What is Freiberg’s Disease?

Freiberg’s disease is a condition that affects the joints of the lesser rays. A part of the metatarsal bone which forms one side of the joint loses its blood supply, dies and collapses. New blood vessels grow into the area and new bone fills the void, but often the new surface is not smooth like a normal joint surface, and the new bone is often very large. The joint surface may not be smooth, and the surfaces rub. This wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis.

If there is osteoarthritis of the joint, there will be pain on movement and often on weight bearing. There may be hard skin under the foot, where there is excessive pressure. There may be some swelling on the top of the foot.

We do not know exactly why Freiberg’s disease occurs. It most frequently occurs in young girls as they go through a growth spurt, but it can also occur in men and can become apparent at any age. It is sometimes caused by a long metatarsal bone or an injury.

The joint can become progressively more painful, and the extra bone around the joint may prevent normally sized shoes being worn.

Forefoot pain may be caused by many different conditions, and a thorough assessment is required to determine the exact cause.

If you have pain in the forefoot, it is best to see an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery. You should have xrays taken in a standing position to best assess the foot.

about this condition
what your 
operation involvesFreibergs_Disease_Surgery.html
what to expect
after surgeryFreibergs_Rehab.html
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