Freiberg’s Disease Can Cause Pain in Young People

In the developing human body, there are sections of bones known as growth plates. Also known as the epiphyseal plate or physis, the growth plate is the area of growing tissue near the end of the long bones in children and adolescents. Each long bone has at least one growth plate at each end of the bone. The growth plate determines the future length and shape of the mature bone.

The metatarsal bones, the long bones in the feet that connect with the toes, have growth plates. Freiberg’s disease is a painful condition that occurs as a result of microfractures in the metatarsal growth plates, often due to repetitive stress. Freiberg’s disease can disrupt circulation in the bone and cause cellular death called avascular necrosis.

The onset of Freiberg’s disease is most common in adolescents in their late teens and early twenties. Females are more at risk than males and, of note, people whose second toe is longer than their first are more frequently affected. Typical symptoms include vague and poorly localized pain in the forefoot, stiffness, and limping.

Of course, these symptoms can indicate a variety of issues. The good news is that a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. Stavros O. Alexopolous is skilled in diagnosing and treating Freiberg’s disease. Surgery is rarely required in these cases. Non-surgical treatment options include:

If you or a family member is living with foot pain, it’s time to visit your podiatrist. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the best doctor to help you in any case regarding illness or injury of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.

Schedule a visit in Stavros Alexopolous, DPM’s comfortable Chicago office today. Call our staff at (773) 561-8100 or click here for a convenient appointment.


Stavros Alexopoulos One of Chicago’s top podiatrists, Stavros Alexopoulos, DPM, treats routine to complex foot and ankle issues. Dr. Alexopoulos is currently accepting new patients at My Chicago Foot Expert located near Ravenswood, North Park, and Jefferson Park.

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