Forefoot Pain

There are severals issues that may cause pain in the forefoot. Below are some common conditions we see, their causes, and how we treat them at the clinic. Just click on the condition you think you may have for more information.

What is Moreton’s Neuroma?

A Morton’s neuroma is defined as a perineural fibrosis, which means over time an irritated nerve has become inflamed and thickened by surrounding scar tissue. 

Morton’s neuroma can create very severe pain on the ball of the foot and is often found between the 3rd and 4th toes (about 65% of cases). The good thing is that it is completely benign with treatment providing good long-term effects.

What are the symptoms of Morton’s Neuroma?

Morton’s neuroma can create all different types of symptoms. Patients who present with Morton’s neuroma will often report a throbbing pain on the ball of the foot in combination with a burning nerve sensation shooting from the ball of the foot to the affected toes. 

What are the causes of Morton’s Neuroma?

  • A Morton’s neuroma can occur due to a broad range of issues. These may include:
  • Poor and ill-fitting footwear with narrow toe boxes (compressing digital nerves).
  • High heeled footwear increasing the strain on the forefoot.
  • Flat feet / over pronation or high arched feet can make you more susceptible to nerve compression and irritation.
  • Digital deformities (bunions, claw and hammer toes) can alter the forefoot biomechanics and increase your risk of nerve irritation.
How does Elite Foot Care Treat Morton’s Neuroma?

 

At Elite Foot Care we pride ourselves in ensuring you’re back on your feet, feeling fit and healthy, as soon as possible. 
 
A Morton’s neuroma can mostly be diagnosed by clinical examination. If necessary, our podiatrists can utilise a bulk-billed referral for x-ray or ultrasound to confirm the pathology. 
 
Once diagnosed, conservative treatment for Morton’s neuroma may include:
  • Footwear recommendations to remove the compression on the nerves.
  • Custom foot orthotics utilised to control lower limb biomechanics and offload the interdigital spaces where the nerve is irritated.
  • Shockwave therapy utilised to ease the soft tissue inflammation and improve your comfort.
  • Injection of local anaesthetic to reduce the inflammation surrounding the neuroma and restore your comfort.
In a limited number of patients surgical management can be discussed where the inflamed and thickened nerve is removed. Our podiatrists are happy to discuss this treatment with you and highlight the pros and cons. 

What is Forefoot Bursitis?

A forefoot bursitis is an inflamed bursa which is located within the metatarsals on the forefoot. Forefoot bursitis differs from a neuroma as the bursitis does not involve any nerve structures.

What are the symptoms of Forefoot Bursitis?

The symptoms of a forefoot bursitis can be similar to a neuroma. Patient’s will often report feeling a lump in between their toes with throbbing and aching occurring when walking barefoot or in shoes. There are usually no signs of nerve irritations present, with the absence of pins, needles or burning pain in patients with bursitis. 

What are the causes of Forefoot Bursitis?

A forefoot bursitis can occur due to a broad range of issues. These may include:

  • Poor and ill-fitting footwear with narrow toe boxes (creating inflammation of a bursa).
  • High heeled footwear increasing the strain on the forefoot.
  • Flat feet / over pronation or high arched feet can make you more susceptible to bursa compression and irritation.
  • Digital deformities (bunions, claw and hammer toes) can alter the forefoot biomechanics and increase your risk of bursa irritation.
  • Calf tightness can also increase the pressure on your feet and result in a bursa becoming inflamed and irritated.

How does Elite Foot Care treat Forefoot Bursitis?

At Elite Foot Care we pride ourselves in ensuring you’re back on your feet, feeling fit and healthy, as soon as possible. 
 
A forefoot bursitis can mostly be diagnosed by clinical examination. If necessary, our podiatrists can utilise a bulk-billed referral for x-ray or ultrasound to confirm the pathology. 
 
Once diagnosed, conservative treatment for forefoot bursitis may include:
 
  • Footwear recommendations to remove the compression on the bursa.
  • Custom foot orthotics utilised to control lower limb biomechanics and offload the interdigital spaces where the bursa is irritated.
  • Shockwave therapy utilised to ease the soft tissue inflammation and improve your comfort.
  • Injection of local anaesthetic to reduce the inflammation surrounding the bursa and restore your comfort.

What is Sesamoiditis?

A forefoot bursitis is an inflamed bursa which is located within the metatarsals on the forefoot. Forefoot bursitis differs from a neuroma as the bursitis does not involve any nerve structures.

What are the causes of Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis is defined as the painful inflammation of the sesamoids which are located under the big toe joint. The sesamoids are two small bones which assist in the function of the big toe, as well as absorbing load during high impact activities. 

Sesamoiditis will often present with a mild or intense throbbing pain aggravated with activities including walking, running and jumping. Presentations may include swelling and redness all localised to the big toe joint. 

What are the causes of Sesamoiditis?

Sesamoiditis can be caused by any activity which places force on the ball of the foot. These can include sports such as football, netball or dancing – as well has water-based sports including swimming (pushing off the wall during a tumble turn). 

Footwear and biomechanics can both play a role and should be assessed once this condition occurs. 

How does Elite Foot Care treat Sesamoiditis?

At Elite Foot Care we pride ourselves in ensuring you’re back on your feet, feeling fit and healthy, as soon as possible. 
 
Sesamoiditis is diagnosed by a thorough history and clinical examination. If suspected, our podiatrists may utilise an x-ray and ultrasound scan to assess the integrity and health of your sesamoid bones. 
 
Once diagnosed, conservative treatment for Sesamoiditis may include:
 
  • A period of relative rest and activity modification. Our podiatrists can discuss alternative activities which you can still do while rehabilitating your foot injury. 
  • In-shoe padding to offload the inflamed bones
  • Custom foot orthotics to provide a long-term treatment and offloading of the sesamoid bones – ensuring prevention in the future. 
  • Shockwave therapy utilised to ease the soft tissue inflammation and improve your comfort.
  • Footwear recommendations to ensure you’re well equipped during your daily activities. 

What is a Plantar Plate? 

The plantar plate is a thick ligament type structure with attachments which inserts into the base of our phalanges (toe bones) in the area of the ball of the foot. Injuries of the plantar plates include partial tears through to complete rupture. Plantar plate tears will most commonly occur under the 2nd toe. 

The plantar plate is designed to protect the head of the metatarsal from pressure and prevent over extension of our toes.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Plate Tear?

Patient’s who present with a plantar plate tear will often report a painful stone-like feeling under the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th toe joints. The pain or stone-like feeling will not subside and often worsens throughout a day of activity. 

If untreated the symptoms of a plantar plate tear will continue to increase until compete rupture occurs. Once ruptured, the effected digit will begin to drift and overlap other toes. 

What are the causes of Plantar Plate Tear?

The causes of a plantar plate tear can include:

  • Morton’s toe – the second digit being longer than the first. 
  • Digital deformities including bunions, hammer or claw toes increasing strain on other digits. 
  • Certain footwear (high-heeled shoes, football boots) increasing the force on the second toe. 
  • Over-pronation resulting in more force being placed on the second digit resulting in an overload of pressure.  

How does Elite Foot Care treat Plantar Plate Tear?

At Elite Foot Care we pride ourselves in ensuring you’re back on your feet, feeling fit and healthy, as soon as possible.

Plantar plate pathologies are often diagnosed through a thorough history and clinical examination. If suspected, our podiatrists may utilise an x-ray and ultrasound scan to assess the integrity and health of your digital joints and plantar plate.

Once diagnosed, conservative treatment for plantar plate tears may include:

  • A period of relative rest and activity modification. Our podiatrists can discuss alternative activities which you can still do while rehabilitating your foot injury. 
  • In-shoe padding to offload the inflamed bones
  • Custom foot orthotics to provide a long-term treatment and offloading of the plantar plate – ensuring prevention in the future. 
  • Shockwave therapy utilised to ease the soft tissue inflammation and improve your comfort.
  • Footwear recommendations to ensure you’re well equipped during your daily activities.

Our Senior Podiatrist Jarrod McGuinness Discusses Forefoot Pain

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07 5328 3588

What We Treat

Woombye Clinic

4/40 Wilson Avenue, Woombye, 4559

(Corner of Nambour Connection & Blackall Range)

Sippy Downs Clinic

19 Lakehead Drive, Sippy Downs, 4556

(Ocean Family Medicine)

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