There are multiple sources of pain in the foot, and some of the sources involve the entire foot, while some pain is restricted to a specific area. Because it occurs on the ball of the foot, the causes of forefoot pain often overlap with those of more general bottom of foot pain.
At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, our board-certified foot specialists are renowned for their expertise in diagnosing and treating conditions of the feet. If you suffer from forefoot pain and are interested in learning about treatment options, please don’t hesitate to contact our foot specialist center.
Causes of Forefoot Pain
There are many factors that contribute to forefoot (metatarsalgia) pain, but the most common causes include:
- Hallux rigidus
- Turf toe
- Sesamoid problems such as a fracture, fragmentation, or sesamoiditis
- Diabetic foot problems such as an ulcer or neuropathy
- Unstable metatarsal philange
- Tight shoes
- Inflammatory arthritis
Pain in the forefoot can also stem from other areas of the body or foot, so it is important to see a foot specialist, who can determine what the cause is.
The sesamoids, which translate to “sesame seed like,” are the two bones under the big toe joint. Injury to these bones, typically in the form of a fracture or sesamoiditis, can cause severe forefoot pain.
Sesamoiditis is the inflammation of the sesamoid bone, located behind the big toe, and is typically caused by trauma to this area of the foot (such as a stubbed toe). The most common patients who suffer from sesamoiditis are dancers and habitual runners, as they are more likely to suffer this type of injury.
Sesamoid pain can be severe and incapacitating, and may need treatment to heal. The most common treatment options include anti-inflammatory medicine, cortisone injections, orthotics, and in more severe cases, surgery. You can learn more about sesamoiditis treatment options, including sesamoid surgery, by contacting our Los Angeles outpatient surgery center.
Diabetic Foot Problems
Diabetic foot problems can be incapacitating, and may worsen over time. One of the most common problems for diabetics is the development of foot ulcers. A diabetic foot ulcer is usually the result of changes in the bones of the foot. While foot ulcers do not necessarily pose any health threats, in some cases they may be cause for amputation. Because of this rare possibility, it is important to maintain excellent diabetic foot care, making sure to engage in proper foot hygiene, nail care and footwear.
Diabetic foot pain and diabetic foot problems are very common, and there are many treatment options available to help alleviate the pain and restore a patient’s ability to participate in daily activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What causes bunions?
A: Bunions are often inherited genetically, and patients with parents who suffer from bunions or other foot deformities are more likely to develop bunions themselves than other people. However, anyone can develop bunions, so it is important to always wear shoes that fit properly and see a foot specialist at the earliest signs of a protrusion.
Q: What are common symptoms of sesamoid problems?
A: Because the sesamoid bones provide a fulcrum to help flex the joints, allowing the big toe to bend downward, common sesamoiditis symptoms include inability to flex toes and pain in this area of the foot.
Forefoot Pain Treatment in Los Angeles
If you suffer from forefoot pain (pain on the ball of your foot), it is important to seek treatment as early as possible. At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence, our board-certified foot doctors specialize in the most advanced treatment options for conditions of the foot. You can schedule a consultation at our Los Angeles outpatient center by calling (888) 225-0763 or by filling out our online appointment form.
Next, read about tarsal tunnel syndrome.