Freiberg’s Disease

What is Freiberg’s Disease?

Freiberg’s disease is a rare disorder that affects the blood flow to the head of one of the metatarsal bones in the foot.

This condition can emerge in individuals regardless of age, but it predominantly affects adolescent girls, particularly during their puberty growth spurt. This disruption in blood supply can lead to a variety of symptoms and complications, requiring careful diagnosis and management to prevent long-term foot problems.

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What Causes Freiberg’s Disease?

Freiberg’s disease usually manifests during the significant growth period of puberty, attributed to a diminished blood flow to the bone’s end. Repetitive stress on the bone can lead to minor injuries or microfractures, especially around the growth plate, causing the bone to develop irregularly.

Symptoms of Freiberg’s Disease:

  • Forefoot pain that intensifies with physical activity.
  • Stiffness and swelling localized around the metatarsophalangeal joint.
  • An observable limp when walking.
What are the Treatment Options for Freiberg’s Disease?

In managing Freiberg’s Disease, there are both conservative and surgical approaches to alleviate symptoms and address the condition.

Conservative treatments focus on minimizing pressure on the affected toe during activity to ease discomfort. This is typically achieved through the use of specially designed insoles and orthotics, alongside supportive shoes.

Pain management may also involve medication, including cortisone injections, which have proven effective in relieving symptoms.

Should conservative measures not yield the desired results, surgical interventions may be considered. In such cases, your podiatric surgeon can provide detailed information on the available surgical options.