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Freiberg’s disease (Osteochondrosis)

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What is Freiberg’s disease?

Frieberg’s disease is the death (avascular necrosis) and deformity, (usually flattening of the head) of the metatarsal bone. Most often the 2nd Metatarsal head is affected and it occurs due to damage or microtrauma. Having a long 2nd metatarsal bone (and/or a short 1st metatarsal bone) will put stress through the head of the bone which can be a common cause of Freiberg’s disease.

It may cause pain and swelling and stiffness in the ball of the foot resulting in a limp, but there may not be anything visibly wrong.

How can I help myself?

If you are getting pain, footwear and activity modification, rest, ICE and anti-inflammatory medication (see links for important safety information) may help, however it is a good idea to see a Podiatrist for an assessment.

When to see a Podiatrist?

If you are suffering with prolonged pain and swelling in the ball of the foot, seeing a Podiatrist is a good idea. If they suspect Frieberg’s disease, they may order X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Management may be conservative, using foot orthoses for example to offload the area, but there are steroid injection and surgical options available.

If you book an appointment, it is a good idea to take the shoes you wear day to day so that the podiatrist can see these.

Freibergs disease
Freibergs disease
Freibergs disease