How Much Does Brachymetatarsia Surgery Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Brachymetatarsia, a condition where one of the five long bones of the foot is shorter than the rest, is usually seen in the fourth toe, which stops growing between the ages of 6 and 12.  The result is that the fifth toe begins to grow over or under the fourth toe.  Since the toes have stopped growing too soon, this can often cause trauma or even can make it hard to walk.

Being hereditary is often the cause of this condition, but trauma may play a role in some cases as well when the short toe experiences a growth disturbance, not occurring from a birth defect.

This surgery is used to lengthen the toes, and in some cases, this surgery will be considered cosmetic.

How much does brachymetatarsia surgery cost?

On average, reports from most experts have claimed that Brachymetatarsia surgery can range anywhere from $10,000 to as much as $45,000 without any sort of insurance, and surgery will always be a last resort as there are non-operative treatments that may be considered beforehand.  The costs will depend on the condition, surgeon, facility and inclusions in the bill.

Brachymetatarsia surgery may be covered by your health insurance policy if it’s deemed medically necessary.  Talk with your insurance provider before scheduling the surgery to know the limitations and if the facility/doctor you’re using is in the insurance company’s network.

According to, the cost of brachymetatarsia surgery could be more than $40,000

On the other hand, according to the cost of toe shortening or lengthening is around $750 to $1,000 per toe.

Brachymetatarsia surgery overview

The cost of brachymetatarsia may include the doctor or surgeon’s fee, hospital fee, pre and post-surgical care, surgical garments, anesthesia, and medication, among others.  All facilities have its own billing process, so be to talk with the facility ahead of time to know what you’re responsible for.

Brachymetatarsia is a condition in which one of the five long bones or the metatarsal of the foot is abnormally short, resulting in a shortened toe.  This usually occurs in both feet and in the fourth toe.  The procedure will not be able to be performed until the patient’s bones have matured.  Typically, this is around 14 to 17 years old.

The recovery, depending on the surgical method and the time needed to lengthen the bone, can take six to 10 weeks, but in scenarios where a fixator device is used, it could take up to three months due to a cast being involved.  In most cases, surgeons say you should be prepared to wait up to three months to place full weight on your heels while walking.

Surgeries often considered

Sliding bone-cut lengthening surgery

A sliding bone-cut lengthening surgery, the least commonly performed surgical method, will only be considered in a mild case and involves creating an angled cut in the metatarsal bone to help lengthen the bone by shifting the cut bones onto another.

Bone-graft lengthening procedure

A bone-graft lengthening procedure is achieved by inserting a structural bone graft, often from the patient’s heel, into the short bone by stabilizing it with a bone plate and screws, which stay in the foot.  The size will be determined by the length required.

Brachymetatarsia external fixator lengthening surgery

Brachymetatarsia external fixator lengthening surgery can be looked at as a way to stretch the bone, which is often a popular approach to increasing the length of the bone.  During this procedure, the surgeon cuts the bone and external fixator is attached to the bone segments to stretch the bone apart over time.  Four times per day, a patient will turn the device to slowly grow the bone to the desired length.

Tips to know

The cause of brachymetatarsia may include the following: the growth plate of the bone stops growing too soon, trauma, infection, and/or genetic predisposition.

Among the symptoms of brachymetatarsia can include pain, discomfort, and callus on the ball of the foot.  This is because the bones bear more weight than usual.  You should seek treatment if you experience pain while walking, you have a difficult time putting on shoes, the problem appears to be worsening and/or its psychologically embarrassing.

Even if you have this condition on both feet, the surgery, according to doctors, should only be performed on one foot at a time.

The author at created a nice diary on how her process went.

General risks, as with any surgery, may be due to the use of anesthesia, infection, pain, nerve injury, stiffness, too much length in the toe, weakness in the toe, loss of a toe or more.  Talk to your doctor about the risks of the surgery.

How can I save money?

Non-operative treatments, according to, are available such as wearing supportive customized shoes with arch support or trying anti-inflammatory medicines to help decrease the inflammation and pain.

Be sure to ask your insurance company if brachymetatarsia surgery is covered by your policy.  All results will vary, but if your insurance is able to cover it, you will only be responsible for your co-pay and deductibles.

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