Freiberg's Disease

Hello :)

My foot started hurting during a half marathon on 7th September last year. I have been injured ever since and unable to run. I have finally been diagnosed as having Freiberg's Disease. Apparently it's a rare disease characterised by osteonecrosis of the second metatarsal head. It seems it's usually teenage girls who are affected and is more rare in adults (I'm 40). I am awaiting an MRI, which will provide my consultant with more information regarding how advanced the condition is. 

It's a long shot (given that this is apparently a rare disease), however as this is a running site I thought I'd ask if anyone else has this disease or whether they know of anyone who has it (of any age). I mainly would like to know how they manage the foot pain (I am awaiting an orthotic appointment at the hospital) and whether they are able to run.

It is a relief to finally have a diagnosis for my foot pain. I would be grateful for any advice or information anyone can give me. Thank you :)

I am determined I will run again one day.

Jodie :)

jodie74 jodie74

Sign in or Join to reply

  1. LO

    Lou Hi Jessica and all! I joined the FB group. I have it in both feet :(

    Diagnosed in 2015 with MRI) and my twin sister has it as well (so there is a genetic predisposition). I had it before 2015 but it took a few years to figure it out. I could not go up on my tip toes. I have had shockwave therapy (about 80 treatments) with some success - left is better than right now. However, the last round has not been effective and xray shows it is worse in the right foot and am limping around. I have had cortisone which was effective but only for a month. It is likely that the Freiberg's has also caused mid foot arthritis (laser does not help) and the bunion (esp on the right foot) pushes on the Freiberg's. The orthopedic surgeon is hesitant to operate although will do it (shorten the toe) and fix the bunion at the same time. Says it is 6-9month recovery/physio (with 6 weeks off the foot because of the bunion). Jessica, would like to know more about the surgery.

    I absolutely cannot run and any weight bearing is difficult so need to be careful/depending on the stage of your Freiberg's, it is a progressively degenerative disease. Anything you can do to still exercise/strengthen without high impact would be beneficial.

    Pain clinic does not want to dispense CBD/THC saying it is not good for inflammation, anyone have any luck with this, Went to a pain clinic this week and there is another option to have Platelet Rich Plasma Prp Therapy - not covered, 700/injection (basically taking some of your own platelets and spinning them and reinjecting them).

    Jodie74 - who is your orthotics person? Every person who has done my orthotics says they are the best and the last person did not know what they were doing. Wondering if there are some tips given I have to get a new pair.

    Not sure how I stumbled on this, but great to have found something so current.

    With thanks!


    0 6 Dec 18
  2. TR

    Tracy Hi everyone i was diagnosed with Freibergs Disease in June 2018...really didn't understand what it read morewas but with lots of research understand now...have been to see s consultant and doing lots of physio...wearing a night splint and awaiting injections...have it in both feet and i am nearly driven mad with the pain...glad to see that i'm not alone with this problem...back to consultant in december to see if surgery is the next step....some days its hard to get my feet working at all...😢😢

    0 20 Nov 18
  3. JA

    JANIS Sorry to be clear, the Asics shoes are the only ones that work without going into excessive pain, read moreshe has tried many others but to no avail (have no connection with Asics!)

    1 18 Oct 18
  4. JA

    JANIS My partner has this condition (just been diagnosed). She says that it's on the Asics make of shoes, read more(they are a lot more expensive than other makes) and within this range the Kayano 22 are the good ones. Upon examination the architecture of the shoe cleverly spreads the loading around the sides of the foot thereby reducing the load on the front of the foot upon takeoff when jogging. It also helps trying to run ''flat footed" so as to speak. And plenty of breaks, and ice packs work well

    1 18 Oct 18
  5. JE

    Jessica Hi there! I started a fb group for Freiberg’s Disease- I have it in both feet. I’ve had surgery on read moreboth, tried implants (didn’t care for those) what worked best in my case was shortening the bone and cleaning up lose debris- much better than it was!

    The fb Page is- https://m.facebook.com/groups/692429221137409 Would love it if you joined!

    2 26 Sep 18
  6. RunningFran

    RunningFran Hi. I was diagnosed with Freibergs after getting increasing pain in my left forefoot during training read morefor a marathon a year ago. I am 40 this year. I had an mri which confirmed diagnosis and showed that my third metatarsal head was significantly flattened. Speaking to a foot specialist I was encouraged to increase the size of my shoes, to ensure I always had sturdy soles ( no flip flops or sandals- but Birkenstocks are recommended). I was advised to rest, and basically told to take up cycling instead of running!!??!! I completed the marathon, in a lot of pain, but then went on to have several months of very limited running. The pain eased and I found I was doing much better after carefully choosing running shoes of a bigger size and specifically choosing shoes with a good deal of forefront cushioning. I also modified my running style from forefoot striking to midfoot which seems to have helped. I thought all was well however recently I have noticed the pain is returning, as my mileage increased gradually. The best advice I can offer is first test, then reevaluate your footwear and finally reduce regular mileage or move away from running on pavements to cross country, which seems to be less hard on the joints. Fingers crossed you are able to get back out there!

    1 19 Oct 17
  7. NI

    Nigel1980 Hi, I've jus been diagnosed with friebergs disease! :-( ran the great north run in September and had read morepain ever since. I'm getting proper cheesed off with not being able to run and all my dr can say is "find another sport" :-( I see u started this thread 9 months ago; how is your foot now? I see your back running which gave me a lift

    0 14 Nov 15
  8. jodie74

    jodie74 Aw, thank you :) It was fantastic to run 10 miles last week!! Hopefully I'll be back very soon :)

    0 3 May 15
  9. northseatiger

    northseatiger You have a great attitude to this and brilliant to see how determined you are to keep running. read moreGreat news that there is treatments that work and the injection has got you running again! Super to see you do a tenner :)

    0 3 May 15
  10. jodie74

    jodie74 Thanks so much Lisa, Kirsty and J. :) I appreciate your lovely comments :)

    0 3 May 15
  11. J. Lopes

    J. Lopes We r waiting 4 u Jodie, hope to see your running post soon, take very care!!!

    0 3 May 15
  12. kirsty.brinsdon

    kirsty.brinsdon It must be so frustrating for you at the moment Jodie but there is hope on the horizon so stay read morepositive, fingers crossed you'll be up & running soon ;)

    0 3 May 15
  13. LisaWilson65

    LisaWilson65 Aww jodie it must be frustrating. But do get to the gym if you can. It'll keep you ticking over till read moreyou're back running again. I'm sure it'll make you feel brighter too. xx

    0 2 May 15
  14. jodie74

    jodie74 Thank you Rob, Lisa and Heather :) Yes, I'm hoping I'm running again soon. Felt a bit low today - read moremissing running. Will get back to the gym and hopefully throwing some kettlebells around will cheer me up a bit :)

    0 2 May 15
  15. Heather Ann Bray

    Heather Ann Bray Good to hear you are out and about. Take lots of care

    0 2 May 15
  16. LisaWilson65

    LisaWilson65 Fingers crossed then Jodie that the steroid injections and orthotics do the trick. Hope to see some read morerunning posts once you're given the ok! Very best wishes.

    0 1 May 15
  17. rob k

    rob k glad you can run again and that there are treatments available, really good news

    0 1 May 15
  18. jodie74

    jodie74 Hello fellow Bugs :)

    I just wanted to provide an update regarding my recovery.. I was issued with orthotics by an amazing orthotist at the beginning of March. These small things that I put in my shoes meant that I was able to run again!! I ran 10 miles last weekend, which was something I was unsure I would ever be able to do again. On Monday I had a steroid injection in my toe as the MRI had shown some inflammation and my consultant advised that we should try it. Early days, but the sore spot under the ball of my foot seems to have gone. I just currently have some soreness on top of my toe, probably from the injection. So I am hoping that once this has settled down I will be running again. The steroid injection in conjunction with my orthotics may mean that I can run and walk pain free again :)

    My Frieberg's can get worse, but my consultant has said that there are surgical options I can consider in the future if necessary. The orthotist can also help. For the time being I'm hoping the injection and my orthotics are enough :)

    So I am finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and when I can run again it will be for the love of running itself (the races may have to wait a while). I appreciate every single run as I can remember how miserable I felt when I couldn't run.

    Happy running!

    Jodie :)

    0 1 May 15
  19. jodie74

    jodie74 Thanks Marc, that's a really useful article - I appreciate it. There's hope for me yet! :)

    0 3 Feb 15