Metatarsalgia is a complex disorder which may result from a number of different causes.


It is characterized by pain or discomfort on the ball of the foot and may be due to an imbalance of weight‐bearing across the sole of the forefoot. It may be secondary to malalignment or necrosis of the metatarsal head, and is commonly associated with a tight calf muscle.


It can lead to stress fractures in the metatarsals.


Nonoperative treatment may be successful such as the use of custom insoles to provide cushioning from the pain. Realignment surgery is sometimes required to redistribute the transmission of load.


A careful history and clinical examination is required to determine the exact cause of the metatarsalgia.


It may be mistaken for the following condition, neuroma (see Morton's Neuroma).

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