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Treating Freiberg’s Disease with Rest from Recreation

With over 700 acres of public parks, along with over 12 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, Franklin County offers a seemingly endless opportunity to explore and enjoy the picturesque natural beauty of the region. This may sound like a wonderful time, but for someone who experiences the pain and discomfort associated with Freiberg’s disease it is not so great. Fortunately, there are methods of successfully treating Freiberg’s Disease.

This condition is not particularly common, but is considerably more likely to happen in teenage girls than any other demographic, for reasons unknown. It often results from the second toe being longer than the big toe and is marked by a painful limp and discomfort in the second toe. When the second toe is longer, it assumes more of the weight and pressure, which creates an issue for the metatarsal joint.

Treating Freiberg’s disease is usually successful with conservative, nonsurgical methods. The goal of treatment is to provide rest for the joint so that inflammation and mechanical irritation can subside. Medication may be recommended or prescribed, but not with the intent of decreasing pain so that activity might be resumed. Rather, the purpose of this is to decrease swelling and inflammation.

In addition to rest and medication, sometimes range of motion restriction may be necessary. This entails using shoe inserts, hard-sole shoes, or even a non-weight-bearing cast to prevent the aggravating symptoms of swelling and pain.

In severe cases, surgery becomes a primary option. In these rare cases, the procedure may entail a simple debridement, bone grafting, osteotomy (which is cutting bone to redirect the joint away from the damaged area), or arthroplasty (resurfacing bone to restore functionality of a joint).

When you have a teenage daughter who is experiencing the symptoms of Freiberg’s disease, Shenandoah Podiatry can help. Dr. Jennifer Keller and Dr. Marshal Gwynn are leading experts who properly diagnosis and effectively treat foot and ankle problems in the Roanoke and Blacksburg, VA, areas. Contact our offices by calling (540) 904-1458 for Roanoke, (540) 808-4343 for Blacksburg, or schedule an appointment online.