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How did this happen?
Treating Brachymet
Frequent Questions


  How did this happen?

Brachymetatarsia is an abnormally short metatarsal that presents as a short, overriding, floating toe. This condition is the result of a stoppage of the growth plate of the affected metatarsal. Most individuals first notice the affect on the toe at or around age 7 years old. As the body continues to grow the toe does not. The cause of brachymetatarsia is unknown in many cases and is thought to be genetically related in most cases, but can be associated with previous trauma to an immature or young foot. Other conditions such as pseudohypoparathyroidism, Down's syndrome, Albright's hereditary osteodystrophy have been associated. This condition more commonly affects the fourth metatarsal, but it can affect multiple metatarsals.  Brachymetatarsia may present on one foot, but often affects both feet. Brachymetatarsia is more common in females with ratio of females to males of 25:1

The signs and symptoms vary with the degree of severity, age and activity of the person. Although one may not experience any pain or discomfort to the foot, many have tenderness, soreness, calluses or pain to the bottom of the foot in the areas of the foot surrounding the short bone. (photo of bottom of the foot). Another area of discomfort is the rubbing of the floating short toe which makes wearing certain dress shoes or high heels unbearable.

Of particular interest is the emotional impact on persons afflicted with brachymetatarsia. After seeing hundreds of patients with the condition, I have yet to see a person who has not been negatively affected by the nature of this pathology. Many have lived all their lives hiding their feet from the public eye. No Pools, beaches, flip flops, sandals, or bare feet.


Once the foot bone have matured and the growth plates "closed" no more length of the bones can be expected.  This usually occurs at age 16 years old. This is the earliest that one should attempt any type of surgical correction. 


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