Freiberg Syndrome

What is it?

Freiberg syndrome is a form of avascular necrosis or a dying of bone joint in some of your toes where they bend as you rise on your tip toes. It normally occurs in the 2nd toe but can occur in any of them. Here in the photo you can see the lump on the foot and the shortened 2nd toe.

Freiberg syndrome

How does it get injured?

We aren’t completely sure why people get Freiberg syndrome. But it is thought that maybe when the effected toe is slightly longer than the ones around it. This pressure causes many tiny little fractures where the toe joint meets the rest of the foot and the bones flatten and start degenerating.

This seems to happen more in females between the ages of 11 and 17. They also think activities like running or ones where your foot is forced to the end of your shoe might start it off.

How is it diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by MRI so if this is suspected we would refer you on to get this investigation done. In the later stages of this you can see the changes on a plain Xray.

What can Back in Action Physiotherapy do?

There is no manual therapy that we can do to help this as it seems to just need to run its course. We can help advise on activity modification and suggestions. So you can keep doing what you enjoy without aggravating the area.
We also help advise on more ideal footwear and support for the feet to offload the painful area.
A good strengthening regime can be developed for the rest of the body. This will prevent any compensations higher up the kinetic chain.