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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

Bumps on side of both feet

by Krischan

bumps on feet

bumps on feet

bumps on feet
side of foot bumps

These bumps on side of both feet (see 3 images) typically don't cause

pain but tend to hurt a little when doing rigid physical exercise.
Bumps don't even hurt when touching or pressing, only after PE.
Daughter is 11 , about 5'4 , has grown a lot over that last 3 years, shoe size about 7.

What do we have here?
Will it go away?
Shall we just observe or act?

Thank you


Hi Krischan,

Any time a person has "bumps" of an unknown entity occurring any where on their body, the proper thing to do would be to have a doctor look at them and confirm that they are nothing serious. Lets face it; the bumps should not be there.
Just because they basically do not hurt is not a reason to avoid seeking medical attention.
Having said that, according to your narrative you state that they are occurring on both feet. (it is difficult to tell from the pictures) So, because they are on both feet I can probably make the assumption that they are occurring from a common denominator, which in most cases are shoes.
You mention that your daughter does rigid physical exercise so that raises the question of whether or not she wears cleats or is she in sneakers all the time?
I ask because cleats are generally more narrow than sneakers and also of a harder leather making irritation of the foot a lot more common place.
The top picture reveals a lump
on what is known as the base of the fifth metatarsal. In most individuals there is a normal flare of the bone at this level, while many people exhibit an exaggerated flare which of course can then be aggravated by shoes, particularly narrow, hard leather shoes.
Thus, if your daughter does wear cleats that may explain why she has these bumps in that area.
Truthfully, the other two pictures are of little help to me but I will make the assumption she has the same fifth metatarsal problem on both feet.
Based on that assumption I am "guessing" that the problem is nothing more than shoe irritation and if that is the case then nothing more should be done to these bumps as long as they are looked at by a local doctor who confirms all of this.
Once that is confirmed then my suggestion would be to try and buy your daughter slightly wider shoes or a different brand which may not be quite as tight and may have a softer leather to keep pressure off the side of the feet.
The obvious problem here is that even though these bumps give your daughter a minimum amount of discomfort at this point in time, there is always the possibility that they will become more painful on a regular basis and then you will be faced with tougher questions on how to handle this problem.
So...first, have them checked out by a doctor and then go from there.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jul 18, 2019
by: Linda

Did you ever resolve this? I have the same problem. They aren't often painful, but I am very self conscious of how they look!

Nov 14, 2016
Bumps On Outsides of Both Feet @Base of 5th Metatarsal and Cuboid Bones
by: Cathy

I am 59 years old and I've had these bumps on the outer edge of both feet for many years. From the ages of 25-55 I would workout 5-6x/week doing a combination of step aerobics and running or biking combined with weight training 3-4x/week. I even worked at a gym as my second job in my 20's. I was wearing the proper shoes and I regularly purchased new ones. However, sports-specific shoes weren't as widely available when I was at my peak exercise period.

Over the last five years these bumps became larger and I've had to be very careful in choosing shoes that are wide enough so as not rub on these painful bumps. I also use felt pads around them (a hole cut out of the middle) because sometimes they are so painful and burn if rubbed by shoes. Too narrow of a shoe is impossible for me to wear, so if I must get dressed up for an occasion I'll only wear heels for a short period of time and bring more comfortable shoes with me to change into.

I discussed this problem with my podiatrist (my two sons and I have seen him for years; they were ice hockey players and developed foot issues from their skates) about three years ago. He said my problem was most likely caused by the high amount of overuse (exercises I did) over 30+ years. In order to relieve the pain he could perform surgery, but because it involved the largest joint in my feet I'd need to be off each surgically repaired foot for about six months. Arghhh. I do not have the time for this surgery at present. I have people depending on me for their care.

For a second opinion I asked the podiatrist who I take my mother to every 2 1/2 months what ha thought. He frowned when I gave him my podriatist's prognosis. He told me he could shave the sides of my foot bones, and it was a minor surgery that would NOT require extended immobility.

I'll need to decide what to do. I know one thing, I cannot continue to live with the burning pain I get in these feet of mine.

Problems such as this become a question of trying to put a square peg into a round hole, In other words, because of the protrusion of bone, your feet do not fit comfortably in your shoes and you have pain.

So, you have two choices, change your shoes or change your foot. If you cannot seem to find shoes that are wide enough in the area of the fifth metatarsal base (and it can be difficult) then, if you are in enough pain, you should consider surgery.

I agree with the second podiatrist (I am not sure what the first podiatrist is talking about). The fifth metatarsal bone has to be shaved down with the only problem taking care of the tendons that insert into the base of the bone.

One "halfway" proposition would be to consider a cortisone injection in the painful area. If the painful area has a spongy feel to it, then there is a chance there is an associated bursitis which may be contributing to the pain. A cortisone injection has no real down side as long as you do not have too many, and if it helps great, if it does not help, you still can opt for surgery.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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