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Foot pain; no swelling, no bruising

by Josh
(Cincinnati, OH, USA)

I am experiencing pain while walking/running. It is sharp, but comes and goes in severity, sometimes so bad that it causes me to limp, other times hardly noticeable. It is located around my outermost metatarsal of my left foot. The sharp pain goes around the side, bottom and top of that bone. The type of pain is similar to an ankle sprain, but the location of it is strange, I cannot find an common injury on the internet that sounds similar. Peroneal tendonitis is higher, towards the ankle, than where my foot hurts. And a stress fracture on the metatarsal seems unlikely because there is no bruising, swelling, and it doesn't hurt to touch. I ran Monday morning, my longest run to date, and Monday night after getting up from watching some TV the pain started with every step. It lightens up at times and then comes on strong other times. It is some kind of sprain?


Hi Josh,
The only way you can diagnose a stress fracture is with an xray, you cannot tell my looking at the foot.
In any event it sounds like you may have a bursitis around the fifth metatarsal head which is a fairly common occurrence.
You can try some anti-inflammatory medication, if you can tolerate it, make sure your shoes are not creating too much pressure on the bone.
If that does not help you may need to see a podiatrist in which case a cortisone injection may be in order.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Foot pain; no swelling, no bruising

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Jul 13, 2017
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Dietary reason?
by: Denise

I have what sounds like the same pain. I'm wondering if you all drink energy drinks. It's the only thing that is different in my daily habits. Could it be a side effect?
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Probably not. If any food, drink or medication were to adversely affect you, it more then likely would not be limited to the feet.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 27, 2017
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my turn
by: William

I was moving a trunk recently, a bed, and some running. The top of my right foot is red and I have trouble moving my big toe. I sometimes limp because of it. Did I break it? No bruising or anything just red/pink.

Feb 12, 2017
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me too...
by: Tess

I'm experiencing the same thing. Am I causing damage when I just "push through" (ignore the pain)?It is very frustrating!

Oct 10, 2016
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hurts
by: Kayla

I was walking and all of a sudden it started hurting and can barely walk. Is this a stress fracture?
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You cannot diagnose a stress fracture based solely on history. It may well be; it may also be a half dozen other problems.
The best way to find out is to seek medical attention.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Aug 15, 2016
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Right foot arch pain
by: Nicole

Almost two weeks ago I dropped my phone on my foot (right on the arch)and ever since I have sharp pains that come and go it's not bruised hardly even swollen I can walk on it but it does hurt to put pressure on it does anyone have a idea at what can be wrong?

Jun 15, 2016
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very painful in my left foot no swelling or bruising
by: benjamin

got pain in my left foot hurts like hell been there since sunday been to doctors as i thought it was gout got no clue what is wrong, got another appointment tomorrow morning.

Nov 06, 2015
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Can't I just chop off my foot...?
by: Anonymous

Currently experiencing similar pain, only it's on the inner side of my right foot. It hurts to touch. I can move my toes without too much pain. I can barely walk, though, and when I do, I have to keep a stiff ankle, or else I can't bear weight on my foot. Attempting to move my foot from side to side brings so much pain that I can't do it, anymore. I can't figure out what it is because just about every foot problem seems to list swelling as a symptom, but there isn't even the slightest bit of swelling. Just pain. Sometimes, I feel the pain all the way up to my knee, but that comes and goes. I did a lot of walking in flat, slim shoes, today... I'm assuming that's the cause.

I could actually start crying from the pain. Not gonna lie... I sent my boyfriend to the store to get an ACE bandage. I'm going to wrap it during the day, take it off when I sleep, until the pain goes away... If it's still present when I see my doctor for unrelated reasons on Saturday, I'll point it out to him.

Jan 02, 2012
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Pain in right foot.
by: laurence

Walked 10km Friday over mountainous terrain. After walk (had mocassins on)put chickens into coop. While returning to house slightly went over on side of foot. No swelling. Went unnoticed until next morning, pain, pain, until became immobile. Evening went to relatives for New Years dinner. Foot, ankle seemed much better little pain, walked with care. This morning stepping out of bed onto cool concrete floor, pain, pain, limp, limp, very painful. Have taken no pain killers to date. Any ideas? Positive 2012

Oct 26, 2011
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Very similar indeed
by: Anonymous

I've been experiencing the same kind of pain but in my right foot. It hurts so bad in the morning and i've been requiring an anti-inflamatory just to combat it. I really hope it isn't bursitis, i don't think it is. No swelling and it doesn't get worse with activity it gets better. How weird is that huh. Hurts to the point where i can barely walk on it when i don't do anything but once i get walking for 10 minutes or so the pain alleviates greatly. Been running for weeks now, can't stop yet. Have a fitness test to accomplish first, then the doctor. hoo-ray military.

Jun 15, 2011
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Severe pain in foot
by: Anonymous

My big toenail came off the other day, and a few days later, I could not put any pressure on the same foot. Not swollen or bruised, but in severe pain.

Nov 29, 2010
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EXACT PAIN, EXACT FOOT!
by: Anonymous

I've been experiencing the same thing! I'm currently a high school student and running is part of my usual activities. Sadly, I stopped running about two weeks ago due to an immense amount of responsibilities that needed to be taken care of. I just began running last Friday and everything was fine. Then Monday came and I noticed the exact same pains as the one described. It got really bad where I had to limp, but sometimes the pain would go away. Sometimes I had a sharp pain that shot up to my calves. Anywho, I have a 4 mile pacing coming up, and I'm not sure if I should run or not. I'm going to run 3 miles today and see if It's okay. If the pain is really bad, then I guess I won't be able to do the pacing. I've been trying to look on the internet for this stuff. Thanks for the help though!

Oct 02, 2010
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Ankle pain
by: Jean

I have been walking for three years on a treadmill and outside and have never experienced ankle pain until 1 week ago. No swelling or bruising and only hurts certain ways I move my foot. Don't know whether to rest the foot or continue walking since it doesn't always hurt when I walk?

May 29, 2010
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similar pain
by: Anonymous

hello i been seraching everywhere to find out the injury to my ankle. it sounds similar to this i ahve no brusining and pain only when i do certain movements that i have to put allot of load in the ankle for example: if i position my ankle and the shin like this _\ or like this _/. but if i walk normally i dont feel it at all even if i jogg lightly i dont feel it.again no swelling no bruseing. thank you- Til

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