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Heel and ankle pain in right foot

I am a 48 yr. old female with sharp heel pain in my right foot. It lasted about 2-3 weeks and then got better with little pain left. All of a sudden it came back about 1 week later. Now I'm not only getting sharp heel pain but also pain that goes around my ankle. My doctor took x-rays to rule out a bone spur which came back negative. However my doctor did tell me my foot looked a little swollen and my ankle bone is pushing out just a little.When I lay in bed at night it hurts to have my legs cross because I cannot bear the weight on it.

Could this be cause by gaining excessive amount of weight at one time? I gained 40 lbs. in about 6 or 7 months time. I did buy insoles for my shoes. It seems to help a little but not to much. Is there anything I need to be concern about?


Janet

Hi Janet,
Certainly gaining 40 lbs. is not going to help your foot and may in many cases create pain. Since the insoles you bought for your feet helped a little, that is an encouraging sign. Since I find that most store bought insoles are not much better than the supports that come in sneakers, you may find purchasing a better orthotic may make a world of difference.
You should be worried about this condition for two reasons. One, excess weight gain is just not healthy and two, excess pressure on your foot and ankle will cause pain, but it will also cause premature degeneration of the joints in your foot and ankle which over time will make walking more painful and difficult.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Heel Pain

by Jeff Bell
(Plymouth,Michigan, USA)

A few months ago I got a small splinter on my left heel. I removed as much of the splinter as I could. The area is still painful, every week I can push with my fingers and I see a cloudy liquid coming out of the area. As soon as I do that the pain goes away. I have put cream and antibotic lotions etc with no luck. I know the area has an infection, what can I put on the area to remove this sore. The area is abouth the size of a penny. Is there a over the counter product that would help me.

Hi Jeff,
Let me put it this way. Not a week goes by that someone comes into my office having only partially removed a foreign body. More than likely there is still something in your foot. You can put all the cream you want on the area and it is not going to clear up.
Right now it sounds like you have a minor infection; if you keep playing around with this it could turn into a more severe infection.
Your only option is to see a doctor and have he or she probe the area to see if there is anything still in the foot.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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My left heel area hurts.

by Paula
(Terre Haute, Indiana)

My left heel area, and the inside of the heel area have been hurting for about 3 months. It is worse when I wake up in the morning. I limp to the bathroom every morning. Sometimes it doesn't hurt at all, which is weird. The inside of the heel also hurts. I can't stand on my left foot for long periods of time. I want to find out what the pain is caused from, if possible. I do not remember injuring my foot in any way. I thought it was from the shoes I had purchased, and I bought better shoes. It still hurts. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Hi Paula,
Read my sections on heel pain and heel neuroma. Your complaints sound very consistent with plantar fasciitis and the possibility of a heel neuroma. If this problem continues you should see a podiatrist. Keep in mind, generally the worse the pain gets, the harder it is to remedy.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Heel Spurs? I think...

by Lorena
(Las Vegas NV)

I am a 44 Years old female , I've never had a "standing" job. In fact, I am presently a "Stay at home" wife. I had a bout with a heel spur on my right foot in 1994. I sought treatment, and found relief after a series of cortizone shots. Over the years I seemed to do ok until about a month ago. I now feel like I have heel spurs on "both" heels. The strange thing is that my feet also tingle and go numb.
I don't remeber that from my "heel spur bout" in 1994. Both my feet tingle and cramp really bad especially at night. In fact, just last night on my way to the grocery store, I had barely made it inside my car when all of a sudden both my feet started cramping so bad that it brought me to tears. I still drove to the store and was afraid I would not be able to walk, but to my surprise I was fine. I'm beginning to suspect more than just heels spurs. Somebody told me to check my Potasium levels. Can low potassium cause these symptoms or ????

Hi Lorena,
low potassium levels technically could create cramping but I do not think that is your problem.
The tingling and numbness that you mention bring to mind two possible problems (altho not limited to two), one being a tarsal tunnel (see my section on tarsal tunnel) and two, the possiblity of a radiculopathy or nerve impingement coming from your lower back.
If just the heels are tingling and numb then there is also the possibility of a heel neuroma (see that section as well).
I would think a visit to a podiatrist might be a good idea; pain is not something you want to live with.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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bilateral heel pain

by Andy H
(Wales)

Hi there,

PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME

I have suffered with pain in both heels now for over five years, I am in good shape for my age 32 yrs, 6ft 1", I weigh just under 16 st but this is not fat. I have lost weight i.e. down to 13.5st but no relief, I work in an operating theatre and have been there for over 11 yrs now, my job involves lots of standing on hard floors. I have tried a million different shoe interts and v expensive trainers also steriod injections but with no relief. I have seen consultant orthopeadic surgeons who can't seem to help me. I have tried wearing night splints which the plaster department in the hospital made for me, they gave me some relief but it was short live as the pain soon came back. Other people in the department suffer with plantar fasciitis and the docs say this is what I have, but everyone who has it says it's only in one foot at a time where as mine is always in both, also the others seem to get better???????????

Please help me.

Yours hopefully
Andy H.

Hi Andy,
I would suggest you try physical therapy for at least one month consisting of deep tissue massage and ultrasound therapy. I find this works quite well in the more difficult cases of plantar fasciitis.
If your pain seems to worsen the longer you stand there probably is an associated bursitis or heel neuroma. Both these conditions can be difficult to overcome in someone who stands as much as you do.
Try the physical therapy along with wearing the shoe inserts that make your feet the most comfortable.
Additionally, I would have your doctor give you a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medication.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Plantar fascitis

by Tara

I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis,and I felt sharp shooting pains in the tendon/ligament. In the middle of the night last night, I woke up with my mid portion of my heel in pain, not the ligament, and it is very difficult to walk. It is a different type of pain that I was feeling before. More aching and constant.

Is this still plantar fascitis?

Hi Tara,
It is still plantar fasciitis and then some. Assuming you do not have a stress fracture of the heel bone, the 2 conditions that will cause your type of symptoms are either a heel neuroma or heel bursitis (see my sections of those topics).
Hopefully, you are under the care of a podiatrist who will be able to relieve your symptoms.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain/itching in left heel from piece of glass

I believe that I may have a piece of glass stuck in my left heel. Not sure when I got it, but for a couple of years, my left heel itches deep in the same spot. It feels like something is irritating it, and I get kind of a dull pain in the same spot. Is there a way my doctor can tell if there is glass there, or would he just have to cut open the area? And could this cause me further problems, like going into the bone?

Hi Penny,
An ultrasound can be performed which may be very helpful in determining if there is actually a foreign body (glass or othterwise) in your heel.
I certainly would think that if the heel bothers you it should be seen by a doctor. I would not worry too much about the glass going into the bone; you run a greater chance of that by just leaving it alone.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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tension on the plantar fascia

by Cathy
(Niagara Wis)

I have been diagnosed with a collapsed arch in my left foot. I seem to get a lot of tension on the plantar fascia. Is there anything I can do to help this?

Hi Cathy,
The simplest thing to try is an arch support which will work to support the arch and keep the foot from flattening out.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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cracked heels and slight pain

by Lydia Mayo
(Ocala, Florida)

I'm a 38 year old female and have had increasing problems with dry heels (and feet) and cracked skin approximately 6 months or so after having my third child.
Originally I thought it was just hormones, but it has been 3.5 years since the birth of my last child and the problem seems to be getting worse.
I did have mild gestational diabetes with the latter 2 pregnancies, but my hemaglobin a1c was 5.5 a couple months ago that suggests blood sugar control is not the problem. (I am 5ft 2 in and weigh 148 lbs - even though i can still jog 2-3 miles a couple times a week - losing the last 8 pounds might help?)
I took estratest for several weeks and this seemed to clear up some of the skin problems on my feet. Could this suggest adrenal or ovarian failure resulting in underproduction of estrogen/testosterone, essential to skin health (sebaceous oil and hair production)?
your expertise would be greatly appreciated.

I am not taking estratest currently and reside in florida - which seems to do contribute to doing housework etc. 14+ hours a day sometimes in flip-flops or bass/birkenstock type shoes.

Help please,
sincerely
Lydia

Hi Lydia,
If this was a hormone problem my guess would be you would have skin problems elsewhere on your body,such as dried out hair and brittle nails.
Two things that come to mind.
Most people do not realize that dry scaly heels many times is a secondary fungal infection (athletes foot), they just think it is dry skin. So, why not try applying an over the counter antifungal for a minimum of three weeks to see if that helps.
The other problem is wearing backless shoes such as sandals, clogs, etc. Without the protection of the back portion of a shoe to "cup" the heel, backless shoes seem to cause the heels to dry out and crack.
So, if your condition is bad enough I would recommend you try the antifungal cream and wear closed shoes for a minimum of three weeks. You might also want to hydrate the skin daily with something like eucerin cream.
Do all this on a regular basis and see if your condition does not improve.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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right foot , top - side - heel severe pain

by matt boniecki
(spokane wa)

I had a blood clot in my right calf 7 years ago , which my circulation in my leg has not been the same since .I have only had foot swelling over that time period but 4 months ago i started severe pain in the bones in the affected foot along with heel pain , as if the heel is bruised.When i wake in the morning or go period of time with walking it will hurt at first when walking , subsides after several minutes of pain.What was alarming to me was i woke one morning with a large lump on my heel , this has made it very difficult to walk as well symptoms seems to be compounding . Thank you for any help .

Hi Matt,
The heel pain upon rising after rest is consistent with plantar fasciitis, however, without examining you I have no idea what the large lump might be.
I would suggest consulting with a podiatrist to find out.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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birkenstock sandals for plantar fasciitis

by leanne
(manila, philippines)

hi,

i was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis bilateral a week ago and my doctor just told me that i need to have the injection on both feet or do the long-term treatment by doing stretching and warm compress. i read in the internet that it should be icing so instead of following my doctor of doing warm compress, i'm icing my feet. am i doing the right thing?

also, i'm flat footed and my doctor just told me to wear any shoes that i'm comfortable with or i'll just put a foam (cut from a mattress or bedding) and put it inside my shoe, feeling as if i'm stepping on a very soft carpet. i already bought a foam and put it inside my shoe but when i tried wearing my shoes with socks on, my feet can't get through and it really feels tight and hot inside so i decided not to use it anymore and just bought a heel gel that i'm using right now. i also read in the internet that flat footed people with plantar fasciitis should have footwear with arch support. before i was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, i already tried wearing birkenstock but it's really painful that i ended up not buying a pair of it. please advise if it's normal for people like me to feel such pain when using sandals/shoes with arch support? do i need to buy such sandals/shoes because it will eventually help in my treatment? or will it just aggravate my pain and plantar fasciitis.

hope you could help me. i'm really confused because my doctor's advise are really diffrenet from what i read in the internet websites and forums. thanks in advance and more power.

Hi Leanne,
Generally, my treatment for plantar fasciitis is some type of arch support, along with oral anti-inflammatory medication for perhaps two weeks. Sometimes I will give a cortisone injection if the pain does not subside.
I only us ice within the first 24 hours of pain onset. After that I go to heat and heat increases blood flow to the area and that ultimately is how we heal.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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left heel pain

by Amy
(Florida)

I noticed that the heel of my left foot was bothering me for several days.I was putting lotion on my feet and noticed a small{pea size}spot on my heel under the skin that is painful to the touch.It is causing discomfort for a week now and does not seem better.

Hi Amy,
Why not see a podiatrist; my guess is either you have a wart or a porokeratosis (plugged sweat gland) both of which are readily treatable.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain on the outside of my heel

by Dale

I am an avid runner. I have been running for years. Last year I got plantar faciatis(Spelling?). That seems to have subsided. I now have a similat pain on the side of my heel. What could be the problem? I am 54 yers old.

Hi Dale,
I generally find that pain on the outside edge of the heel is usually due to a bone bruise, from just the trauma of continually coming down on that portion of the heel during running (and walking).
A low dye strapping (you can look it up) can be very helpful as well as an egg shaped heel cup, because both of them keep the heel fat underneath the heel and therefore protect the bone.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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heel spot

by ali

I have a hard pea sized spot in my heel close to my arch. What could this be? Should I go to the doctor? It is sore but not painful.

Hi Ali,

The most common cause of the hard spot in the heel is either a wart or a porokeratosis which is a plugged sweat gland.
Since the growth is something that does not belong there and since it is sore, I think you should see a doctor.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Foot arch pain

by John Beasley
(Balad, Iraq)

The top part of the arch of my right foot is very tender and is painful when touched or when ankle is flexed. Only hurts in one spot. Don't know why foot is so sore. I have not injured the foot in any way. It started hurting one day after my morning jog. I stopped running for two weeks and my foot still hurts.

Hi John,
The most common cause of this type of pain would be tendonitis and that certainly could be a result of previous jogging.
If possible the foot should be x-rayed to rule out a stress fracture. Assuming no fracture, a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication, moist heat (physical therapy) and rest (no jogging) should alleviate the problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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I have a very painful sore knot on my heal.

by Chris B.
(North Carolina)

Heal Pain

Heal Pain

I have a very painful sore knot on my right heal.When I try and stand I feel the blood rush to my foot and have alot of pain in that area around my heal and ankle.I cannot wear a shoe on that foot because even the touch of a sock hurts.My heal started hurting 4 days ago at work and the rubbing of my shoe on it just made it worse.I have not had a shoe on in 3 days now.I went to a practioner 3 days ago and they thought it might be gout and put me on prednisone 6 pills a day.Instead of getting better it seems to be getting progressively worse and hurts more everyday.The day before this started I had sharp pains in my third and fourth toes on this foot.It was almost a pain like ingrown toe nails but worse.Now when I set up or have my foot on the ground it constantly throbs.The pain is very bad.I have sent pictures so maybe someone can reconize it..thanks

Hi Chris,

My first thought would have been gout or perhaps an inflamed bursal sac both of which should have responded at least somewhat to the prednisone.
I am not sure how the pain in the third and fourth toes relates to your heel pain, but I would recommend you go back to your doctor, have some x-rays taken, have some blood work done and ask your doctor to put you on a different medication to try and reduce some of the inflammation. By the way, if this happens to be a gout attack you should start to see the symptoms subside within a few days as most attacks are self limiting.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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on the bottom of are left heal,small area has come very painfull

by David
(Birmingham,uk)

the area has gone white and is about 1 cm across after walking on it for a small time,it soon comes very painfull and have a job to walk on it,have soaked area and rubbed the dry skin away,yet area still very painfull to touch,have put a corn plaster on it,still no better.

Hi David,
The most common cause of your type of pain that I see in my office is known as a porokeratosis or plugged sweat gland; there is also the possibility that the growth is a wart.
I would recommend you see a foot specialist who should be able to give you relief.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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heel pain

I have a severe pain in the base of my heel, as if it is badly brusied, i did not hurt it and it only effects me after i walk for a distance or if i have been sitting for a long time and get up to walk. It also hurts first thing in the morning. I am 49 years old.

Hi,
Read my section on heel pain, you will see your symptoms are very suggestive of plantar fasciitis.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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heal tissue pain on rear outside of heal.

by russell
(new zealand.)

sore feet especially after sleeping or sitting for some time,
left heal at back where shoe would normally fit around is tender and sore to touch.
some pain relief creams -anti imflamitory- do help initially but later , the pain returns.
I have visited a piodaidtrist, he says its tendonitis and wants to sell me some inserts for work shoes, i have had a scan which shows no tendon damage ,but more some inflamation around the bone of the heal along the back upper edge.
please advise,
thanks; Russell.

Hi Russell,
Sounds like achilles tendonitis which can be difficult to eradicate particularly if you spend a good portion of your day on your feet. In general, probably the fasted way to get rid of the problem would be inserts and some physical therapy.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Foot heel pain

by Brooke
(Australia)

I have severe foot pain when I exercise around my heel and can go into the side of my foot (not Arch) I thought it was a heel spur or plantar faciitis, bu the Xray showed up nothing. The pain prevents me from running and if I can run on a particular day the pain shows up worse and I find it difficult to walk. Does plantar faciitis show up on and Xray. The pain is preventing me from playing netball and running.

Hi Brooke,
No, plantar fasciitis does not show up on x-ray but if you read my sections on "heel pain" and "heel neuroma" you will find there are other conditions that will cause the heel to hurt.
You should see a foot specialist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pain at the bottom of the heel - in the sole

by Anthony
(Qatar)

I have pain in the sole, exactly at the bottom of the heel, specially in the morning when I get up or after sitting for a while placing the legs up. I am 63 and employed. Normally I have an active life style and do not have much health problems except may be slightly swollen liver due to alchol.That too I have reduced to about 200ml.Have not seen a doctor for a couple of years for general check up. Could you help me.

Hi Anthony,
Your heel symptoms are classic plantar fasciitis pain. Read my section on plantar fasciitis. Typically, when at rest, the plantar fascial ligament tightens up, so when you first step on it and stretch it, it hurts, as you walk around the pain generally eases up only to recur when you sit for a period of time.
The simplest method is to try some stretching exercises and to consider wearing an orthotic in order to support the ligament as it is usually from walking that the plantar fascial ligament becomes strained in the first place.
Do not allow this to get worse as it can become a very disabling problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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deep, cracked, painful, heel fissures

I have tried lotions, vasaline and all I can think of to make them heal and stop hurting. Hydrocortisone cream helps but it just comes back. They are so deep they crack open and bleed. What is the right creams to use and what do I do to ease the pain?

Good question! There is no one treatment for every one. I have found it really does not matter what cream you use but more important how often you use it. In a severe case we are probably talking about three times a day with one of those times being at night with the heels wrapped in saran wrap to allow for better absorption.
Other factors to consider would be avoiding backless shoes which makes this worse. Do you suffer from any endocrine diseases such as diabetes which tends to make skin drier?
Lastly, sometimes the heel is so dry and thick the only way to get it back to "normal" is to have a podiatrist scape away the callus with a scalpel to get down to soft skin.
Be careful, aside from the pain you have to worry about infection. See a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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arch pain

by Lyn
(massachusetts)

I am a 37 yr old female with rheumatoid arthritis and flat feet. I wear orthotics. I have had an ongoing problem with pain that start in the bottom of my foot and travels up through the arch. Like I stepped on a nail or something. It is happening frequently now, about once or twice a month. When it occurs, I have tingling sensations and coldness in my foot, and weight bearing is almost impossible. I looked through this site and it seems it could be a number of things.

Hi Lynn,

Because it could be a number of things your best bet would be to see a local podiatrist. Without having the luxury of examining you, but based on the symptoms you describe, it sounds like you may have a nerve entrapment in the area of the heel which is very common. This would account for the tingling sensation and possibly the feeling of cold.
The good news is that presently it is only occurring infrequently, but by the same token you do not want to wait until it gets worse as it will probably be harder to treat, so I personally think the smart thing to do would be to have a podiatrist examine you.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Heel pain right foot

by Tracy
(Colorado)

I've been having an on-going complaint of heel pain in my right foot. The pain comes and goes but is more and more frequent now. The pain is any where from a burning sensation to sharp pain just forward of the heel. It feels like brused tissue and it aches. When I have my feet up or I'm asleep, no pain. The left foot is not affected. I am male and my weight is 250#, height 5' 7' (yeah I know too heavy! I need to loose some weight but it's hard to walk off or bike off pounds when your feet hurt!) The pain is somewhat reduced by wearing shoes with good arch support and higher ankle support like a hiking tennis shoe. When I wear flip flops or other "flat" soled shoes, the pain increases. I think I have Plantar Fasciitis and or a heel spur judging from what you describe on your site. I know you can't really tell for sure without an exam but what is your best guess? Might I benefit from buying a pair of orthodics like you have recommended for this condition? Thanks! Tracy

Hi Tracy,
It sounds like you might have plantarfasciitis or a heel spur, the fact that flip flops and barefeet make it worse would be highly suggestive of such a condition.
Assuming that diagnosis, your weight becomes your biggest enemy in trying to eradicate the problem, you need to support your arch against the downward pressure being caused by your excess weight.
As a starting point I certainly would recommend a pair of orthotics because if you can "support" the plantar fascial ligament, it will relieve the stress on it and the pain should begin to subside.
A word of note: you will need to wear your orthotics all thru your waking day, this means when you come home from work you cannot kick off your shoes and go barefoot, at least not until the pain has subsided substantially.
Orthotics, along with some physically therapy and perhaps anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate it) will go a long way to relieving the pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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red sore foot at top of heel

by janet mcfarlane
(oxford, uk)

hi, ive been having a problem with my feet for about 8 months now & dont know what to do, around the top of my foot where the shoe shapes around the ankle is where the problem is, its red lumpy & very painful, ive been to a chiropodist & he advised me to use 'lamasil' but it did'nt help, ive tried the doctor with about the same sucess,can you help, i can send a picture if thats any use.
regards
janet.
Hi Janet,
Perhaps sending a picture might make this a bit easier for me.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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