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.
- Gradual increase of pain in and around forefoot area.
- Worst pain in the MTP joints especially during weightbearing.
- Callus formation will be more because of excessive pressure under the foot.
- Difficulty to walk with full weightbearing.
- When joint is pressed, then tenderness and pain is elicited.
Causes of Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia
- Blunt Trauma.
- Excessive running leads to transferring of high impact of pressure onto the foot.
- Excessive pronation of the forefoot.
- Condition related to pes cavus sometimes also increases the risk of metatarsalgia.
- Morton's Neuroma.
- In cases where the extensor tendons are tight.
- Metatarsalgia fractures occurred due to stress.
- Metatarsalgia is commonly seen in aged people.
Treatment of Stone Bruise or Metatarsalgia
- To reduce inflammation and pain non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed by the doctor.
- To avoid wearing high heel shoes and to prefer spacious and flat shoes.
- Use of specially manufactured shoes which has insoles that have better cushion and can provide shock absorption.
- As often as possible, stretching of the legs in particular calf muscles will help alleviate pain.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- In some cases, blood tests are drawn to determine whether any other underlying disease conditions like gout, diabetes, etc., is causing metatarsalgia.
- Insoles such as custom-made orthotics will be suggested by the doctor.
- As a last resort, the doctor will suggest steroid injections.