Posted on January 25, 2020
Why the term metatarsalgia is not a very good term
Metatarsalgia is a widely used term that does not mean much. The metatarsals are the long bones behind the toes in the foot and the suffix -algia implies pain, so metatarsalgia simply means pain in the metatarsals area. This really is really useless as a diagnosis for the reason that pain is usually because of, literally, 100s of various things. To use the word metatarsalgia is much like using the expression sore knee. It is really not a diagnosis and is simply a non-specific word for symptoms in the ball of the foot. This will be significant as having the diagnosis correct is absolutely necessary and the first step in getting the treatment right. There isn’t any treatment for metatarsalgia. There’s treatment for the various disorders which cause pain about the metatarsals.
Probably the most prevalent cause of pain in this area is a condition termed as a plantar plate tear. The plantar plate is a robust ligament plantar to joints in the ball of the feet that give stability to the joint and guard it. If there is too much a amount of activity and the toes get retracted or dorsiflexed too much, then that ligament could get stretched causing is what is referred to as plantar plate dysfunction. In the event that load continues then a tiny tear could happen in the ligament. Another reason for symptoms is this location might be what is known as sesamoiditis that is some irritation of the tissue surrounding the small sesamoid bones at the base of the big toe. This is often due to too much pressure on those sesamoid bones, causing the irritation. Merely from these two examples it ought to be clear that they’re two totally different problems that might get lumped under this useless name, metatarsalgia. The treatment for these two conditions are completely different, so it ought to be no surprise that that phrase should really not be made use of.