Freiberg’s Disease Treatment in Wisconsin


Freiberg's Disease Podiatrist Milwaukee

Athletes like runners often experience Freiberg's disease.

Metatarsal Infraction Management in Milwaukee

Freiberg disease is a foot condition caused by physical stress on the metatarsal bones. The stress creates fractures on the bone which can interrupt the blood supply to the area. This causes avascular necrosis, death of the bone cells. This osteochondrosis disorder was originally labeled Freiberg’s infraction due to the belief it was a trauma-based fracture of the metatarsal bones.

The podiatrists of Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin are ready to help patients with pain from Freiberg’s.

Symptoms and Stages of Freiberg’s Disease

The primary symptom of Freiberg’s is pain when walking, running, or standing. Many with Freiberg’s may mistakenly believe their pain is a result from trauma or regular exercise. Additional symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Stiffness
  • Calluses
  • Swelling

These symptoms may appear suddenly and in any order. There are five total stages of Freiberg’s disease. Changes to the bone are subtle and may not be noticed until the disease has entered the second stage. X-ray imaging will be necessary for a correct diagnosis.

Another symptom Freiberg’s can cause is a limp to avoid bearing weight on the afflicted foot. A modified gait leads to more joint problems as the ankle, knee, and hip are all affected by the change.

If not treated, avascular necrosis from Freiberg can permanently damage the bones of the foot.


Treatment for Freiberg's Disease

Dancing can lead to extra stress on the feet, causing Freiberg's disease.

Causes for Freiberg Disease in Adults and Teens

Freiberg’s disease is caused by stress on the metatarsal bones at the center of the foot. Athletes are more likely to develop Freiberg’s since exercise places a lot of pressure on the feet. Runners, football players, and dancers are among the athletes who regularly experience this disease.

Onset generally occurs during adolescence but can occur at any time during adulthood. Teens going through a growth spurt may experience this condition temporarily. Women are more likely than men to develop Freiberg infractions. Wearing high-heeled shoes can make symptoms worse.

The disease usually affects the second metatarsal, the extended bones of the toes, right in the center of the foot. While this condition is not hereditary, having long metatarsals increases the risk of developing this condition.

Treatment: Metatarsal Infraction Surgery

Some patients will require surgery to repair the damage caused by avascular necrosis. Freiberg surgery will usually involve a bone graft to replace the dead bone cells. Since Freiberg’s affects many athletes, this surgery can be a major inconvenience. Recovery will take weeks as the patient will have to refrain from putting any weight on the foot.

Living with Freiberg’s Disease with Orthotics

For most patients, a few weeks of reduced movement will relieve stress and allow the foot to begin healing. Others will need to avoid any weight-bearing on the afflicted foot. Custom foot orthotics from Advanced Foot & Ankle can help relieve foot pain caused by Freiberg’s disease. This non-surgical treatment may take between one and two months to fully take effect.

  • Rigid orthotics
  • Accommodative orthotics
  • Semi-rigid orthotics

Orthotics can be customized to fit your foot and reduce stress on your metatarsals. Semi-rigid orthotics are ideal for athletes involved in rigorous exercises. A full-foot walking cast may be necessary if a higher level of mobility is required.

Schedule an appointment for Freiberg disease at Advanced Foot & Ankle of Wisconsin today.