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What Is The Prognosis For Metatarsalgia?

Metatarsalgia is a common type of overuse injury and the terminology highlights both inflammation and pain in the ball area of the feet. Doctors often consider it as any symptom to identify other health conditions instead of a particular disease. Metatarsalgia and related forefoot injuries are common in runners or athletes often participating in high-impact types of sports, like jumping or running. While field and track runners often exposed to a relatively higher level of forefoot’s traumatic forces, many other athletes or sportspersons, like soccer or football, baseball and tennis players often experience forefoot injuries.[1]

What Is The prognosis For Metatarsalgia?

Prognosis of metatarsalgia in most of the cases is good with approximately 75 percent to 80 percent recovery.[2] However, exact outlook or outcome depends on the adopted treatment procedure to cure the problem. Only both doctors and patients have to make sure about avoiding any disruption in the complete healing process. This means, you have to perform strengthening and stretching exercises carefully. Furthermore, you should return to any high-level activity gradually and do so with proper caution to avoid any further injury. Other than this, an individual’s prognosis depends on maintenance phase of the treatment and preventative methods to deal with the problem.

Maintenance Phase of Metatarsalgia at a Glance

Physical Therapy. Whenever metatarsalgia inflammation subsides, doctors use an intervention in the form of an orthotic device to maintain your regular mechanical functions. These devices distribute the force away from your injury site. At the extreme least, regular replacement of your sports’ shoes may help in you retain support for your feet. Along with this, the patients should make sure continuing with their self-mobilization exercises consisting of plantar/dorsal glides and long-axis distraction, as recommended by your medical practitioner.[3]

Surgical Realignment. You will expect to get good results with a simple and an easy step of shoe modification. However, in severe form of metatarsalgia, you have to undergo with surgical realignment of your metatarsal bones.[4]

Consultation Services. Doctors may refer the patient to any podiatric specialist or an orthopedic in case the condition of any patient does not improve or becomes worse.

Prevention of Metatarsalgia

Prevention of re-injury or metatarsalgia pain associated with the prognosis of your problem or its related symptoms implies eliminating any abnormal pressure or friction. For this, doctors recommend you using metatarsal pads, orthotics and callus care equipment to avoid any stress and muscular imbalance. Callus care involves buffing and razor debridement, which boost the elasticity of your tissues.

Other than this, your prognosis related to metatarsalgia depends on proper positioning and/or appropriate fitting of your feet in your shoe. Athletes performing their work out on hard surfaces should make sure that their new shoes come with enough cushioning. Rubber made soles and heels capable to absorb shock in a better way as compared to other materials help athletes involved in performing repetitive jumping and running on various hard surfaces.[5]

Symptoms of Metatarsalgia

Primary symptom associated with metatarsalgia is pain across the end part of a majority of metatarsal bones. The pain in this case aggravate typically while you run or walk. Furthermore, athletes often take part in high-impact sports and related activities, while experience inflammatory conditions, including bursitis experience pain in the middle area of the feet and diffuse forefoot.

In most of the cases, pain remains for several months instead of causing suddenly. Especially, interdigital neuroma i.e., Morton neuroma condition produces various symptoms related to metatarsalgia because of nerve inflammation and irritation at the affected area of your feet. Along with this, people suffering from Morton neuroma experience numbness in the toe combined with pain in the forefoot.[6]


To conclude we should say that metatarsalgia foot problem in individuals, especially in athletes has good prognosis with more than 75% recovery. However, recovery period or prognosis of an individual depends on the way, in which he or she takes precautions and undergo different phases of the treatment as per the recommendations given by the doctor.


Also Read:

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:June 21, 2022

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