If you suffer from deformity or foot pain due to a brachymetatarsia, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What is Brachymetatarsia?
The Metatarsal bones extend long ways through the foot and attach to each of the five toes. When one of these metatarsals remains significantly shorter than the others, Foot and Ankle Specialists dub this “Brachymetatarsia”. This condition may affect any of the metatarsals and appear in either foot, but it tends to affect the fourth metatarsal most often. if more than one metatarsal suffers from Brachymetatarsia, the term changes to Brachymetapody. To the eye, it may appear that the affected toe appears shorter than the toes next to it. In some cases, the fourth toe will appear raised up with the toes on either side touching in the middle underneath.
Indication Of Brachymetatarsia
The primary symptom of brachymetatarsia is a shortened toe or toes, which can result in cosmetic concerns and functional issues. The affected toe may appear noticeably shorter than the adjacent toes, causing an imbalance in foot alignment and weight distribution. This can lead to difficulties with walking, balance, and the fit of shoes. Brachymetatarsia can have various impacts on foot function and aesthetics. Some common effects of this condition include:
- Toe Shortening: The affected toe or toes may be visibly shorter than the adjacent toes, resulting in an abnormal appearance and potential cosmetic concerns.
- Imbalance and Instability: Brachymetatarsia can disrupt the normal alignment of the foot, leading to an imbalance in weight distribution and stability. This imbalance can affect gait and increase the risk of developing other foot conditions, such as hammertoes or calluses.
- Foot Pain: The altered foot structure and uneven pressure distribution caused by brachymetatarsia can result in pain, discomfort, or fatigue during weight-bearing activities or prolonged periods of standing or walking.
- Shoe Fitting Challenges: The shortened toe or toes may not fit properly in standard footwear, leading to difficulties finding comfortable and well-fitting shoes.
Treatment For Brachymetatarsia
Treatment for brachymetatarsia depends on the severity of the condition and its impact on the individual’s quality of life. Conservative treatment options may include wearing orthotic inserts or specially designed shoes to improve foot alignment and redistribute pressure. However, these methods may not fully address the cosmetic concerns or functional limitations associated with brachymetatarsia.
Surgical intervention is often considered for individuals with significant symptoms or aesthetic concerns. The goal of surgery is to lengthen the affected metatarsal bone, either by bone grafting or gradual distraction using an external fixator device. These procedures aim to restore proper foot alignment, improve function, and achieve a more balanced appearance. Recovery from brachymetatarsia surgery involves a period of healing, immobilization, and rehabilitation. This may include wearing a cast or specialized shoe, gradually transitioning to weight-bearing activities, and undergoing physical therapy to regain strength, flexibility, and function in the foot.