What is Freiberg's infarction?
Freiberg's infarction affects children and teenagers, and is a condition that causes pain and inflammation at the head of the second metatarsal due to a loss of blood supply to the metatarsal head.
Freiberg's infarction is classed as an osteochondrosis, this particular type of osteochondrosis affects the second metatarsal head. Osteochondrosis describes a condition in which the bone growth of children and teenagers is affected; the condition is more common in those children who have had a growth spurt. A child that has Freiberg's will suffer pain and inflammation due to avascular necrosis of the metatarsal head, this means that the blood supply to the growth centre of the bone (the metaphysis) has been cut off. The result of avascular necrosis of the second metatarsal head associated with Freiberg's is collapse and flattening of the head of the metatarsal.
It can sometimes take a number of years for the signs of Freiberg's to present, with patients such as these the pain experienced is due to arthritic changes in the second metatarsal, caused by the infarction.
Podiatry can help your child if he or she has Freiberg's. Podiatrists are specialists in the leg and foot who can reduce the pressure being placed onto the second metatarsal head with the provision of orthoses.
What causes Freiberg's infarction?
The exact underlying cause of Freiberg's infarction is unknown, however a number of factors have been associated with its development, and these include:
- Growth spurts
- Repetitive stress
- Having a long second metatarsal
What should I do if my child has Freiberg's infarction?
If you think your child may have Freiberg's infarction then visit one of our podiatrists at Manchester podiatry who will assess your child to establish if this is the case. Our podiatrists will exam your child's foot, and if necessary provide a treatment plan in order to ease any painful symptoms.