An injury or deformity of one of the five metatarsal bones (the long bones behind each toe) can cause debilitating pain, difficulty walking, and other symptoms. When the problem does not respond to non-invasive treatments (i.e. physical therapy or therapeutic foot supports), metatarsal surgery may be an excellent treatment option.
The surgery involves re-setting the metatarsal bone, pinning the bone in place, and allowing the surgical site to heal. Once the foot heals from metatarsal surgery, patients typically experience relief from pain and improved foot functionality.
Reasons for metatarsal surgery
Metatarsal surgery can be used to correct a number of foot problems, including:
- Bunion deformities.
- Calluses on the bottom of the foot or ball of the foot.
- Foot problems caused by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and certain other diseases.
- Metatarsal fractures.
The metatarsal surgery procedure
Metatarsal surgery is an outpatient procedure performed while the patient is anesthetized (usually via intravenous sedation or general anesthesia). After the patient is completely anesthetized, the surgeon begins the procedure by incising into the skin just behind the toe, thereby accessing the metatarsal bone. He then incises the bone, places it in its proper position, and pins it in place with a metal pin or screw. Finally, he stitches the incision. (The doctor may also remove any foot calluses and correct any other problems if necessary.)
After the metatarsal surgery procedure, most patients wear a cast and use crutches for approximately six to eight weeks, while the bone and skin tissues heal. Patients may resume normal activities once the surgical site heals completely.
If you have been diagnosed with a metatarsal injury or condition, or if you are experiencing foot pain, contact an experienced podiatrist for more information on your treatment options. Your doctor can provide the information you need to make an informed decision for your health.