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Hard (bone like) painful bump on top of foot under the skin

by Christy
(Massachusetts)

I have a small hard bump on the top of my left foot under the skin. It is very painful when I walk even without shoes on and sore to the touch. It almost feels like it is part of the bone. I had this problem a few years ago but my doctor did some tests and came to the conclusion that it was nothing to worry about. Now it is back and hurts even more than I remember. Can you please tell me what this is and what caused it? Also can you please tell me any treatments there are?


Hi Christy,
Two things come to mind, either a ganglion cyst or a bone spur. (read my sections on those subjects) Since I cannot examine you and determine which it is I cannot offer any advice other than to go back and see your doctor.
Assuming it is one of those two conditions, there are treatments available.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Hard (bone like) painful bump on top of foot under the skin

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Oct 19, 2017
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hard bone lump
by: karl

just found a large hard bone lump suddenly on the top of my right foot, but there seems to be no definative answers on here, but i did drop something heavy on another part of my foot, i read that when you damage a ligament somewhere one of the many small bones in your foot it has a knock on effect and pushes other bones out of place, im very fit and active in my fifties and wear the same very comfy expensive safety work trainers most days, i would not let a surgeon near me with a knife so im guessing massage stretching and arch supports is the way to go to start with and hope it goes down, im wondering if anyone has done the same methos with any results

Oct 06, 2017
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Left foot!!!
by: Janice

Wow Word for word these describe my problem. My pain would come and go for a couple of years, more problematic if I'd been sitting a while. I'd get up it would be crippling but after about Two or three min it would fade. Dr said.... an age thing, without even looking at my foot!
It came back three weeks ago and hasn't left! It's so painful I can't put my foot down at all. Was sent for X-rays, all fine! Physio gave me crutches! No one has actually examined my foot ! Matching both feet , my left has a larger bone on the top about an inch below my ankle bone. When I press it it's definitely where the pain starts from and is extremely painful. When I walk it gives a burning sensation underneath too!
Can't go on like this but no one seems to understand.... except you lot! It feels comforting to know I'm not alone! It's really worrying me now, reading all of the comments.

Sep 17, 2017
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Bone spur
by: Michael

My daughter has this same problem
It's just piped up last 2 days?
Hard bone like bump and very painful

Aug 12, 2017
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Need answers
by: ANONYMOUS

I have the bump on the top of my left foot. Hard to walk. Pain is horrible. I went to emerge and the doctor thought it was a fallen arch..the only part that hurts is the top of my foot. I can barely walk after awhile. Can't handle pressure on it. I sometimes where my shoes without socks because of the extra pressure.
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The best way to get accurate answers would be to see a foot specialist in your area.
A "fallen arch" may cause pain on top of the foot. Read my section on midtarsal fault

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jul 24, 2017
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Now what?
by: Andi

So glad to see so many others with the same thing and I'm not crazy.... Now what exactly is it (since there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer here) and how to fix it?!
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There is very little you can do on your own, other then wearing a doughnut shaped pad over the bump to keep shoe pressure off of it.
If that is not what you were looking for, then you should see a foot specialist who will be able to help you.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 27, 2017
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Remedy
by: graeme

I have had this a few times, never but never in the same place as did my daughter. I fixed it by rubbing it as hard as I could. The pain was terrible but gradually the bump went away. I hope this helps.

Jun 25, 2017
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What did they find it to be.
by: Karen

Hey Brian. Did you have an ultra sound done to be conclusive on what it was exactly. What did the doctor or chiropractor say it was.

Jun 25, 2017
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Totally Strange!!
by: Anonymous

A couple of months ago, my mother began to complain of a hard lump on top of her left foot. I suggested she go and visit her doctor. The doctor informed her that her condition was akin to a bone spur. Shortly after, my husband began to complain of pain on top of his left foot. After examining his foot, he also found a hard lump that is quite painful to the touch. Now if that is not enough, a few days ago, I woke up to find a painful hard lump on top of my left foot. Not sure how we all have the same condition. I don't think bone spurs are contagious...strange.

Jun 24, 2017
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Bump cured
by: Brian

Chiropractor fixed mine only suffered for three days chiropractor fixed it in five minutes no more lump

Jun 16, 2017
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Hard bone like ball on top of foot.
by: Karen

This describes mine to a tee only I dont have excruciating pain. Just ache. It is on the top of my foot, the size of say half an eraser on the end of a pencil like a round ball. It is hard as a bone and I know it doesnt belong. A year ago it appeared but not hard like a bone , I had an ultra sound done, they said it was bursitis and to use ice and I did and it went away. Few months later felt pain a bit, it came back, I iced , it disappeared. Now it came back, bone hard and ice is doing nothing, so I am hoping to get another ultrasound to see what is up. I need it gone, its irritating cause no one is familiar with this, yet, I see from here its common.











Jun 06, 2017
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Left foot bump
by: Laura

This page is unreal. Everyone with same complaints. I have a boney bump on my left foot that is swollen and severe pain when I touch it it wear tight sneakers. I don't know if I should suffer or go to doctor.

May 13, 2017
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Hurts soooo bad!!!!!
by: Lori JJ

I can't believe how many of us have this extremely crippling brutally sore bump on our left foot! Its unteal. really!!??? It hurts so much!!

Feb 20, 2017
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PAINFUL Lump on top of Foot
by: Lola

I have a bump on top of my foot like people noting here. It came after I turned over in bed and caught my big toe in the mattress, in short I turned but my big toe did not.

After a week of icing etc and days when I could not walk and so much pain I was crying, I went to GP who sent me straight to A & E as she thought I had a fracture mid foot! A & E xrayed, thought I had a flake fracture,tendon torn from bone, sent me home on crutches as I already wear orthotics, and refereed me to NHS Fracture Clinic, who called next day and stated no flake fracture and did not think tendon torn. Referred to NHS Foot surgeon who is currently off with heart attach himself! Fracture Clinic sent me questionnaire on my pain levels. Currently very high, nothing will touch the pain, as I can only wear trainer due to other foot problems,have relaced several times to miss lump. rubbing everytime I take a few steps. Sitting at home very frustrated as to lack of progress. Anyone any ideas please?

Feb 16, 2017
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Oh no..
by: Optional

Hey, a few days ago, on my right big toe, it started off as stiff. Nothing but stiffness. Then, it started to hurt really bad.
I noticed and compared. I put my feet near each other and event them,then I realized that my right big toe didn't bend. It's not broken, fortunately.
But when I bend it back with my fingers, it almost feels like cotton.
Then, I bent it with my fingers,and then pushed down on the bump, that then began feeling like cotton when I pushed down on it.
Please help me,
As I do not know what's happening.
I know I didnt stub or drop something on it.
I don't know if anyone else is feeling the cotton - like thing.
Thanks! ☺

Feb 06, 2017
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The diagnosis!!!
by: Amber

Hey guys! I had a second MRI on the request of my orthopedic surgeon and found that the ligament laying right over the joint of the proximal third metatarsal is torn... Although the bump lays just to the right. I also rolled my foot (I think I explained what happened in original post) in November and I have a follow up this Thursday to discuss surgery options or possibly a fiberglass cast assuming it hasn't gotten better (it hasn't! Ugh).

Try looking up research about "lisfranc ligament" injuries. The clinical presentation put everything together for me and it might for your injuries as well! Apparently this injury is very rare, accounting for 1 in 55,000 foot injuries and is commonly misdiagnosed as a sprained foot. However, because of the role the ligament plays it's pretty serious and, if left untreated, I've read about people requiring surgery up to 30 years later due to chronic pain and arthritis.

Good luck 😁

Feb 06, 2017
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Same thing
by: Madison

Omg! I have a bump on my right foot on the top that feels like it is part of my bone. It hurts really bad but only shows up when I am doing active sports. I rolled my ankle at basketball tryouts and ever since I have a bump that causes a lot of pain when I run, or do anything active and hurts when i have shoes on or even without. Even when I touch it, it gets a sharpe pain! Can't seem to get ride of it and haven't been to the doctors yet but by the comments I'm reading, they don't seem like much help to this situation.

Jan 10, 2017
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Hard painful lump on left side of left foot
by: Connie

Wow! Now I don't feel alone! I am going to have everything my chiropractor check it out. The suggestion of a ganglion cyst sounds pretty reasonable a though i believe they are typical softer liquid filled. I just has a ganglion cyst on my right pointer finger. That's gone now using an old school treatment.

Dec 30, 2016
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Bony lump over joining of 4th and 5th metatarsal unexplained
by: Amber Neff

I rolled my right foot in early November and was left with extreme pain and general swelling particularly noticeable over the inside of my ankle and the top of my foot - more laterally centered. I RICEd as best I could and within a week I could walk pain free but the top of my foot still hurt. Running caused pain and a numbing sensation of the 4th and 5th metatarsals but most other activities I could perform just fine. However, I was still experiencing severe pain if I moved my foot invertedly (as if you were going to grab your foot to pull off a shoe). I assumed it was a stress fracture and waited 4 weeks from the injury date to see an orthopedic surgeon, knowing that it would take some time to see on a radiograph. The doctor noticed a hard lump right over the painful area but couldn't determine what is was. X-rays, an MRI, and CT later my doctor and the radiologist who read my scans still can't agree on a diagnosis. I'm in a CAM boot to essentially see what happens. My doctor thinks there's an avulsion fracture but I'm not sure why that wouldn't be definitive via scans I had done. The bump is painful to the touch and, overall, I'd say I'm in more pain since the boot has been on. Any kind of guidance or opinion someone could offer would be amazing.

Oct 19, 2016
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Bump top left foot pain
by: Carol

Wow shocking how many of us have this. I thought I was the only one. A few years ago it came on, a bump on my left top foot like on a vein or nerve, not super noticeable to the eye unless you look and compare, but I feel the bump too, its painful throbbing and way worse after walking and especially with tight constricting shoes. After I would be in great pain not able to step on my foot until I massaged it, elevated it and then slowly put weight on it. I've had it for years and just now am thinking about seeing a Dr. I tried to diagnose myself but nothing seemed like it. Sometimes I have no pain, but usually after much walking, like shopping all day or a theme park, then it's stiff and throbbing and almost feels arthritic. So I've coped by not tying my laces too tight, and not wearing constricting shoes which may have caused this in my eyes. Shoving my foot into a pointy shoe, wearing heels, or a strappy sandal across the top that was too tight. It could be from shoe damage or arthritis I am only guessing? But it does hurt very much sometimes on and off. It throbs at night like it has a heart beat sometimes. What helps is to stand with your feet flat, then very very slowly raise your heels up together and it feels painful, but keep repeating and it seems to make it better, way better! No one told me I just discovered it helps. I never take meds, but I do elevate it to make the blood vessels less pronounced, which they seem to be when it hurts. I don't think its neuropathy, or varicose veins, and not diabetes as I don't have that and am super healthy. I also don't think it's a ganglion cyst, if anything maybe a bone spur, but no idea. It's the veins that are throbbing probably. I manage most the time, but sometimes I can't hardly walk. The left foot seems to be most prevalent from what we have all written. I'd love to know?!? Then I wondered if I had a stress fracture, but doubt that. It does seem hard like bone, so I don't think it's a cyst, it's just slightly noticeable bone and when I move my foot around to do toe, foot & ankle stretches, it feels better. It's like it gets stiff & I have to work it out. It feels sensitive, but it's not red. I wish someone could help us, seems to be common, but glad I'm not alone. 😔 Especially hurts when I tie my tennis shoes too tight. I may see a Dr, but I never think they really know sometimes. I don't like going to Dr's. but I'm very tempted. Had this for years now!!

Sep 05, 2016
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Foot bump
by: jean

I too have a hard lump on my left foot very painful but also affects my heel I can barely walk in a morning but eases when I get going but after a few hours on my feet I'm in agony again ! Bare feet seems to ease it but its awful in bed at night did think about going to gp but having read all the comments I'm not sure i should go ! I've tried pain killers but they don't touch it although a hot bath helps for a little while . I'm on my feet all day which makes it worse but guess I will have to live with it and hope it goes away . Thank you everyone for sharing your comments it's put my mind at ease xxx
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I agree that seeing your GP might not solve your problem, but how about consulting with a podiatrist or an orthopedist as this is a condition they treat on a regular basis.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 22, 2016
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Please someone....help
by: 16 yr old daughter

Daughter has same problem. Almost two years of painful, swollen, bruised bump on top of foot. Three specialists, lots of tests, two steroid shots, $400 boot, yet still no answers or help from pain. She is an athlete and has sat out numerous events and at times entire season of a sport! Doctor has suggested shaving off top of bone, and another doctor wants to fuse joint. Unwilling to agree to this with out a diagnosis. I am seeing a lot if similar complaints on this website yet no answers. Can anybody help here????
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Well....if this has been going on for two years, conservative treatments have been tried (and failed), and your daughter is still in a lot of pain, then a decision has to be made.
That decision is whether or not to have surgery. I have no idea which two bones are affected since I am not privy to x-rays, but I am making the assumption it is in the top middle portion of the foot.
Some experts will recommend just removing the bumps which is not a terribly involved procedure, while other authorities recommend a fusion of the joint so that the problem does not recur.
The problem with fusing the joint is two-fold. One, is the expectation that the fusion will actually work, as there is a degree of surgical failure, the second problem is that fusion of a joint puts additional stress on adjacent joints which can then cause issues.
Removing the bumps is a fairly straight forward procedure with less chance of complication. The bigger issue is whether this will then be the end of your daughter's problem.
In general when young patients have this type of condition, is is from too much motion in the foot. This excessive motion can be mitigated with the use of an orthotic.
So, having the bumps removed and then putting her into an orthotic might be the way to go. Of course I am speaking in generalities since I have not examined her.
You also have to ask yourself, just how serious an athlete your daughter really is. Perhaps giving up sports in an effort to avoid surgery might be a course of action to consider.
As to your question about a diagnosis, most bone spurs occurring on top of the foot is due to a jamming motion between two bones, caused by excessive motion of one bone against the other. In most cases it involves the first metatarsal bone. So as I stated earlier, some sort of action will have to be taken to control that motion (ie: orthotic) in order to prevent recurrence.
If you have been to doctors who cannot explain why this problem is occurring, then you have been to the wrong doctors. Find someone who understands foot biomechanics.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 19, 2016
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Left foot bump Same thing
by: Sal

I noticed a bump on top of my left foot on the bone also I thought it might be from walking in certain shoes. It is sore but not that sore. I can still walk fine. I'm wondering if it is from my shoe rubbing on my foot when I walk on break. I've been wearing loafer type shoes at work when I walk. Could this be??

Jun 18, 2016
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Tender knot on top of foot between ankle and center
by: Heidi

I experienced a tender knot a few years ago when I went to Disney. My first day there I developed a tender knot which caused me to hardly be able to walk. I was there for 4 days and was miserable because it hurt so bad and all I could do was drag my foot because if I put pressure on my foot I felt like I was going to die. Lol! I couldn't enjoy this vacation with my children and family because I couldn't even keep up with them because I could hardly walk. After a week or so it went away and never had it happen again. Well here we are 3yrs later and it's back. We are remodeling our home and I have been standing and going up and down ladders for hours on end and the pain (constant throbbing) is so bad it kept me up all night. I don't know what to do. I have a shoulder and neck injury that is also on the same side. I was wondering if it all could be tied together? It's rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis and also bulging discs in my neck.

May 09, 2016
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painful bump on top of my right foot
by: Sandra

It started about a month ago. It just suddenly starts to hurt, a lot. Walking or just sitting. In bed it will throb with pain. My health insurance gas a huge deductible so if I see a specialist I'll have to pay out of pocket. And that will hurt just as much,lol. Looks like there is nothing to be done by the comments here. What to do??

May 06, 2016
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Bump Just Started To Hurt
by: Anonymous

I've had this lump for some time on the top of my left foot, in fact it feels like bone. Only recently has it started hurting when I walk. At night it throbs no matter what position I try. I used ice which felt good and it feels better in the morning but only until I start walking. I too hate going to the doctor because it's not like I can actually go to the "foot" doctor right away. First the PCP then a referral and then I can maybe see a foot doctor a few months later...

Apr 26, 2016
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Lumpy left foot
by: Andrea

I also have developed a hard lump on the top of my left foot. It feels hard like bone and appeared out of the blue around 5 weeks ago. Sometimes it hurts more than others and is painful to touch. I'm off to the doctors on Friday however after reading all these comments it doesn't sound like there's anything to be done. Maybe it will just go away one day as suddenly as it came?

Apr 15, 2016
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left foot hard bump
by: Bobydale

I have the same pain on my left foot. It's on top of my left foot. Any type of shoe hurts if it touches the hard bump.It even hurts when I wear flip flops. Had ACL surgery and partial knee replacement last year(2015)on my left knee thought that may have instigated the problem. I have not seen a Dr yet. Having same surgery on right knee in 3 weeks going to ask my surgeon for referral. If I get a answer I will let all know

Feb 15, 2016
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Small lump under my toe, left foot - just woke up with it.
by: Anonymous

I just found this bump under my toe on left foot. I was taking a bath and felt it there and it hadnt been there prior. So painful. does anyone know what it might be?
thanks

Jan 29, 2016
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I am joining the club
by: Anonymous

Identical left foot very pain with any motion. I cannot help but wonder if this is a common condition.

Jan 21, 2016
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Bump on top of left foot
by: Anonymous

I also have a bump on the top of my left foot. It's been there for two weeks now.talk about pain, I ended up going to urgent to get it xrayed. They found nothing wrong.they recommended that I go see a foot doctor. After they do an xray and tell you that nothing is wrong, you feel stupid yet you know your not imagining pain and you see there is a bump there.After sleeping all night, when I wake up the bump has gone down some. After I start my day, the bump gets big again. I guess all of us are the bumpy people.

Jan 02, 2016
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Same thing
by: Anonymous

Omg I also got this today and it is really annoying me. I am not very athletic but I do run and I was doing cartwheels and falling each time before I realized this irritating bump. Yesterday, my foot felt like I twisted it all day, but there was no bump until today around 8:00 pm. It is not bruised a lot yet, but is irritated around the bone-like bump area. I talked to a friend who's dad is a pediatrist, and he said it is probably a cyst. My dad says it is just a bruise though, so I don't really know. Right now it feels like I sprained my ankle, even though I know I didn't, but when I touch the area and bump, it didn't hurt too much. I hope someone will reply with a quick and easy treatment for this annoying bump!! Thanks!

Dec 31, 2015
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I empathize
by: Deja

I had a hard little very painful bump develop a couple weeks ago on my left foot. It began with a burning sensation that developed into full blown pain all around the top of my foot on the left side. The "bump" appeared the next day. The day before as the pain escalated, it went from burning to feeling like a severe bruise one would have get if something heavy dropped on it. It was to my GREAT surprise, to find a hard bump on the left side of my foot almost right on top of my vein. No redness around the area, nor any hot feelings of the skin. It went away for a bit, then came back about a week or so ago. It feels more pronounced and hard, and still painful. Its still here with me. Never had anything like this before.

Dec 11, 2015
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Right foot
by: Anonymous

Yes I too have a hard bony lump on my right foot. I didn't have it till I got up to go do something and felt a pop and pain and then a lump was there.

Oct 21, 2015
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Me too
by: Jane

My right foot has developed a bump which has turned into a very painful condition which is stopping me from walking the dog etc. I am loath to go to a doctor and start the neverending cycle of tests. Just reading other people's stories has led me to believe this is very common. My husband is all for the old fix of dropping something heavy on it but there is no way further damage will fix anything! It doesn't matter which shoes I choose, how far I walk etc...it is just there and hurts like hell when it is in a full blown state were the lump is particularly visible. I'm 58 and still working. Guess it is a trip to a doctor.....hate that!

Oct 07, 2015
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the foot lump/bump
by: LaVoix

I also have it - much worse in the last couple of days... hurting ALL the time.

WHY is it usually the left foot people are reporting about?

Jul 22, 2014
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Bump on top of my left foot
by: Anonymous

I used to have lovely feet. Now on my left foot I have a hideous bump that burns and hurts most of the time. I have developed so many varicose veins around the side and back of the foot that I don't want to wear sandals. There are no varicose veins on my right foot, so I am associating these with the bump.

I have seen 3 "specialists" who have each had a different diagnosis but could not offer any treatment. I did have 2 cortizone injections with little relief. When I stand up to walk, I have to stand for a bit before I can put any weight on the foot. I want to walk and do the things I am used to doing. Does anyone have a suggestion?

May 30, 2014
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Hard lump
by: Fiona

I have a painfull hard lump on my left foot
I have recently got a new job which involves alot of walking around and its only just recently appeared but its very tender

Jun 18, 2013
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bump
by: Anonymous

The bump on the bone on top of my foot is not sore and doesn't hurt.

Jun 09, 2013
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treatment?
by: Anonymous

Is there a treatment for this? I too have this issue and holy man! Some days, walking is painful and if it is irritated for an extended period of time and I rest my foot, the pain becomes dull and annoying. Mine is located on the top of my foot and I wish there was a way to upload pictures. I remember when I was younger I dropped a dresser drawer on this spot and this bump has been there ever since.

Oct 24, 2012
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Treatment of Dorsal Exostosis
by: Tracey

Lump on top of foot - A dorsal exostosis is a bony bump on top of the foot. It can often become irritated and painful. Apply an ice pack for 30 mins. Remove it for 30 mins and then re-apply for 30 mins for as long as you need in a 24 hour period. Elevate the foot while applying the ice pack if you have swelling.

Good luck... this advice has helped me with the same symptoms that I have had on and off for years. For me it is usually due to a change in shoes or wearing shoes that are not as supportive. I wear orthotics but at times can not fit them in certain shoes, if I walk or exercise a lot it can aggrivate it. The lump is always there, just doesnt always bother me. I hope this helps.

Sep 21, 2011
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Help
by: Brittany

I happen to have the same problem, and also happen to be a runner. i have one on both feet though, the one on my right foot is about the size of a penny, the one on my left is a little bit smaller. It hurts when i run and have my shoes tight, because it rubs on it. The coaches don't believe that it really hurts, because we have to many fakers on our team. I really wish i knew what it is, so i can prove to them that I'm not faking it. Also, when I'm running it feels like someone is stabbing my feet, or like i twisted my ankle.

Feb 10, 2011
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bump on right side
by: joe

I have the sam bump it'son the right side and it does not hurt when I were my shoes but when it rubs it hurts and it's like on top of a nerve

Jan 15, 2011
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please help
by: rachel

i also have this bump on the left foot its on the top but close to the side, and it is hurting more and more if i walk, when i stay in bed a few days only getting up for essentials, it goes away. but if i am up moving around alot it comes back hurting more then the last time. i was moving and was on my feet alot more then i usally am, when it first came up. now if i am walking alot doing laundry ect, it comes back. the pain is getting to the point its hard to even stand, its a very hard bump and looking at a picture it would be located almost drirectly on a nurve. please for the love of god how can i make it go away and stay gone, i cant live in my bed.

Jul 27, 2010
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Top of foot pain in runner.
by: Kristi

Hi there!!
I was so relieved to read your comment. I am having the same symptoms and can find little to no info that seems to accuratly explain or define what is going on. I am runner and have had a hard, painful lump that is a brused/purple color arround the "N" point - middle/top of my left foot. It is growing in size and discomfort. It is now about the size of a peach pit and hurts with any ROM or palpation. Please help as I have a half marathon comming up.

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