Understanding Metatarsalgia: Causes, Treatments, and Surgical Options

Apr 22, 2024
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Metatarsalgia refers to pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, typically affecting the area between the arch and toes.

Understanding Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia commonly arises due to various factors, with one primary cause being the elongation of metatarsal bones or an uneven parabola of these bones. This structural abnormality can lead to excessive pressure on the forefoot, resulting in pain and discomfort. Additionally, repeated stress or trauma to the area can cause damage to the plantar plate, a fibrous structure that supports the metatarsophalangeal joints.


Diagnostic Tools and In-Office Procedures

At Acacia Foot and Ankle Surgeons, we believe in accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plans. We utilize advanced diagnostic tools, including X-rays, to assess the structure of the foot and identify any underlying issues such as bone deformities or joint misalignments. Our in-office X-ray capabilities allow for prompt evaluation, enabling us to provide timely and precise care. 

For acute cases or instances where immobilization is necessary for healing, we may recommend the use of medical boots. These provide support and protection to the foot, allowing the affected area to rest and recover effectively.

Importance of Customized Orthotics

Customized orthotics play a crucial role in managing metatarsalgia by redistributing pressure and providing support to the foot's arches. Unlike over-the-counter inserts, custom orthotics are tailored to each patient's unique foot structure and biomechanics. By addressing any imbalances or abnormalities, custom orthotics help alleviate pain and prevent further deterioration of the plantar plate. Learn More About Custom Orthotics. 


Surgical Options

In cases where conservative treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. Two common procedures performed for metatarsalgia are the Weil osteotomy and DMMO (distal metatarsal metaphyseal osteotomy).

Weil Osteotomy: This procedure involves making a small incision and cutting the metatarsal bone to shorten it, thereby reducing pressure on the affected area. It's particularly beneficial for correcting metatarsal length discrepancies and realigning the metatarsophalangeal joints.

DMMO (Distal Metatarsal Metaphyseal Osteotomy): DMMO is another surgical option aimed at addressing structural abnormalities in the metatarsal bones. By carefully repositioning the bone segments, this procedure aims to restore normal alignment and function, ultimately relieving pain and improving mobility. DMMO procedure is percutaneous and has an advantage or Weil Osteotomy in terms of recovery period and avoiding scar tissue formation. 



Metatarsalgia can significantly impact one's daily activities and overall well-being, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, relief is attainable. At Acacia Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Dr. Kaveh Panahi and our team are dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients suffering from metatarsalgia. From accurate diagnosis using in-office X-rays to customized orthotics and advanced surgical options, we offer a holistic approach to address the underlying causes and alleviate symptoms effectively. Don't let foot pain hold you back – schedule a consultation with us today and take the first step towards pain-free living. To schedule an appointment please contact at 623.439.2200 or use our easy online portal