Dropped metatarsal is a condition that affects the joints of the ball of the foot. One of the metatarsal bones, often the second third or fourth, metatarsal, is positioned lower than the others at the distal end. often times patients complain of pain and a sensation that they are walking on a stone, and they generally have a callus under the area of the dropped metatarsal. The toes are plantarflexed, (pointing down and away) instead of straight ahead. Dropped metatarsal is a common condition thought to be hereditary. Abnormal weight distribution, like when one wears high-heels, also can cause the condition. Walking on hard surfaces, trauma to the foot and diseases like arthritis can produce a dropped metatarsal.
Diagram of a dropped 3rd metatarsal.
With a dropped metatarsal, there may be inflammation, pain and a callus under the affected metatarsal. To treat a dropped metatarsal, one often needs to be fitted with well cushioned foot orthotics that have an excavation to the affected metatarsal and corrected arch support to provide proper alignment. A simple change of shoes is often recommended as well to help solve the problem.