Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia?

Stone Bruise is a painful or inflammatory condition in the forefoot especially in between joints of phalanx bones (phalanges) and metatarsal bones. This commonly occurs in second, third and fourth metatarsophalangeal joints.

Metatarsalgia or Stone Bruise

Symptoms of Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia

  1. Gradual increase of pain in and around forefoot area.
  2. Worst pain in the MTP joints especially during weightbearing.
  3. Callus formation will be more because of excessive pressure under the foot.
  4. Difficulty to walk with full weightbearing.
  5. When joint is pressed, then tenderness and pain is elicited.

Causes of Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia

  1. Blunt Trauma.
  2. Injury.
  3. Excessive running leads to transferring of high impact of pressure onto the foot.
  4. Excessive pronation of the forefoot.
  5. Diabetes.
  6. Gout.
  7. Arthritis.
  8. Condition related to pes cavus sometimes also increases the risk of metatarsalgia.
  9. Morton’s Neuroma.
  10. In cases where the extensor tendons are tight.
  11. Metatarsalgia fractures occurred due to stress.
  12. Metatarsalgia is commonly seen in aged people.

Treatment of Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia

  1. To reduce inflammation and pain non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed by the doctor.
  2. To avoid wearing high heel shoes and to prefer spacious and flat shoes.
  3. Use of specially manufactured shoes which has insoles that have better cushion and can provide shock absorption.
  4. As often as possible, stretching of the legs in particular calf muscles will help alleviate pain.
  5. In order to equally distribute the weight, use of protective footwear and padding is suggested.

What Will Your Doctor Suggest To Diagnose and Treat Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia?

  1. Specialized doctor who should be consulted in case of painful conditions related to foot is a Podiatrist. Initially, podiatrist will ask the patient to walk and will analyze the position of the foot. To confirm metatarsalgia further examination will be done.
  2. Radiologic studies such as ultrasound scans, MRI, x-rays etc., of the forefoot will be done. These images will be reviewed by the radiologist and impression will be made based on which treatment modalities will be determined.
  3. In some cases, blood tests are drawn to determine whether any other underlying disease conditions like gout, diabetes, etc., is causing metatarsalgia.
  4. Insoles such as custom-made orthotics will be suggested by the doctor.
  5. As a last resort, the doctor will suggest steroid injections.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 4, 2018

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