Tuesday, 23 January 2024 00:00

Melorheostosis, a Rare Bone Disorder

Melorheostosis is a rare, progressive disorder characterized by abnormal bone growth affecting both bone and soft tissues. It leads to functional limitations, chronic pain, joint contractures, and limb deformities. Symptoms can include irregular bone growth, unequal limb length, and soft tissue abnormalities. Additionally, joint issues, pain, stiffness, limb swelling, and vascular problems may accompany this rare foot condition. Generally, it affects one part of the arms and legs, such as the feet, and sometimes it can also affect the spine and skull. In children, it can cause differences in the length of their limbs or problems with their joints. In adults, it can lead to pain, stiffness, and body changes. Diagnosis is based on X-ray imaging, which reveals thickened bone resembling dripping candle wax. Treatment focuses on symptom management and may involve surgery and medications for pain relief. If you or your child have a rare foot or ankle disorder, it is strongly suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Some foot conditions may require additional professional care. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Comprehensive Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Rare Foot Conditions

The majority of foot conditions are common and can be treated by a podiatrist.  Standard diagnostic procedures are generally used to identify specific conditions and treatment can be rendered. A podiatrist also treats rare foot conditions which can be difficult to diagnose and may need extra attention and care. 

There are many rare foot conditions that can affect children. Some of these can include:

  • Freiberg’s disease
  • Kohler’s disease
  • Maffucci syndrome

Freiberg’s disease - This can be seen as a deterioration and flattening of a metatarsal bone that exists in the ball of the foot. It typically affects pre-teen and teenage girls, but can affect anyone at any age. Symptoms that can accompany this can be swelling, stiffness, and the patient may limp. 

Kohler’s disease - This often targets the bone in the arch of the foot and affects younger boys. It can lead to an interruption of the blood supply which ultimately can lead to bone deterioration. The patient may limp or experience tenderness, swelling, and redness.

Maffucci syndrome - This affects the long bones in a child’s foot leading to the development of abnormal bone lesions. They are benign growths and typically develop in early childhood and the bones may be susceptible to breaking. 

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat all types of rare foot conditions. If your child is affected by any of these symptoms or conditions, please don’t hesitate to call our office so the correct treatment method can begin.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Lehigh Ave and Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia, Collegeville Darby, and Langhorne, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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