JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Forefoot pain].

La Revue du Praticien 2010 March 21
Forefoot chronic pain is a frequent problem in daily clinical practice. Mechanical pathology of the forefoot, usually called static metatarsalgia, represents the most frequent reason for consultation in pathology of the foot. The cause is a functionnal disorder or anatomic derangement of the forefoot architecture. Metatarsalgia can originate from a wide range of affections. Etiologies of chronic pain are described from medial to lateral with first ray pathologies (hallux valgus, hallux rigidus and sesamoid pathology) and first ray insufficiency, pathologies of the second, third and fourth ray and intermetatarsal spaces (second ray syndrome, Freiberg's disease, Morton neuroma, stress or bone insufficiency metatarsal fractures, intermetatarsal bursitis) and fifth ray pathology (lateral bursitis, quintus varus). Sometimes forefoot pain could also be caused by chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis) with a risk of structural metatarsophalangeal joints alteration. The pathology of the toes can, more rarely, explain a forefoot pain. So, several pathologic conditions can produce forefoot pain and the diagnostic approach must always be based on the anamnesis and clinical examination. In a second time if the cause is difficult to establish based solely on clinical findings, radiography and ultrasonography are today the most usefull auxiliary investigations.

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