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Foot and toe pain

There are several foot and toe pain problems including: Freiberg’s disease, Morton’s neuroma, plantar plate problems, sesamoiditis and tarsal tunnel syndrome.

If they are diagnosed early, many of these painful conditions can be treated non-surgically, returning patients to their normal way of life as soon as possible.

Freiberg’s disease

This unusual condition occurs when the second metatarsal bone becomes deformed. Most often found in young women, it normally happens during rapid growth at puberty. The bone’s shape has been likened to ‘a square peg trying to fit into a round socket’.

Morton’s neuroma

Morton’s neuroma, also known as Morton’s metatarsalgia, occurs when a nerve in the foot becomes irritated and extremely painful. It is normally found in the nerve between the third and fourth toes, but the second and third toes can be afflicted too. It may involve a single foot or both feet.

Plantar plate problems

The plantar plate is the soft tissue on the sole of the foot, connected to the base of the toe and metatarsal bones. Its function is to cushion you when running or walking and assists in bringing the toe to the ground when you are standing. Plantar plate problems can trigger other conditions such as a dislocated toe or hammer toe.


This condition involves pain in the sesamoid bones lying under the big toe joint. Unlike the foot’s other bones, sesamoids are attached to the tendons and muscle around them, rather than bones.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

The tarsal tunnel is located on behind the small bump on the inside of your ankle, the medial malleolus. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the tibial nerve as it travels through the tarsal tunnel, under the flexor muscles by the ankle. Another name for the condition is ‘posterior tibial neuralgia’ and it can sometimes be accompanied by, or be mistaken for, other conditions such as heel spurs (bony lumps on the heel bone) or plantar fasciitis.

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