By on November 19, 2016

What is the first metatarsal bone

The first metatarsal bone is a finger-like bone to which the big toe attaches to. It extents about halfway down your foot toward your heel. There are five metatarsal bones one that attaches to each toe bone. They are inside your foot so you really cannot see them. The only way to truly see the metatarsal bones is with an x-ray of the foot.

Morton’s Toe, can be caused by one or both of two problems that can affect the first metatarsal bone.

1. The first abnormal condition, and the most noted one, that can cause Morton’s Toe is where your first metatarsal bone is shorter than your second metatarsal bone.

2. The second condition that can cause a Morton’s Toe is when your first metatarsal bone is not as stable as it should be, and as a result, has too much motion. This is known as “Hypermobility of the First Metatarsal Bone.”

3. Swelling of the foot and ankle can also be caused by the Morton’s Toe

Do You Have a Short First Metatarsal Bone?


See how the 1st metatarsal bone is much shorter than the 2nd metatarsal bone; this is a Morton’s Toe

Look down at your feet. Socks off please! If your second toe seems longer, (and I mean even just a hair longer) than your first toe, you may have a short first metatarsal bone.

The photograph at the top of the page show a classic Morton’s Toe caused by a short first metatarsal bone. Note how the big toe is shorter than the second toe. Morton’s Toe is normally not this noticeable. Most of the time in a Morton’s Toe the big toe will appear to be only a little shorter than the second toe or just about the same length as the second toe.

Another way to check to see if you have a short first metatarsal bone is to hold your first and second toes down. Right behind the spot where the toes attach to the foot, you will see bumps pushing up from the top of your foot. These bumps are the heads of the first and second metatarsal bones. Using a pen, lipstick, or marker, draw a line where the bumps end (flat area) and meet the top of the foot.

This spot is the very end of both of the heads of the first and second metatarsal bones. Look at both lines. If the line of the second metatarsal head is farther down your foot toward your toes than the first metatarsal head, even just a very little, then you probably have a short first metatarsal bone.

Sometimes it is not necessary to draw a line on top of the foot because the relationship of the metatarsal heads can easily be seen. If this is the case, you can see without difficulty that the second metatarsal head is farther down the top of the foot than the first metatarsal head.

Frequently, people with short first metatarsal bones will also have a “webbing” between their second and third toes. They will have a flap of excess skin that sort of looks like a “bat wing” in between the second and third toes. If you do have this webbing of the toes, it is a pretty good tip off that you do have a short metatarsal bone or you are part duck. Check to see if Mom or Dad, or anyone else in the family has this also. If they do there is a good chance they will need foot care

Aches and Pains that a Morton’s Toe can cause of your feet and body.

Morton’s Toe cannot only cause foot problems but as you will see, it can cause pains all over your body.

A. Foot Problems

The most common foot care problem causes by a Morton’s Toe is due to excessive pressure under the second metatarsal head cause by the short first metatarsal bone. This pain, pressure or burring is commonly called metatarsalgia. But with time this ongoing abnormal pressure caused by a Morton’s Toe can lead to a callous being formed under the second metatarsal head.

Some of the other foot problems that can be caused by a Morton’s Toe are