How is metatarsalgia diagnosed?

Your doctor will begin an exam for metatarsalgia by asking about your symptoms. He or she will also examine your foot manually. You may need an X-ray to rule out stress fractures or other problems that could be causing your pain. Other times an ultrasound or MRI may be ordered to assess the soft tissues surrounding your metatarsophalangeal joints.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/02/2019.


  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Metatarsalgia (forefoot pain). Accessed 3/5/2019.
  • Espinosa N, Brodsky JW, Maceira E. Metatarsalgia. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Aug;18(8):474-85.
  • Scranton PE Jr. Metatarsalgia: diagnosis and treatment. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1980 Jul;62(5):723-32.

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