Brachymetatarsia is when the one of the five bones of the foot is short, which the shortened metatarsals results in smaller toe. But in some cases more than one toe maybe affected which is known as brachymetapody.
Brachymrtatarsia is caused when the metatarsal growth plate closes too early. Once the plate closes, the bone cannot grow anymore, which makes one out of the five toes shorter. This can be caused by genetics or traumatic events.
Symptoms of Brachymetatarsia are when one of the five toes is shorter, which is usually the fourth toe. Pain might occur in the ball of the foot and callous might form on the bottom where the longer metatarsals take more weight than the short one. The pain doesn’t occur in the early stages of brachymetatarsia, the only thing noticeable is the deformity. Then over time, pain usually progresses underneath the nearby metatarsals.
This kind of disorder has very limited treatment. You can wear shoes that have extra room for the shortened toe and make padding to reduce the pressure. In some cases, surgical procedure is a way to increase the length of the smaller toe. Here the smaller toe is cut and is connected to a piece of bone. With time and medication the graft heals and it gets altered with correct size. However in some of the cases the tendons and the skin surrounding the area also has to be lengthened. After surgery the patient must avoid carrying any weight and keep the toe in a confined shoe. The latest technology uses a external device where the pins are attached to the metatarsal.
You cannot prevent brachymetatarsia due to the fact it is either hereditary or traumatic. But you can prevent the symptoms by getting early treatments.