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Other namesStone bruise

Metatarsalgia, literally metatarsal pain and colloquially known as a stone bruise, is any painful foot condition affecting the metatarsal region of the foot. This is a common problem that can affect the joints and bones of the metatarsals.

Metatarsalgia is most often localized to the first metatarsal head – the ball of the foot just behind the big toe. There are two small sesamoid bones under the first metatarsal head. The next most frequent site of metatarsal head pain is under the second metatarsal. This can be due to either too short a first metatarsal bone or to "hypermobility of the first ray" – metatarsal bone and medial cuneiform bone behind it – both of which result in excess pressure being transmitted into the second metatarsal head.

Signs and Symptoms[edit]

Metatarsalgia is characterized by a sharp pain in the ball of the foot.


A common cause is poorly fitted shoes.


Diagnosis is often done by patient self report.


The most common treatments are:[1]

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Properly fitted shoes
  • Metatarsal pads
  • Arch Supports

Removing excess callouses may be helpful. In extreme cases, injection or surgery may be indicated.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Metatarsalgia - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic".
  2. ^ "Metatarsalgia Management and Treatment". Cleveland Clinic.

External links[edit]

External resources