The pain commonly associated with MTP Synovitis is typically described as a sharp or aching pain located directly in the ball of the foot, centered at the bottom of the second toe. This type of pain is typically a strong indication that the bones located in this area (referred to as the proximal phalanx) are starting to separate itself from the metatarsal — the long bone of the foot.
In most cases, MTP Synovitis is caused due to an increase of stress on the metatarsophalangeal joint located at the base of the toe. This stress causes inflammation and a decay of the ligaments and tissues which hold the joint together. The root of this increase of stress is typically equated to activities that cause a high amount of pressure on the ball of the foot. Activities like squatting, using an elliptical or stair-climbing machine, or even climbing a ladder are all proponents of this stress.
In some cases, wearing high-heeled shoes, bunions, an abnormally high arch or long second toe, or even rheumatoid arthritis can also cause high amounts of harmful stress.
As mentioned above, symptoms involved with MTP Synovitis include sharp pain in the ball of the foot, typically beneath the second toe. Symptoms may also include an increase in pain when barefoot, walking on a hard surface, during activity, or standing on the toes.
Upon further examination, pain may be caused by a second toe that has started to shift out of alignment either to the left or the right. The second toe may even lift off the ground while standing.
In most cases, surgery is not necessary to treat MTP Synovitis, although if nonsurgical treatment is unsuccessful, it may very well be needed. Treatments include splinting, icing, or taping of the problem joint. A walking boot, cast, or crutches might also be needed to help heel the problem area.