Metatarsal Foot Pain: Can Surgery Help?

If the ball of your left or right foot hurts tremendously, your primary care doctor may recommend you see a podiatrist or orthopedist soon. The ball of your foot, or forefoot, contains special bones known as metatarsal bones. If you injure the metatarsal bones in your foot, they can become deformed and painful. Learn more about the thin bones in your forefoot and how metatarsal surgery can help you below.

Why Do Your Metatarsal Bones Hurt? 

Each foot contains five thin bones called metatarsal bones. The bones connect the tiny, fragile bones in your toes to the large, thick bones in your ankle. Because of the metatarsal bones' location in your foot, they bear a great deal of weight throughout the day. Different things can affect the health of your metatarsal bones, including bone fractures, soft-tissue injuries, and even arthritis.

The muscles, ligaments, and joints in the metatarsal bones work together to move other areas of the foot. The tissues allow you to wriggle your toes, flex, stretch your calf muscles, and balance on your soles. Problems like arthritis can damage or wear down the joints and soft tissues in your metatarsal bones so that they become inflamed and swollen.

Metatarsal foot pain that doesn't go away with conventional or traditional treatments requires metatarsal foot surgery to improve. In this case, you may want to take your doctor's advice and see a podiatrist or orthopedist for care. 

What Does Metatarsal Foot Surgery Do?

Metatarsal foot surgery allows a podiatrist or an orthopedic specialist to repair the damage in your forefoot. A doctor must first determine where the damage is in your forefoot before they select the right methods to repair it. 

For instance, if the joints between your metatarsal bones are worn away by arthritis, a doctor may replace the tissues with cartilage or bone from another area of your body. Doctors refer to the replacement tissue as an autograft. Although autografted tissue takes time to heal, doctors still consider it a viable way of healing damaged joints in the body.

If the bones in your forefoot are fractured or weakened by stress, a doctor may repair them with pins. The pins hold the bones in place until they heal properly. This type of metatarsal foot surgery may be a better option for you if you don't have time to wait until your forefoot heals. 

Contact a local doctor to learn more about foot surgery.