Brachymetatarsia is characterized by an abnormally short metatarsal bone. brachymetatarsiaThe condition usually runs in certain families.  This condition usually affect the 4th metatarsal, but may affect multiple metatarsal bones.

The shortening of the bone is caused by the growth plate pre-maturely closing before growing out to full length. The cause why this happens is still mostly unknown.

Brachymetatarsia is related to following disorders and syndromes:

  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Turner’s syndrome
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism
  • Psuedo-pseudohypoparathyroidism
  • Albright’s syndrome
  • Diastrophic dwarfism

Bracymetatarsia usually occurs in females and usually occurs in both feet. X-rays usually confirm the shortening of the metatarsal.


As a child, the deformity is usually asymptomatic. The primary complaint in the younger patient is often cosmetic, and many times these patients are self-conscious about their appearance. Older patients may experience symptoms of pain due to excessive pressure under adjacent metatarsal heads. Increased callus formation in the ball of the foot may be present. Skin, soft tissue, and tendon contractions lead to additional discomfort with the use of shoes.

Treatment of brachymetatarsia may include conservative care, such as an orthotic device to take pressure off the adjacent metatarsal heads. Shoe gear may be modified a possible hammertoe deformity or contracture of a toe.

Definitive treatment requires surgical correction to address the soft tissue contractions as well as the shortened metatarsal. Numerous surgical procedures exist to correct brachymetatarsia such as the following:

  • Bone Grafts
  • Metatarsal osteotomies
  • Distraction of the metatarsal with an external fixator
  • Tendon lengthening
  • Skin modifications

Below is a picture showing the external fixator on the 4th metatarsal bone allowing distraction of the bone.


Please come see Dr. Silvers if you have brachymetatarsia and we can discuss your treatment options.

The address to our facility is as follows:

McKinney Office Location

4501 Medical Center Drive: Suite 300

McKinney,  TX 75069

To schedule an apppointment, please call : 972-542-2155

Prosper Office Location

140 N. Preston Road: Suite 30

Prosper, TX 75078

To schedule an appointment, please call:  972-542-2155


2 Responses to “Brachymetatarsia”
  1. Sirma K. says:


    I have the same problem in fourth metatarsal. I was curious about my condition so I googled “short toe” and found about this page and that the condition is called Brachymetatarsia. I wanna ask you something: This condition doesn’t effect me at all at the moment, neither physically, nor psychologically (I have no aesthetics concerns). So I wanna ask if it may cause any problem in the future. Like, because of the shortness of the toe, there’s a lot more pressure on the other toes than usual and it causes any damage in the bones or muscles. I mean should it be definitely treated? Or if it doesn’t bother the patient, can it be left that way? Thanks a lot.


  2. Dr. Williams & Dr. Silvers says:

    Dear Sirma,

    Sorry about the delayed response. Most of the time, this deformity is more of a cosmetic issue than an actual pain problem. If the shortened 4th metatarsal does not cause you any pain and you are not self conscious about the deformity, then I would personally leave it alone. If you happen to have pain at some point, then yes, it may have to be addressed. Thank you for your question and have a nice day.

To make an appointment call
(972) 542-2155

McKinney Office
5531 Virginia Parkway
Suite 100
McKinney, TX 75071

Prosper Office
301 North Preston Road
Suite A
Prosper, TX 75078

McKinney Office
5531 Virginia Parkway
Suite 100
McKinney, TX 75071

Prosper Office
301 North Preston Road
Suite A
Prosper, TX 75078

(972) 542-2155

All Rights Reserved © Copyright 2009-2016 Advanced Foot & Ankle Center
Google+ | Podiatrists in McKinney, TX | Podiatrists in Prosper, TX
Podiatry Website Design & Podiatry Marketing by
*New* - Ask the Doctors