The word metatarsalgia refers to pain in the ball of the foot. It is a non-specific term but is often used to describe inflammation in one or more of the joints where the toes join the foot. This is known as capsulitis/synovitis of the metatarso-phalangeal joints.
Most people with a Morton’s neuroma complain of a sharp, shooting pain in the ball of their foot. For some, the pain can affect the toes and patients often report that their toes feel numb.
Osteoarthritis is commonly referred to as “wear and tear arthritis” and patients with hallux limtus commonly present with a painful and stiff big toe joint. The correct term for the big toe joint is the 1st metatarso-phalangeal joint.
Toes commonly dislocate at the joint in the ball of the foot because of a ligament (plantar plate) injury. Unlike other joints where a dislocation may occur due to a sudden injury, a dislocated toe normally develops over a more gradual period of time.
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