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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the treatment for Freiberg's infraction?

As Freiberg's infraction progresses, radiographs show a flattened and fragmented metatarsal head. Nonoperative treatment is based on decreasing foot pressure and unloading the affected metatarsal. Spontaneous healing with remodeling may occur in early stages of the disease.

What is a Freiberg infraction?

A Freiberg infraction, which is also referred to as Freiberg disease, is a serious condition that develops in the foot following a traumatic injury. This is typically viewed as a serious complication of a prior foot injury that may lead to long-term mobility problems, including arthritis.

How are Freiberg injuries diagnosed?

If the doctor believes that a Freiberg infraction is present, the next step will be to confirm the diagnosis with imaging. Often, x-rays are enough to confirm the diagnosis; however, an MRI scan might also be ordered to grade the severity. On a set of x-rays, the doctor will look for signs of bone damage in the metatarsals.

Does Freiberg's disease affect the second toe?

It is not uncommon for Freiberg’s disease to be associated with a long second toe, as this can increase the repetitive force that the second metatarsal head is subject to. X-rays will usually allow Freiberg’s disease to be diagnosed. They will often show a change in the shape of the affected metatarsal head (Figure 1).


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