Top of the foot pain
by Christopher Grant
I am 36 years old and in fairly good health. I am 5'10" and about 210 lbs and consider myself to be in reasonable shape.
I was walking on vacation about a week ago in a pair of good condition sneakers. I stopped to open a door, took a first step with my left foot and upon planting the foot felt a "pop" and a sharp intense pain on the top of my foot about two inches behind the base of my second toe. The pain moved into a burning sensation shortly after. Since then, my foot has remained mildly swollen but there is no significant bruising. There is throbbing and sometimes sharp pain on the top of my foot. I continue to have foot pain in the same spot, but am able to walk on the foot with a slight limp. When I bend my toes down, I feel a "vibration" in that same spot but it sometimes feels that it is moving forward and backward as I move my toes. The only description I can think of is dragging rubber across glass, as it catches and then skips forward and catches again. It is a more sharp pain when I move my toes up. I have taken 3-4 advil, two to three times a day since with no significant improvement. I spent the majority of the rest of my vacation in comfortable sandals and shoes other than my sneakers since then with no real improvement.
I have had Morton's Neuroma mentioned to me as something to consider, but when I look up the symptoms online, my gut reaction is that these don't seem to be the same thing. Does Morton's Neuroma seem like a reasonable possibility and what could some other possibilities be.
A "popping" sound is never a good sign. It generally signifies a tendon rupture. Since your pain is on top of your foot it is quite possible that you ruptured the tendon that lifts the second toe up. I have to tell you that this is a very rare injury, certainly from just walking.
Since Morton's neuroma occurs on the bottom of the foot I doubt that is the cause of your pain.
Unfortunately, I think you will have to seek medical care on this one because if there is a true rupture, it is not going to heal on its own.
Marc Mitnick DPM