Metatarsalgia refers to pain at the metatarsal heads (the balls of your feet). Metatarsalgia is often used synonymously with Morton’s neuroma, but a Morton’s neuroma is a more distinct entity.
Foot deformities (such as a bunion or hallux valgus) may predispose you to developing metatarsalgia. So too may overuse injuries of the foot like posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (acquired flat foot deformity) lead to increased stress on the metatarsal heads. Improper or poorly supportive footware can be part of the cause. Often, more than one factor will be reponsible for metatarsalgia.
Symptoms are similar to those of Morton’s neuroma and include sharp, burning type pain by the balls of your feet often worse with weight bearing.
Procedural treatment is geared toward the underlying cause. For instance, a dysfunction tendon putting extra stress on the metatarsal heads can be treated.