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side of foot pain, similar to bunion?

by Luke


I am having some "bunion" issues that were caused by trauma. I was in a relatively minor skateboarding accident in early April. I landed on my foot in the accident, and heard a pop noise from my foot. When I got up and tried to walk, it was quite difficult and I thought I might have broken a bone in my foot. I took my shoe off, examined my foot a bit and determined it was fine to walk on. I had a great deal of pain, but had it x-rayed later that day and it was confirmed that there was no break. At that time, I was told it was likely just a hyperextension, and after about a week of icing and resting the foot, it felt good enough to run on. I ran a half marathon later that month and had little issues. However, I noticed that putting weight on the ball of my left (injured) foot caused a good amount of pain, and sometimes I could repeat the popping sensation I felt when I originally injured it. So, activities that involved sprinting or things like pushups are quite painful. I had my foot checked out and x-rayed again recently, and the doctor told me it was a bunion, therefore not caused by my accident but by "genetics" or "narrow shoes". I know for a fact that this injury was caused by my skating accident, because it was not there before and has been there ever since. I'm an athletic 19 year old male who wears wide skate shoes and I don't have any prevalent bunion history in my family. My injury (to me) feels and looks a little more like a minor
dislocation, because I do not have a very prominent big toe shift. But after 3 months of some of and on icing, taking anti-inflamatories, stretching the injured toe, the original swelling in that area of my foot has not gone down much. There is a noticeable bump on the side of my foot, so it has all the makings of a bunion, but it was definitely not caused by slow trauma over time but a major trauma. I just wanted to confirm if it is a bunion, and possible see if there would be any other treatment options besides surgery or "wearing wide shoes" as the most recent doctor prescribed to me. The injury is not absolutley painful at all times, but particularly bugs me in activities like yoga, basketball, sometimes running, etc. I definitely won't be giving those up and would like to resolve it before it becomes any worse. I'm including a few pictures of my foot if that helps. My left foot is the injured one.


Hi Luke,
People can have bunions and not have pain, so based on your story I think your pain is all trauma induced in spite of the bunion. Apparently, you did injure the bunion joint.
In all the treatments you have undergone for your foot, you do not mention rest and immobilization. If the joint was traumatized and there is no broken bone then you have soft tissue damage. You have to allow the soft tissue to heal which is difficult on feet since you are walking all the time.
I would suggest you try immobilizing the area for a while, limit your athletic activity, take some more anti-inflammatory medication and see what happens.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Mar 10, 2013
Weight Bearing Foot Pain won't subside
by: Debra

A twisting fall in my kitchen caused the "bunion joint" of my left foot to strike the bottom of the refrigerator door handle.Pain along both the extensor and flexsor hallucis worsened and became unbearable with anything weight bearing. Xray 3 weeks later revealed no dislocation,nor breakage but it did reveal a bunion which did not exist before the injury.My big toe now points to 11:00 instead of 12:00 and after 2 weeks of "rest" and elevation,nsaids, even an inflatable boot,there hasn't been much progress.What is this and is it fixable? Help!

Hi Debra,
Since this pain was trauma induced and there is mild structure change I would not be quick to jump to any thing drastic.
Speak to your doctor about physical therapy and perhaps some anti-inflammatory medication (assuming you can tolerate such medication.)

Marc Mitnick DPM

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