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Capsulitis Hurts in the Ball of the Foot

Your big toe joint is surrounded by ligaments and other tissues that form a sort of capsule that facilitates the joint’s function. When the ligaments around the joint become irritated and inflamed, it can cause a condition called capsulitis that feels as if you are walking around with a stone under the ball of your foot. The extreme swelling and pain can make it difficult to wear shoes and to walk.


Capsulitis often affects individuals who have bunions, unstable arches, inflammatory arthritis, and inflexible calf muscles. If your second toe is longer than your largest toe, you may also be more prone to developing capsulitis, with the pain and discomfort often mostly located around the second toe.

Left untreated, capsulitis can actually progress to a complete dislocation of the toe. Since capsulitis has similar symptoms to Morton’s neuroma, you need to see a foot specialist to get the correct diagnosis and proper treatment. In the early stages, capsulitis can be treated with stabilization techniques and the proper management of inflammation and pain.

Some of these treatment methods may include icing and resting, taping, stretching the calf muscles, and using orthotic devices to redistribute pressure and rest the joint. In severe cases it may be necessary to surgically realign the toes to eliminate the pain and discomfort.

Foot ball pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, so see your podiatrist for the correct diagnosis. The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.


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