Getting the diagnosis right is half the battle when dealing with foot conditions. There are three conditions we commonly see inaccurately diagnosed because there is a close resemblance.
Condition #1: 2nd MTP CAPSULITIS
The close resemblance to this common condition of mostly females is a Neuroma. The pain is in a similar area. When capsulitis of the 2nd MTP is present the 2nd toe is often slightly misaligned.
If a female patient complains of pain on the ball of the foot, pathology of the 2nd MTP must be ruled out first. An MRI is indicated in some cases.
Condition #2: DYSTROPHIC TOENAILS
The close resemblance to this condition is Toenail Fungus. There is often an assumption that thickened discolored toenails are always because of a fungus. Actually, only about 50% of them are.
A nail biopsy is indicated to determine if the nail condition is Fungus or from Keratinization of the nail.
Condition #3: 1ST MTP ARTHRITIS
The close resemblance to this condition is Gout. Arthritis of the big toe joint can occur as young as 30 years old. Pain and swelling can occur just as in a case of gout. Certain foot structures are prone to this common condition.
Specific x-ray findings are classical for 1st MTP Arthritis.