Foot & ankle


The word "metatarsalgia" is a combination of the Latin words "metatarsus" (metatarsal) and "algia" (pain). But over the years, this term has falsely become a diagnosis. The reason this arose, mainly had to do with the difficulty it entailed in properly distinguishing the many different symptoms of the disease.

Tailor’s Bunion

A tailor's bunion, also called a bunionette, is a bony lump that forms along the side of the little toe. It happens when the fifth metatarsal bone enlarges or shifts outward. The fifth metatarsal is the very bottom bone on the little toe. A bunion can be painful, especially if it rubs against your shoe.

Morton’s neuralgia

The most commonly know is Morton’s neuralgia, which is entrapped between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal bone, in the 3rd intermetatarsal space. It is also often referred to as a "Morton Neuroma". This specifically concerns a thickening. The term "Neuralgia" is a collective name, whereby the pinching of the nerve can have several causes. 

Houser’s neuroma / neuralgia
Situated in the 2nd intermetatarsal space

Iselin’s neuroma / neuralgia
Situated in the 4th intermetatarsal space

Heuter’s neuroma / neuralgia
Situated in the 1st intermetatarsal space

Intermetatarsal spaces

In each of the intermetatarsal spaces, the spaces between the midfoot bones, can occur a nerve entrapment. The complaints for all of these nerve entrapments are similar. The nerve between the metatarsal bones is irritated, causing pain. Prolonged compression of the nerve can cause a thickening in this nerve, causing the complaints to get worse. Ill fitting shoes, often to tight, are a common factor in this complaint. Taking your shoes off, may result in immediate relieve of the complaints. A nerve entrapment can feel like a pebble in a shoe or a fold in a sock. There may be sharp, burning pain or numbness in the ball of the foot or toes.


Joplin’s neuroma / neuralgia

A Joplin's neuroma, or nerve compression on the inside of the big toe joint, is a condition in which a nerve has become trapped. This causes a burning, tingling or in a more advanced stage a numbness on the inside of the big toe. Joplin’s neuroma is often seen in conjunction with a misalignment of the big toe joint (hallux valgus). The pain is present when you wear shoes and subsides when you take the shoes off.


Gout is a general term for a variety of conditions caused by a buildup of uric acid. This buildup usually affects your feet. If you have gout, you'll probably feel swelling and pain in the joints of your foot, particularly your big toe. An attack of gout can occur suddenly, often waking you up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is hot, swollen and so tender that even the weight of the sheet on it may seem intolerable. Gout symptoms may come and go, but there are ways to manage symptoms and prevent flares.