I have been diagnosed with a gangalion cyst on top of right foot. Dr. prescribed no treatment at this time. Recently every morning I have a severe pain and cramp in right leg to the hip. After about an hour and an ibuprofon it goes away. It does not return until the next morning after I awake. Could this pain and cramp be caused by the cyst.
Hi Jamie, I doubt it. I would go back to your doctor and relate your new set of symptoms and let he or she come up with a diagnosis. Marc Mitnick DPM
Uncomfortable pain in my right foot, ankle and leg up to the thigh.
Over 40 years ago, I stepped on a sewing needle. It appeared to have been embedded in the right ankle area. Several years later, two nursing student friends of mine decided to go in and take it out. They sterilized the area and made a small incision and were somewhat successful. After tugging at what was probably my tendon or muscle that got about 1/4 to 1/2 of it out. The other piece refused to detach itself from what I could feel was tough tissue of some kind. Today, I am having complications, after a specialist advised me "not to bother it, if it doesn't bother me." It definitely bothers me and I feel and sense pain, tingling,sensitivity and discomfort constantly; especially in that area where I know the needle is still embedded, per X-Rays. I would be ever so grateful for any recommendation. What should I do to eliviate this worrisome problem??? GOD Bless you.
Hi, If this problem is painful and worrisome you only have one option and that is too have it removed. In general a needle that does not bother someone can probably be left alone but based on your story that is not the case. Assuming you have no medical problems that would preclude you from having it removed I would think that would be your best course of action. Marc Mitnick DPM
Middle of Foot Pain, Radiating into Shins and Knee - Both Feet
Hello, My husband has been having foot problems for years. Both feet have the same problems. Several years ago he hyper-pointed (opposite of flexing his feet) his feet while wakeboarding. He is experiencing pain that gets worse throughout the day, his pain is getting worse and worse through the months and has now started radiating up into his shins and knees. He has gone to a podiatrist who gave him a cam (sp?) boot and orthodics. He honestly didn't give the cam boot much of a chance, but does consistently wear the orthotics. His feet seemed to improve for a month or two after getting the orthodics, but now are getting worse and are almost as bad as before the orthodics. The pain is keeping him from doing basic activities. My husband is only 39 years old. Do you have any idea what might be going on? Thank you, Janice
Hi Janice, I would assume your husband at a minimum developed an extensor tendonitis in both feet from hyperdorsiflexion of his feet. The problem is that as he walks daily he is just re-injurying an injured area, so the area never gets better. In theory a cam walker would be a good idea to immobilize the foot and rest the tendons, but how do you wear one of those on both feet and still be able to walk? I would think his next best option would be to go for physical therapy along with anti-inflammatory medication in an effort to reduce the inflammation in the tendons and therefore reduce the pain. Marc Mitnick DPM
I'm a 38 year old woman, afflicted for the last 11 months with a pain condition in my foot that has deteriorated to the point where I feel utterly despairing. I'll briefly recount the events leading to my current situation: last May (2007), I took a 6-month leave of absence from my job to travel in Europe. Since I have never been an athletic person, I was unaware of the risks associated with sudden and excessive physical exertion. I was also (amazingly enough) oblivious to the importance of good shoes in preventing injury. So, off I went to Europe with a pair of crappy, thin-soled shoes. Since my travel companion was a voracious walker, I immediately began to feel a rather shocking level of pain in both my feet. However, in my naivety, I attributed this pain to normal muscle strain and assumed it would go away as I built up strength. By the end of each day, my feet were in so much pain that I could barely take another step. I ended each day by icing my feet, and found that I was (just barely) able to resume activity the following morning. This went on for about 12 days, until one day, when I felt that something significant (and very distressing) had occurred in my left foot. For the first time since my travels began, sleep didn't produce any healing effects. My left foot was sore all the time, although it was particularly sore for the first 5 minutes or so after standing up. With walking, it seemed to "warm up", and the soreness/numbness/tingling decreased. In retrospect, the subsequent events seem surreal: despite the pain in my foot (concentrated under the fourth and fifth metatarsal bones, and on the outer edge of the foot), I continued my travels and continued stressing my foot for another 3 months. Periodically, the pain would subside after resting the foot for a few days, and I suppose this produced a false sense of hope in me that the condition would improve on its own. (I need to point out here the extent to which I was disconnected from the world of fitness, sports, and the vulnerabilities of the body).
As time went on, the pain was not improving and reality began to set in. I flew home with significant distress in my foot and assumed that with proper care and rest it would get better. This, however, did not happen. Instead, what began as a minor injury (with symptoms that disappeared with rest and reappeared with exertion) has turned into an unbelievable ordeal that has practically ruined my life. After coming home, I saw an orthopaedist who suggested it may be a stress fracture, requested an MRI, prescribed orthotics and gave me a cortisone injection. I waited 2 months to have the MRI, and then another month to get the results. It indicated no stress fracture, but showed "hyperactivity" between metatarsals and running down the side of the foot. The diagnosis was bursitis. I should mention that during this 3-month period, I wore an orthopaedic boot (on and off)to try to minimize stress to my foot.
Three months after arriving home, I had a 2nd cortisone shot (performed in a hasty fashion), which left me with significant tenderness on the bottom of the foot that had not been there previously. The foot, far from improving, was getting worse and simultaneously a new set of symptoms appeared that was even more incapacitating: I began to experience pain in my leg every time I sat down. This pain was quite intense and debilitating. I've had no care or treatment since my 2nd cortisone shot (difficult to access specialists), save for a couple of months of physiotherapy that produced no tangible results. I know that I have not taken the necessary steps to address the problem adequately, and I can only say that this is the result of a sense of disbelief and distress that have left me feeling quite helpless.
Here I am, 11 months after my travels began, and I continue to have pain in my foot and leg. The pain in my foot has transformed. Now, in addition to the original zones of distress, I also have pain on the whole underside of my foot (fascia, heel, around the heel). Sitting is very difficult and walking any distance causes the symptoms to flare up badly. Recently, the pain has evolved to the point where it's uncomfortable for me to sleep on my left side. Overall, my foot and leg feel heavy, sort of numb, hypersensitive, and achy all the time. My job as a social worker and therapist requires me to sit for long periods of time, and my physical condition has made working very challenging. My life has become truncated and pain-ridden to the point where I don't know how to proceed.
If you have any insights or advice, I would very much appreciate hearing from you. A recommendation about top foot treatment centres anywhere near Montreal, Canada would also be helpful.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to your reply,
Hi Nomi, I suppose I am stating the obvious when I tell you that doing all that walking with a "crappy pair of shoes" was the worst thing you could have done. Obviously the constant trauma of the foot on the walking surface without adequate support and protection has resulted in this dilemma. The problem as I tell my own patients is that once you have injured an area of the foot, it is very hard to "rest" the injured area and continue to walk on a daily basis, so the injured area never seems to get better. First of all I would recommend you either see a podiatrist or a foot orthopedist who is trained in the various nuances that foot pain exhibits. The good news is that the MRI ruled out a stress fracture so we know that the damage is all soft tissue and theoretically should be able to heal. Without having the luxury of being able to examine you, based on your story, I would think a combination of immobilization of the left foot and physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication would ultimately be the answer. I would inquire about the diagnosis of bursitis on the MRI and perhaps lean more towards a neuroma as the source of the growth between the metatarsal heads. NOW, I am a bit concerned about your statement on how your whole leg seems to be involved. I would like to refer you to my page on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This can be a very very debilitating condition and is difficult to diagnose. Your description of the present pain that you are experiencing on some levels might indicate CRPS. Obviously, I cannot tell by reading your story, but I would like you to make an appointment right away and at least raise the possibility with your doctor. If this condition is part of your problem, the sooner it is treated, the better the prognosis. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I went to the foot doctor and he told me that my second metatarsal bone is lower than the first one. He said on the x-ray that the first 2 bones should be seen as one, then the last three are progressed downward. He has suggested surgery to break that 2nd bone and reset it (on both my feet). I have a lot of foot, ankle, knee and hip pain. How can i be sure that this is the right treatment for me? I have never had a broken bone before, and i am worried about having surgery.
Hi Brenda, Before I would consent to any surgery I would do a couple of things. First I would try some sort of orthotic to accommodate the bone deformity, which is usually very helpful and secondly I would get a second opinion. Always be skeptical when a doctor's first line of treatment is surgery. Marc Mitnick DPM
After wearing old flipflops for 2 full days, I find I cannot walk barefoot without experiencing awful pain from foot up the lower leg-left leg only. I am 60 years old, an athlete w/ orthotics from years ago. I'm scared about this. I can't stand in the shower, or get out of bed to walk to bathroom without this piercing pain. With shoes, there's no problem. Any ideas?? Thanks.
Hi Sharon, Obviously the poor support and poor shock absorption afforded by your flip flops has caused your foot and leg pain. In a worst case scenario I might think stress fracture, a lesser cause would be an overuse injury such as tendonitis or capsulitis. If you have such piercing pain, your only real option would be to seek medical care. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am 56 years old and was in good health until I feel on the ice and had 3 breaks in my ankle and my leg bone shattered. I had surgery on Christmas Eve and had a plate and 10 screws put in and went through alot of pain. On March 30, I had one screw removed, which had actually broker and my surgeon had to go in from both sides of my ankle to retrieve it. For a while, I had less pain and became more active; however, now 4 months later, I am having more pain than I did at the 3-month point. My surgeon initially didn't want to remove the hardware and really never explained why except "it didn't need to come out". The last time I had a check-up he said "do you think we need to remove the hardware"? I don't want my surgeon asking me what needs to be done.
I really don't want to face another surgery, but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life in pain every step I take. My ankle is also so stiff and hurts even at rest. I can no longer play tennis, walk 4 miles a day, dance or take care of my house the way I used to before my accident.
Can you honestly tell me if most times, removing the hardware helps alleviate the pain or does it set me up for more pain from a repeated surgery? What can I expect as far as post-surgery pain and being off my foot/leg?
Thank you so much!
Hi Susan, The issue here is to determine if it is the hardware that is causing the pain. Chances are if you had a lot of metal placed in the ankle and leg then there is good chance it is part of the problem. The best advice I can give you is to consider going for a second opinion to allow another set of "eyes" to look at your problem and offer an opinion as to whether or not the hardware should come out, plus is it too early to even consider removing the hardware (are all the fracture sites completely healed?). I am also curious as to whether or not you ever had therapy on the leg and ankle? Physical therapy could go a long way to reducing your pain. Marc Mitnick DPM
On Easter Sunday My left leg missed the step and went down between the step and house . My leg has swelling in it and has been black ,blue , yellow etc.
I am on arthrotec 50 50mg for arthritis in my knees. I also have bursitis in both hips and had gotten cortisone injections in them last week. That doctor gave me a fluid pill Apo-Hydro25mg to take the fluid down .It hasn't made any change in the swelling . I quit the Arthrotec for a few days to see if that would make any difference but it hasn't. What can I do?
Hi, Generally speaking, swelling in the lower leg associated with trauma will not respond to a water pill. By your description it sounds like you badly bruised the leg and did not tear the skin. I hope your doctor checked to make sure you did not develop a phlebitis as a result of the trauma. Assuming he checked and there is no phlebitis you can assume the swelling and discoloration will disappear over time. To help it along, I would suggest you try a compression dressing like an ace bandage wrapped from the toes to above the swelling. You may also try icing the area on a regular basis. I would continue with the Arthrotec as it will help reduce the inflammation associated with the swelling. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
The bottom front part of my fibula (I think that is what the ankle knob is called) has been extremely tender,sore and painful for about 11 months. After x rays showed no bone problems I got a cortosone shot that helped for 5 months but, now the pain is back in full force. At first I thought the tongue of my tennis shoes was aggravating the area but, now I realize it must be something more. I limp off the tennis court at the end of a match and feel achy, shooting pains off and on during the day and constant tenderness. I have been icing the area and taking advil but, nothing seems to help. I am desperate.
Hi Alison, Although I have no way of actually examining your ankle I would be willing to bet that your problem is a structural problem in the way that the foot lines up under the ankle. You may be excessively pronated and therefore the outside of the foot constantly jams up against the fibula when you walk and particularly when you play tennis. Assuming you have not actually sprained the ankle, this is usually the next most common cause of lateral ankle pain. You need to see a sports minded podiatrist. He or she will notice it immediately after seeing you stand and walk. Assuming this is the problem, it is a readily correctable situation. Marc Mitnick DPM
numb foot, swollen ankle and limited bending of leg
I had back surgery in january twice...to remove herniated disc and 3 large fragments were removed. I associated my numbness in foot and swelling of foot and ankle to that. I still have these symptoms as well as not being able to bend my leg very much. I dont know where to start or what to do.
Hi Missy, The first thing to do is go back to your surgeon and tell he or she about your symptoms; they very well may be a result of your surgery and it is your doctor's responsibility to give you some direction. Physical therapy may be an option but the longer you wait, the less effective it will be. Marc Mitnick DPM
My feet swell all the time and my veins in legs get big?!
I have a problem and I'm not too sure why I am having this. Everytime I stand up for about 2 mins my feet start swelling and my veins in my legs get huge. Its so uncomfortable and I am wondering what can be causing this and what I can do to prevent this. I am 22 year old mother of 2 if this has anything to do with it. I have heard this can be heart problems or it can be poor circulation but I wonder if I need to see a Dr. oh yeah and when I elevate my feet I start to feel so much better physically?! I am not overweight I am a petite woman Please help! Thanks
Hi Autumn, You are developing varicose veins probably from your pregnancy. When you stand, the blood has a difficult time going from the feet back up to the heart. The job of the veins is to "pump" the blood back up to the heart. When the veins are not functioning properly the blood is not pumped up and instead cause the veins to swell which for many people can be quite uncomfortable. You are kind of young to be experiencing this but there may be a hereditary factor involved. I would suggest you see a doctor, as you do not wan this to get worse and more than likely it will not go away on its own. Marc Mitnick DPM
I currently play soccer, on a outdoor field, also have gym class 3 days a week. Lately I've been having cramps/pain above my ankle (4inches) and on the outside of my leg. (sometimes the pain is actually in the middle.) When I'm just sitting here nothing hurts, unless I bend my foot downward or upward. When we run in soccer or in gym class my shin starts feeling really tight. I've never had this problem before, and I've been in soccer for 8 years, and had gym class 3 days a week for 8 years. I really hope you can help me out. Thanks, in advance.
Hi Brittany, There is a good chance you are over pronating and that may be the cause of your shin splints. If this is the case then you will probably need an orthotic to control your pronation. Since I cannot examine you, I am only guessing but in most cases this is the cause of shin splints in athletes. See a podiatrist and have the problem taken care of. Marc Mitnick DPM
CONSTANT FOOT & LEG PAIN, EXACERBATED BY ACTIVITY & EVERYDAY LIVING
by Swamped in Pain
Eleven months ago, I was at a complete stop in traffic, foot on brake, seatbelt on when I heard screeching tires behind me; I instinctively braked harder and braced arms on steering wheel. My rental car did not move enough to hit the car in front of me, so the impact went into me (guessing). The rear-end accident occurred in rental car I was driving, and this rental car had rigid back bumper that did not crumble and barely had a scratch. The person who hit me was going fast enough that his driver-side front airbag opened and his front bumper was crumbled somewhat, partly falling off. Unsure of his repair bill, but would guess was substantial. Symptoms of my injuries that began 1-2 days later: severe whiplash (pains in back of neck, right shoulder, and pin-point pains on right side of head/neck area); right leg pain at mid-thigh/hamstring area traced laterally down my leg, over the fibula head area, down right side of leg near shin and side of calf as well as back of calf, and down into back of ankle, top of foot, lateral/right side of top of foot down into 3rd & 4th toes; bottom of foot, particularly near toes also sensitive to pressure). Pains experienced were constant, no matter what I was or was not doing (sitting, standing, walking, lying down); activities exacerbated pains; could not sit/stand/walk for more than 10 minutes max, when pain was too excruciating and I had to rest on left leg when standing or shift positions or activity (sitting/standing/walking) in order to distract the pain. I felt that I was walking with a slight gait. I had various doctor appointments and pain management attempts (epidurals, med-pak, standard narcotics -- all minimal relief for short periods), and have been given nerve meds (typically used as antidepressants) but still find no pain relief, just felt weird and unfocused on these meds. Two sets of MRIs were done on cervical & lumbar discs, showing bulging/affected discs that were possibly affected by disc degeneration (but no prior signs of pain in neck or lumbar) and it was determined by neurologist that I have pinched nerve at L5-S1 that is causing radiculopathy or sciatic nerve pain. I also ordered an EMG, which showed motor and/or senory conduction disruptions for ext. Digital longus and one other longus area (cannot remember at this point), and deep and superficial nerves also disrupted; findings attributed to lumbar radiculopathy, although nerve disruption was found in the right foot (at least). As of my last recent doctor visit, doctor states that motor function in right leg is normal, strength is normal, 2+ deep tendon reflex is present, Babinski sign is negative, Tinsel sign I think was negative (or not indicative of an issue), all reflexes tested that are associated with spinal column were normal. I think I have dorsiflexion problems in the right foot: when 3rd & 4th toes are manipulated upwards, I have severe acute pain. I also find it difficult to turn my right leg and foot inward and cannot stand on a ladder due to pain in right foot. All areas mentioned above from back of the right knee, laterally down the right leg, into ankle and foot are constantly painful, without touching or manipulating, and are more painful when pressed or manipulated. I have had no MRIs done on my leg/foot because doctors diagnosed my pain as lumbar radiculopathy; but my pains and tingling/burning/numbness have not decreased and have actually increased since the accident, and the pains "move" sometimes. (I have been getting therapy since late November 2007, and my neck issues have alleviated slightly due to being stretched but shoulder is same; no other slight or other improvements noted. Therapist thinks he can make me better, although has not acknowledged that direct trauma could have occurred to right leg/foot.) I also have had tingling, firey burning, slight weakness and numbness in affected right leg/foot areas, but my current doctor and another doctor who referred me to the current one have said that there is no possibility that leg/foot neuropathies or other damage can exist for me, despite what I feel was a unique accident in which my right leg/foot directly absorbed a strong force from the impact. I will attempt to see a sports medicine doctor within a month or two, but I cannot get my current doctor to refer me for leg/foot MRIs much less another doctor, because my current doctor thinks his diagnosis is accurate and final and pain is attributed only to sciatica. I disagree and am concerned that I have leg/foot nerve entrapments or damage, or other soft tissue or bony injuries that were not diagnosed and will further disable me. (I have had x-ray done on my right foot, but it did not seem that the doctor reviewing it was thorough or shot from enough angles. No comparison done with left foot, either.) By the way, my current doctor has seen me twice, once for 10 minutes in the visit room and once for 5 minutes, so I do not feel that he even listened to me or considered all my symptoms. Please give your opinion of my situation. Thanks.
Thats quite a lengthy (and thorough) description of your problem. The problem with pain as a result of trauma is that every patient presents with a different set of symptoms and even in similar accidents the symptoms between two people will be different. It would seem to me that rear impact collision with your right foot planted firmly on the brake would have cause a jarring impact on your back, particularly your lower back and because your right foot was firmly planted would have also resulted in a jarring impact on your whole leg. Having said that it would seem to me that having a bulging disc in your lower back would be the main source of your pain possibly as far as all the way down to your foot. Most of your pain description sounds neurological in origin, both sensory and motor. There may be some actual damage from your back down to your foot which may be a contributing factor but I think most of the pain is a result of back trauma. Have you had treatment relating solely to your disc problem? Has surgical intervention been mentioned? The problem is your injury is now elven months old; I am not certain how helpful therapy will be at this point (but I am not a neurologist or physical therapist). Obviously, it is a complicated case, your best bet is to find a doctor who will listen to you and show an interest in helping you. A five minute office visit is not the answer. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I was recently diagnosed with diabetes,and ever since Ive been having a tingling and iching sensation on the bottom of my feet as well as my buttocks.the problem is I havent started medication or i dont see a rash.can you help me.thank you
Hi Carlos, Your tingling may be due to diabetic neuropathy (read my section on diabetes) but it may also be due to another cause such as a nerve entrapment in the spine where the nerves come out of the spinal column or perhaps another cause. Read my section on "neuropathy". In any event, you should discuss these symptoms with your doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
my daughter is 20 months. she started walking with full weight on right leg walks on her tip toes or ball of foot with left leg. if she tries and and flatten her left foot she starts crying and gets on her tip toe of her left foot.
Hi Ken, Obviously this does not sound normal, although some children prefer walking on their toes, early on, but in those cases if they walk normal they do not start crying. I think you need to bring this up with your pediatrician. Marc Mitnick DPM
my son has leg pain in his calf and the fall asleep quite frequently
by therese williams
I took my son to the doctor for back leg pain the began about 2 months ago
Also I saw that he was walking oddly and that he did not seem to be able to straighten his leg out completely when he walks on it . The Doctor did motion tests and then told me she wants a MRI of his head and neck Also she said that this condition was rare and that he may have been born with it or lately acquired it. When I asked her if physical therapy would help she told me that I had to understand what we where dealing with and gave me know more answers Do You have any idea of what she may be looking for and why she wants the neck and head to have an MRI My son is fifteen year old an has grown literally a foot this year he will be a tall boy Thank-you for you time Therese Williams
Hi Therese, I would assume the doctor is trying to rule out a neurological problem and unless this particular doctor is a neurologist I would be surprised if she would be aware of very rare neurological conditions. Followup with her and see where it takes you. Marc Mitnick DPM
Two weeks ago I noticed a bruise on my right shine. The bruise has gotten bigger and the outside of it is red while the iinside is yellow. I don't remember hitting it and now my right leg swells. I am 11 weeks prego. What could be the problem? It also hurt or throbs when I stand for a short period of time.
Hi Christina, From your description it sounds like the area may be infected, regardless of how it occurred. Your best bet would be to let your doctor see it and then treat it. Marc Mitnick DPM
continued foot and leg pain following spinal decompression surgery
by Andrew Curd
I had L4-L5 decrompression 9 months ago, I still have leg and foot, across top of foot and back pain, also often get leg cramp
Hi Andrew, I am not a back specialist but I will tell you this; it is not uncommon for people who have had spinal decompression surgery to continue to have foot and leg problems after the surgery. The only thing I can recommend is to go back to your surgeon and let he or she know what kind of problems you are still having. There are treatments short of additional surgery that may be of help to you. Marc Mitnick DPM
I've been receiving pain in the shin area of my two legs lately. It hurts whenever I walk fast, jump, run, or stand for about 30mins. 8 months ago, I had the same pain in my right shin. The doctor said it was my tendon and told me to rest and prescribed me naproxen. Just a few days ago, they started hurting again under the stress of running 3 miles, one bleacher lap, jumping up the bleachers and backpedaling 300m consecutively.
The area that hurts the most is about two inches about my ankle--it's on the inner side of my shin.
What exactly is my problem and how can I heal it?
Hi Amy, Read my section on shin splints. If you are excessively pronated (flat footed) then orthotics will go a long way to improving your situation. Icing and anti-inflammatory medication help, but you have to get to the source of the problem which is generally eliminating excessive pronation. Marc Mitnick DPM