unable to bear weight on heel and outside edge of foot
I woke up yesterday and was unable to bear weight on my left foot. It hurts extremely bad starting near my ankle bone, moving down the outside edge to the heel. I thought it could be a stress fracture, but I am not very active, don't play sports, or run, but I am a hairdresser and stand on my feet all day, usually in heels. I can now hobble around the house if I limp and only put weight on my tiptoes. Usually doesn't hurt when I am not on it, but after I try to limp around and sit again, its hurts for a while. I went to the ER lastnight, because clearly there is something wrong with it. I left feeling more irritated that I wasted my time for them to tell me they see nothing wrong on the xray, no fracture. The doctor said it COULD be plantar faciitis, but I didn't get a straight answer or anything for pain. I was told to ice it and he put a wrap on it. To me it didn't make sense to wrap it seeing even that amount of pressure on it makes it hurt. Its not a problem of instability, like a sprain. I feel like I need a crutch to get around so I don't end up hurting myself other places from putting all my weight on my toes. Please help!
I do not know anything about your medical history including your age and weight but when someone wakes up in a lot of pain for no apparent reason, the first thing I think about is gout. From a clinical standpoint there would be an area on your foot
that is red, mildly swollen and warm to touch as that is how most gout attacks present themselves.
The ankle joint, after the big toe joint, is a common area to have a gout attack occur. So gout would have to be ruled out.
Next, although I do not think you have a stress fracture unless you did a lot of excessive activity the day before, one x-ray will not always show a small crack in the bone, plus the ankle joint is not where one usually sees a fracture without some history of trauma.
So that leaves me wondering if you did some damage to one of the tendons that comes down the outside of the ankle and travels into the foot. Again there would probably have to be some sort of trauma, but sometimes people sleep in an awkward position to their foot and they "stretch" everything on the outside of the ankle and end up with pain for no apparent reason. The problem here is that it sounds like you are in too much pain for that to be the case, particularly if wrapping the area seems to make it worse.
Obviously it is impossible for me to give you an accurate diagnosis sitting on the other end of the internet, but I can give you some sound advice. Go see a foot specialist who will be better prepared to make an accurate diagnosis after examining you.
If using crutches makes the foot feel better, then by all means use them until you see a doctor. BTW, I do not think you have plantar fasciitis; that would be a typical diagnosis from someone who is not familiar with foot pathology.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER