Brachymetatarsia is a form of skeletal disorders that affects one of the five metatarsals (long toe bones) and causes it to be shorter than normal. This results in the toe becoming short as compared to others. This condition is mostly seen affecting the fourth toe and mostly occurs in both feel together (bilaterally).
Causes of Brachymetatarsia
In most of the cases, brachymetatarsia is caused as a result of premature stopping of the growth of the metatarsal plate. If the growth plate stops growing before time the bone remains of the same length and does not grow further.
This condition may be caused due to a genetic factor as well as due to trauma to the foot which can result in the fracture of the metatarsal growth plate.
Complications caused by Brachymetatarsia
As the toe is shorter in length it can pose several complications due to this. While walking, the weight of the body is consecutively transferred from the outer toes towards the inner toe until it reaches the first toe. Brachymetatarsia results in the disruption of this process of division of body-weight while walking.
As the 4th toe is shorter than the 5th and the 3rd toe it cannot transfer the weight of the body from the 5th toe to the 3rd toes properly and this can cause severe pain after sometime. The shortened toe can also face upwards and this makes it difficult to choose the correct and comfortable footwear.
Brachymetatarsia Treatment procedure
There are limited options for a brachymetatarsia treatment. Conservative methods of treatment include wearing specialized footwear with extra space inside for accommodating the shortened toe. Using padding can also prevent complications from arising due to friction and pressure on the shortened toe, and also prevent ulcers from developing in the toe. orthopedic treatment may be used to provide relief from the pressure under the other toes.
A surgical treatment might be required to correct this condition. In this, the surgeon will administer local anesthesia to numb the foot being operated on as this is usually an outpatient procedure. The surgeon will next harvest a piece of bone graft and fix it on to the shortened toe to make its size in proportion to the other toes. As the graft heals, the metatarsal and the toe are in normal proportion. In many cases, the toe’s outer (extensor) tendons and the surrounding skin is also lengthened to accommodate the larger size of the operated toe.
If the metatarsal-toe is extremely short and the grafting method will not be a feasible option, then the surgeon may remove small parts from the upper portions of the adjacent toe to make them more proportional to the affected toe. This helps to restore the stability while walking as it helps to distribute the body weight accordingly.
A more modern method for treatment of brachymetatarsia is the use of external fixation devices that are attached externally to the metatarsal with pins, which allows the bone to eventually elongate to its natural length.
Recovery After Brachymetatarsia Treatment
The doctor usually advises avoiding putting weight on the operated toe for around 2-3 months post-treatment to allow the bone to grow naturally to proportionate length. The patient might also need to wear comfortable and fitting lace-up shoes for around 6 weeks post-treatment.
Brachymetatarsia Treatment in India
India is home to the world’s largest network of comprehensive healthcare centers that cover all its major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, etc. These are highly-advanced medical facilities that are equipped with the most modern medical and surgical instruments as well as managed by the country’s top medical professionals and specialists. Travcure is well-connected to this vase network of modern multi specialty tertiary care hospitals and clinics since a long time and the collaboration has resulted in thousands of highly-successful and budget-friendly treatment and surgeries in India for patients from all across the globe. Travcure ensures that every patient gets the best and the most advanced and efficient brachymetatarsia treatment in India at the most affordable cost to the patient.