Podiatrists perform Metatarsal Surgery to correct abnormal alignments of the metatarsal bones. These misaligned bones create painful calluses and bunions on the ball of the foot. The most common procedure to relieve the pain is to perform this surgery. There are five metatarsal bones in each foot, each consisting of the long bones behind each toe. The metatarsal bone behind the big toe is called the first metatarsal, and so on.
Though infrequent, doctors will perform surgery on the second through fifth metatarsal bones to treat painful calluses or non-healing ulcers. Additionally, rheumatoid arthritis patients may require this surgery.
During surgery, the doctor accesses the metatarsal bone by cutting just behind the toe. Generally, he cuts the bone all the way through, and then manually raises and holds it in the corrected position with a metal pin or screw. Depending on the outcome of the surgery, the patient’s foot will be placed in a cast.
In some instances, during the same procedure, the surgeon may cut out the painful foot callus(es). However, this process can be performed as an outpatient setting at another time.