Metatarsalgia (Ball of Foot Pain) Treatment in Beverly Hills

What is metatarsalgia?

There are 5 long bones behind each toe called the metatarsals. They are named in order from the big toe to the 5th toe as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th metatarsals. They act to support the weight of the body through the arch. At the level of the “ball” of the foot are the “heads” of the metatarsals, where they are round and larger than the narrow long shaft of the bone that leads to the wider square “base” at its end. These bones angle downwards towards the ball of the foot, placing all the pressure from the ground at the level of the ball of the foot.

Metatarsalgia is a term that could define many different problems at this level of the foot.

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

  • Pain under the ball of the foot

  • Bruising feeling

  • Numbness

  • Pain when pushing off the ground

  • Painful callus formation

Causes of Metatarsalgia

  • Excessive exercise with demands on the ball of the foot

  • Walking long distances in poor shoes

  • Stress fracture of the metatarsal

  • Untreated fracture of the metatarsal

  • Hyper-flexion of the toe joint

  • A metatarsal that is too long

  • A short 1st metatarsal

  • Barefoot running

  • Bunions

  • Hammer Toes

  • Morton’s Neuroma

  • Plantar Plate Tear

  • Toe Sprain

How is metatarsalgia diagnosed?

Diagnosis is achieved by the clinical examination and x-rays of the patient. Dr. Soomekh will listen to the patient’s complaints, symptoms, and goals. The examination involves a hands-on analysis of the patient’s foot and evaluating their gait. Digital radiographs (x-rays) of the feet will be obtained in the office and reviewed with the patient. A specialized CT scan of the foot may be obtained to evaluate the metatarsal bones in 3D to aid in diagnosis.

Metatarsalgia Treatment

Treatment of metatarsalgia depends on identifying the root cause and source of the problem. The goal of the initial treatment is to reduce the symptoms and support the area of pain.

  • Ice therapy

  • Anti-inflammatory medications

  • Rest

  • Supportive shoes

  • Walking Boot

  • Padding

  • Custom Molded Orthotics

  • Physical Therapy

Dr. Soomekh provides expert diagnosis of all foot and ankle conditions and appropriate treatment of metatarsalgia. Dr. Soomekh is recognized by his peers as one of the top foot and ankle doctors in Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles area.


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