Ball of Foot Pain | Neuroma | Metatarsalgia | Sesamoiditis

A common patient complaint among our patients is ball of foot pain. Many specific foot problems fall into this category. See the brief descriptions below and then link to the full descriptions of each problem on our website.

Neuroma or Morton's Neuroma
A neuroma is an enlarged, benign growth of nerves, which can occur in various parts of the body. The most common neuroma of the foot is called Morton's neuroma, It develops between the third and fourth toes of either foot. The incidence of Morton's neuroma is eight to ten times greater in women than in men.

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Pain in the area between the arch and toes, or ball of the foot, is called metatarsalgia. Symptoms of metatarsalgia can vary and can consist of one or more of the following and can come on slowly or suddenly.

  • Pain in ball of foot during weightbearing exercises such as walking, running, or standing. It typically centers on one or more of the five bones (metatarsals) in the mid-portion of the foot.
  • Sharp or shooting pain and pain when toes are flexed
  • Tingling or numbness of the toes
  • Callus formation under the affected joint
  • Can feel like walking over pebbles
  • Adjusting walk to avoid putting pressure on the ball of the foot

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Sesamoids are small bones that are connected only to tendons or are embedded in muscle. Sesamoids provide a smooth surface over which the tendons slide, thus increasing the ability of the tendons to transmit muscle forces. In the foot, sesamoids assist with weight-bearing and help elevate the bones of the big toe.

Like other bones, sesamoids can fracture. Additionally, the tendons surrounding the sesamoids can become irritated or inflamed, which is called sesamoiditis and is a form of tendonitis. Sesamoiditis is a common condition among ballet dancers, runners, and baseball catchers because of the pressures placed on their feet.

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Capsulitis is an inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the foot. It is usually caused by trauma or abnormal structural functioning, which overstretches the ligament that attaches one of the toe bones to a metatarsal bone. Wearing high heels or other poorly fitting footwear and performing repetitive activities that bend the toes, such as ladder climbing, are also known causes.

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Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.