25 Nov What Are My Treatment Options For Brachymetatarsia?
Brachymetatarsia is more commonly referred to as short toe syndrome, and it can cause one or more toes to be abnormally shorter than the others. This can lead to complications with walking, balance, and coordination. Depending on the toe that brachymetatarsia effects, it can cause cosmetic embarrassment for patients as well. Short toe can commonly cause pain and discomfort, decreasing quality of life. These concerns can be managed with several different treatment options. There are medications, therapy methods, shoe inserts, and even surgical procedures that can treat brachymetatarsia, helping you get your life back from the pain and embarrassment of a short toe.
What is Brachymetatarsia?
Brachymetatarsia is a condition in which one or more of the metatarsal bones is abnormally short. This can be a congenital condition or acquired if any injury or trauma occurs while the growth plates are open. Not only can this condition cause cosmetic concern but it can also cause pain and affect the walking gait of an individual. The toe that is part of this metatarsal shortening is shorter in appearance and can contract dorsally, causing rubbing and irritation in shoes, leading to blisters or sores. Hereditary is the most common cause, though trauma can sometimes play a role as well.
A short toe is considered a growth disturbance and is not a birth defect that children are born with. It often manifests more commonly in women than in males. Brachymetatarsia may be a symptom of people with a certain form of parathyroid disease or Downs syndrome. There are five metatarsals in the foot, but the fourth metatarsal is most often the most involved. Some people can have multiple metatarsals that are affected on the same foot or separate feet.
Occasionally people with brachymetatarsia of the foot may also have the condition in their hand. Typically with brachymetatarsia, the metatarsal bone growth is stunted but the surrounding bones continue to grow at a normal rate. It is usually noticed in early childhood during bone development because one limb will become noticeably shorter. It can cause abnormal pressure distribution in the ball of the foot causing pain and difficulty with walking. It can also be difficult finding regular shoes to wear, and many patients may need special orthopedic shoes.
What Are My Treatment Options For Brachymetatarsia?
Certain medications can control the pain caused by brachymetatarsia. Physicians commonly prescribe anti-inflammatories to help with the pain and redness from the pressure put on their toe. They may also prescribe an antibiotic if your toe becomes infected due to an open sore, as feet can carry unwanted bacteria.
Certain physical therapists have experience with foot disorders and can help their patients find better ways to walk and balance. They may teach patients new exercises, or techniques, to use to strengthen the rest of their foot and leg to compensate for the shorter toe. Physical therapists can also help you with orthopedic inserts or specialized shoes that aid in balancing your foot.
Surgical procedures are now available to some patients suffering from brachymetatarsia. These procedures can take bone grafts or fragments and insert them into the short toe bone, adding length and stability to the joint. These surgical procedures are invasive, but extremely effective at reducing the cosmetic appearance of short toe, and reducing pain caused by the pressure on your skin.