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Metatarsalgia 

Metatarsalgia
Chapter:
Metatarsalgia
Author(s):

Bryan English

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199674107.003.0046
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date: 28 November 2020

The true definition of metatarsalgia is ‘pain in the forefoot in the region of the heads of the metatarsals’. The term is subject to abuse, and patients may present with a diagnosis of metatarsalgia with any forefoot pain. This condition is often caused by trauma, but inflammation and a capsulitis at this site can be due to an underlying inflammatory arthropathy. A non-traumatic onset of problems at this site should alert the diagnostician to consider rheumatological investigations. Traumatic capsulitis of the joints is due to excessive forces being applied to this area. Sportspeople may develop this condition if their footwear lacks adequate shock absorbency. A sudden increase in mileage, a change of footwear, an alteration of terrain, and a recent increase in body weight are all possible contributory factors to sports-related overuse trauma. In the sedentary population, excessive body weight and unsuitable footwear are the main causative factors.

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