Dropped Metatarsals - Treatment in Vancouver
Dropped metatarsal (also known as plantarflexed metatarsal head or displaced metatarsal head): Each foot has five metatarsals that connect to one of our five toes. The metatarsals sit in a precise relationship, one to the other, forming the metatarsal arch (also called the transverse arch). As we step down on the ball of the foot, the metatarsal arch begins to flatten in response to our body weight. This allows the ball of the foot to function as a shock absorber. If one or more of the metatarsal heads sits lower than the other heads, it will bear a greater amount of our body's weight than it should. After time, the dropped metatarsal head becomes "beaten up" from all of the extra or abnormal weight it is carrying, and it becomes inflamed and painful. Also, because the metatarsal head has "dropped," it is sitting closer to the skin on the bottom of the foot, and it pushes its protective fat pad away, so that you may actually feel the protruding metatarsal head with your finger. Due to this lack of normal fatty pad under the metatarsal head, the head will apply abnormal pressure on the underlying skin. The skin may respond to this increased pressure by building up a painful callus. Causes of a dropped metatarsal include:
- A flexible foot. In this type of foot the ligaments, tendons, and muscles are too lax to allow them to hold the bones and joints together in their most optimum alignment. The most common cause of a flexible foot is a biomechanical defect known as pronation.
- High heeled shoes. When the heel is raised, our weight is thrown forward onto the ball of the foot. This increased weight stretches the soft tissues that maintain the metatarsal arch, allowing one or more of the metatarsal heads to drop.
- Injuries to the ball of the foot. When fractured metatarsals or dislocated joints are not properly treated, they may heal in an abnormal position, allowing the metatarsal head to drop.
Hycroft Medical Building
114-3195 Granville Street
Have your questions answered by Dr. Michael Horowitz by calling 604-737-3668 or by filling out the form below. He will respond promptly.