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severe stabbing pain at top of toe where joins foot

by Gwen
(Plymouth UK)

I am experiencing every night about 2 to 3 hours after retiring a very severe stabbing pain on the top of the toe next to my little toe, The pain is specific to one area ie where the top of the toe meets the foot. The pain occurs every 20 to 30 secs is likened to a sharp knife stabbing me and prevents sleeping. If I get up and stand and move around after about 30 mins the pain goes. As soon I lie down after a while it returns.I am a female of 70 years a non smoker (last 7 Years ) and drink a glass of red wine with dinner . I visited a chiropdist and my doctor but do not feel they have been much help. Dr prescribed pain killers and Mirapexin tablets for restless leg. Neither have had any effect. Any advice would be much appreciated.


Gwen Davis

Hi Gwen,
It is fairly safe to say you do not have restless leg syndrome.
The most common cause of pain in the area that you describe is a tendonitis of the tendon that raises the fourth toe; the only problem I have with this is that generally speaking it would not just hurt while at rest, in fact it should not hurt at rest, plus it would probably hurt more walking.
Moving over slightly to in between the third and fourth toe there is a possibility you are suffering from Morton's neuroma (read my section) because typically the pain from that will cause the so-called stabbing pain, but that too is usually more prevalent when walking.
I would recommend a third opinion from another foot specialist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for severe stabbing pain at top of toe where joins foot

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Jan 14, 2015
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Pain in 4 th toe
by: Anonymous

Can a Podiatrist comment?
Sudden pain ,only at night 4 th toe ,burning ,intermittent. Feet feel very hot .Walking on cold tile feels good,also stretching.
I walk every day,wear Birkenstock shoes.


There are a number of things that could cause your symptoms, but in order to come up with the proper diagnosis you would need to be examined by a doctor.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Apr 03, 2014
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severe stabbing pain in toe area
by: Anonymous

I have suffered with what I believe is tendonitis of the left foot for the past two years. Mine was brought on by lots of excercise. I noticed the pain started on the top of the left foot where the blood vessel is and escalated to what I describe is an electric shock, numbing feeling of the big toe and second toe. It took almost 6 - 12 months to heal so that I could manage to walk quite briskly enough. Not long ago I started to excercise again, and low and behold, I kid you not, going to bed that night, I experienced the most piercing, stabbing, electrifying pain in between my big and second toe area. I promise you it kept me awake from dusk til dawn. Lying down was the problem, however, walking on it or sitting with foot on the floor was ok????? I did a Yoga class on Monday night just gone and guess what??? Yes, I have inflamed the tendon/ligament all over again. I have visited my doctor this pm and he has sent me for xrays.

Mar 16, 2014
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Me Too
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad to hear from others.I have exactly the same problem and I live in fear of it.I was tested for gout and it came back neg.No Doctor has
ever come up with a diagnosis or a remedy.
I have found it happens when I am extremely distressed. My Heart goes out to all that suffer
L

Feb 17, 2012
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Stabbing pain in left great toe
by: Anonymous

My problem began 2/7/12 when i was lying in bed and noticed that my left big toe was numb. The numbness progressed to the area between the great toe and second toe along with the tissue between those metatarsals. Then came the pain about 5 days later. Feels ok when walking but extremely painful (hot icepick like directly into distal joint of great toe) when lying down. I assume it is an issue with the common peronal nerve (perhaps inflamed) in addition to some old sprains. See this started the day after i took a lovely walk which i hadnt done in a long time. Other symptoms have waxed and waned such as extreme tenderness of superficial peronal nerve as well as extremely tender tendon on top of foot. I take ibuprofen.
It has improved in some ways. I also have back pain due to muscle tension and am wondering if i have a herniated disk which may (?) explain the pain only when lying down. I stretch. It helps.

Jan 02, 2012
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toe pain
by: me

it hurts on right foot 3 toe feels like someone pouring scalding hot water on toe sometime have to walk on side of foot pain never goes away

Dec 05, 2011
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Painful toe
by: Anonymous

I have pain in my fourth little toe. I have been using over the counter pain rub . It works sometimes.

Sep 09, 2011
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pain in toes
by: jmetwin

It's probably gout. See your doctor. He can provide medication to help prevent uric acid build-up which causes gout. When you have a flare up there is another medication.

Nov 29, 2010
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Do any or all of you smoke??
by: I got an OW-WEE!!

I have the same exact problem. My daughter suggested it's a circulation problem, related yo my long history of smoking.

Aug 12, 2010
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reply to above
by: Anonymous

I have had the same thing for years on the fourth toe of my right foot. It only happens about twice a year on average. It lessens when I am upright but you can't do that all night. Sometimes it lasts 3 nights in a row. Pain killers nor sleeping tabs allow me to sleep .As i have had diabetes type 1 for 49 years, the docs think its neuropathy but it's too inconsistent for that. I have found ( by accident) that Diazepam helps but as you can become dependent on it, you'd have to be careful. I dread it happening. Someone must have the answer!

May 28, 2010
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A long standing issue for me too
by: Anonymous

For 20 years or more I have had stabbing pains in my big toe that escalate over approximately 5 seconds from mild hearalding discomfort to a sudden and intensely sever pulse of burning pain lasting a second. It fades and then returns intermittently anywhere from 10 seconds to ten minutes later. It can occur sitting, standing walking or laying in bed. Episodes are infrequent lasting one to several hours and are separated by days to half a year. I do not have gout, am not overweight. Any ideas?

Dec 16, 2009
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Me Too
by: Anonymous

My symptoms are identical. I have found,though, that I need only to get out of bed and on my feet for 5 minutes and the pain is gone, at least for a few hours. Weird!!

I have yet to get an accurate diagnosis.

Aug 11, 2009
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Same Problem
by: Anonymous

I ahve the same exact problem and I believe it is associated witha Morton's Neuroma.

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