Metatarsalgia is a condition involving pain and inflammation (synovitis), often described as a bruised feeling or a burning sensation, located under the Metatarsal Phalangeal joints (MTPJ). Sometimes this can be described as ‘walking on marbles’ sensation.
It is more common to occur in a foot with a dropped metatarsal arch (transverse arch), hammertoes or with a decreased forefoot fat pad. Calluses or corns of the skin under the MTPJs can occur. Symptoms are worse with prolonged activity on hard surfaces and with heeled shoes.
Most patients get good relief from conservative and non-surgical approaches to treatment of metatarsalgia.
- Rest. Avoiding movements that exacerbate your pain.
- Heat and Ice can be applied to reduce pain and swelling. Apply for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to keep swelling down. Do not apply directly to the skin.
- Custom Orthotics with metatarsal padding
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and swelling. Like any over the counter medication, please read and follow the label. If you have a history of stomach ulcers, bleeding ulcers or heart conditions, these medications might not be right for you. Consult your physician if you have any questions.
- Topical anti-inflammatories
- Compound Topical Creams
- Steroid (Depo-Medrol, Kenalog, Decadron)
- Blood (PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma)