel like small electric shocks, tingling, swelling or burning from the ball of the foot extending into the toes. A neuroma normally develops between 3rd and 4th toe (metatarsal) from increased pressure on the nerves. Treatment may involve avoiding aggravating footwear, stretching the toes, orthotics, ultrasound-guided cortisone injection or if severe surgery may be required. In addition to increased pressure on the nerves, some other causes of Morton’s neuroma can result from a foot injury, flat or hollow feet, bunions or an excessive foot pronation.
HAMMER / CLAW TOES
Hammer or claw toes form because your foot is trying to grip onto the ground excessively, often to gain more balance. Your toes will be forced to grip if the general foot structure is not working properly, which may lead to forefoot pain. Conservative care will stretch, strengthen and stabilise your muscles and toes for easier, more comfortable walking. However, to improve the pain and appearance of hammer and claw toes, you will be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
PLANTAR PLATE TEAR
The plantar plate is a fibrous ligament that connects the bottom of the base of the toe to the corresponding metatarsal head. It’s job is to protect the metatarsal head from excessive pressure, prevent over extension of the toes and to prevent the toes from splaying or spreading. Persistent pain and swelling under the ball of the foot that extends towards the toes is often the first sign of a plantar plate tear. This pain may be reproduced by bending the toe upwards. Some redness and swelling may be visible on the top and bottom of the foot between the 2nd or 3rd toe. Treatment options can include ice, anti-inflammatory gels, taping and or Orthotics with extra metatarsal arch support– all of which are designed to reduce pressure on the plantar plate and encourage healing. However, where pain fails to settle, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
Capsulitis is an inflammation of a toe ligament or capsule that becomes irritated and inflamed causing forefoot pain. This often affects men and women with bunions, unstable arches, arthritis, or particularly inflexible calf muscles. Capsulitis doesn’t improve on its own and treatment can involve foot stretching and strengthening, ice and anti-inflammatory gels, strapping, correct footwear and or Orthotics with extra metatarsal arch support. However, where pain fails to settle, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
Sesamoiditis pain often starting as a mild ache to an intense throbbing, is focused under the big toe on the ball of the foot. Your sesamoid bones are active every time you push off against your big toe, and can become quite irritated and inflamed. Two of its major causes are increased activity and high-arched feet, which can result in a stress fracture of the tiny metatarsal bones. Treatment for this type of forefoot pain will vary depending on the severity of your condition and may include rest from aggravating activities, ice and anti-inflammatory medication and deflecting pressure away from the injured sesamoids. However, where pain fails to settle, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
A stress fracture occurs when a small crack or fracture in the bone develops, due to repetitive weightbearing. Any activity that places high impact stress on the foot can lead to a foot stress fracture. This is a problem that commonly plagues athletes and runners because stress fractures often arise from overuse or from performing repetitive movements. However, if you suddenly change the intensity or duration of a workout you may also find yourself dealing with this problem. Pain is the number one indicator of a stress fracture and pain may get worse when walking or putting weight on the foot but the pain may subside when resting. The pain may be exacerbated throughout the day depending on your activity level. The area may be tender to the touch, have some minor bruising and have some swelling.
If you suspect that you have a stress fracture it’s important that you schedule an appointment with us right away so that we can diagnose and treat your condition as soon as possible to prevent complications.
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the tissue found near tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles that would otherwise rub directly across the surface of a bone. Bursitis develops when bursae become inflamed. It is often noted as causing an achy, stiff sensation, and the area may look red and swollen. This ailment is often accompanied by foot pain or discomfort when an affected area experiences pressure. Treatment involves re-creating the metatarsal arch and therefore reducing pressure in the forefoot by improved footwear, Orthotics and strengthening exercises. However, where pain fails to settle, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
Metatarsalgia is a painful inflammatory injury of the forefoot from overuse and increased pressure. Metatarsalgia can be identified as numbness, tingling, inflammation, worsening pain when walking barefoot or feel as if you’re stepping on a stone. The pain may be located beneath the second, third and fourth metatarsal heads, or may be more isolated at the first metatarsal head behind the big toe.
Bunions, hammertoes, short metatarsal bones, collapsing arches, high-arched feet, stress fractures, hallux limitus, arthritis, plantar plate rupture, capsulitis, intermetatarsal bursitis are all possible causes of metatarsalgia. Your podiatrist may recommend steroid injections to minimize pain and inflammation, or where pain fails to settle, you may be referred onto one of our Podiatric Surgeons to discuss surgery options.
Arthritis is a chronic, degenerative condition that can affect any one of the 30 joints of the foot and ankle, causing pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints, making it very difficult to walk. Podiatrists can help people with rheumatoid arthritis by keeping patients comfortable and mobile.
Treatments are available to alleviate and reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Your podiatrist will carefully assess the severity of the arthritis and will footwear and or Orthotics to provide comfort and or an exercise regimen to help keep the joints moving and relieve any stiffness and pain.