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

Foot pain; no swelling, no bruising

by Josh
(Cincinnati, OH, USA)

I am experiencing pain while walking/running. It is sharp, but comes and goes in severity, sometimes so bad that it causes me to limp, other times hardly noticeable. It is located around my outermost metatarsal of my left foot. The sharp pain goes around the side, bottom and top of that bone. The type of pain is similar to an ankle sprain, but the location of it is strange, I cannot find an common injury on the internet that sounds similar. Peroneal tendonitis is higher, towards the ankle, than where my foot hurts. And a stress fracture on the metatarsal seems unlikely because there is no bruising, swelling, and it doesn't hurt to touch. I ran Monday morning, my longest run to date, and Monday night after getting up from watching some TV the pain started with every step. It lightens up at times and then comes on strong other times. It is some kind of sprain?

Hi Josh,
The only way you can diagnose a stress fracture is with an xray, you cannot tell my looking at the foot.
In any event it sounds like you may have a bursitis around the fifth metatarsal head which is a fairly common occurrence.
You can try some anti-inflammatory medication, if you can tolerate it, make sure your shoes are not creating too much pressure on the bone.
If that does not help you may need to see a podiatrist in which case a cortisone injection may be in order.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Foot pain; no swelling, no bruising

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Jul 16, 2018
Foot Pain, No Swelling, now leg pain
by: Matthew

I woke up 2 days ago with a little pain in my left foot, middle top of the foot in line with the 4th and 5th metatarsals. The pain gradually got worse and I adjusted the way I was walking to put less pressure on the outer portion of the foot. Now my left outer leg hurts just above the calf when I walk. The foot only hurts when I put pressure on it like walking. There's no swelling in the foot or leg.

Jul 13, 2017
Dietary reason?
by: Denise

I have what sounds like the same pain. I'm wondering if you all drink energy drinks. It's the only thing that is different in my daily habits. Could it be a side effect?

Probably not. If any food, drink or medication were to adversely affect you, it more then likely would not be limited to the feet.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 27, 2017
my turn
by: William

I was moving a trunk recently, a bed, and some running. The top of my right foot is red and I have trouble moving my big toe. I sometimes limp because of it. Did I break it? No bruising or anything just red/pink.

Feb 12, 2017
me too...
by: Tess

I'm experiencing the same thing. Am I causing damage when I just "push through" (ignore the pain)?It is very frustrating!

Oct 10, 2016
by: Kayla

I was walking and all of a sudden it started hurting and can barely walk. Is this a stress fracture?

You cannot diagnose a stress fracture based solely on history. It may well be; it may also be a half dozen other problems.
The best way to find out is to seek medical attention.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Aug 15, 2016
Right foot arch pain
by: Nicole

Almost two weeks ago I dropped my phone on my foot (right on the arch)and ever since I have sharp pains that come and go it's not bruised hardly even swollen I can walk on it but it does hurt to put pressure on it does anyone have a idea at what can be wrong?

Jun 15, 2016
very painful in my left foot no swelling or bruising
by: benjamin

got pain in my left foot hurts like hell been there since sunday been to doctors as i thought it was gout got no clue what is wrong, got another appointment tomorrow morning.

Nov 06, 2015
Can't I just chop off my foot...?
by: Anonymous

Currently experiencing similar pain, only it's on the inner side of my right foot. It hurts to touch. I can move my toes without too much pain. I can barely walk, though, and when I do, I have to keep a stiff ankle, or else I can't bear weight on my foot. Attempting to move my foot from side to side brings so much pain that I can't do it, anymore. I can't figure out what it is because just about every foot problem seems to list swelling as a symptom, but there isn't even the slightest bit of swelling. Just pain. Sometimes, I feel the pain all the way up to my knee, but that comes and goes. I did a lot of walking in flat, slim shoes, today... I'm assuming that's the cause.

I could actually start crying from the pain. Not gonna lie... I sent my boyfriend to the store to get an ACE bandage. I'm going to wrap it during the day, take it off when I sleep, until the pain goes away... If it's still present when I see my doctor for unrelated reasons on Saturday, I'll point it out to him.

Jan 02, 2012
Pain in right foot.
by: laurence

Walked 10km Friday over mountainous terrain. After walk (had mocassins on)put chickens into coop. While returning to house slightly went over on side of foot. No swelling. Went unnoticed until next morning, pain, pain, until became immobile. Evening went to relatives for New Years dinner. Foot, ankle seemed much better little pain, walked with care. This morning stepping out of bed onto cool concrete floor, pain, pain, limp, limp, very painful. Have taken no pain killers to date. Any ideas? Positive 2012

Oct 26, 2011
Very similar indeed
by: Anonymous

I've been experiencing the same kind of pain but in my right foot. It hurts so bad in the morning and i've been requiring an anti-inflamatory just to combat it. I really hope it isn't bursitis, i don't think it is. No swelling and it doesn't get worse with activity it gets better. How weird is that huh. Hurts to the point where i can barely walk on it when i don't do anything but once i get walking for 10 minutes or so the pain alleviates greatly. Been running for weeks now, can't stop yet. Have a fitness test to accomplish first, then the doctor. hoo-ray military.

Jun 15, 2011
Severe pain in foot
by: Anonymous

My big toenail came off the other day, and a few days later, I could not put any pressure on the same foot. Not swollen or bruised, but in severe pain.

Nov 29, 2010
by: Anonymous

I've been experiencing the same thing! I'm currently a high school student and running is part of my usual activities. Sadly, I stopped running about two weeks ago due to an immense amount of responsibilities that needed to be taken care of. I just began running last Friday and everything was fine. Then Monday came and I noticed the exact same pains as the one described. It got really bad where I had to limp, but sometimes the pain would go away. Sometimes I had a sharp pain that shot up to my calves. Anywho, I have a 4 mile pacing coming up, and I'm not sure if I should run or not. I'm going to run 3 miles today and see if It's okay. If the pain is really bad, then I guess I won't be able to do the pacing. I've been trying to look on the internet for this stuff. Thanks for the help though!

Oct 02, 2010
Ankle pain
by: Jean

I have been walking for three years on a treadmill and outside and have never experienced ankle pain until 1 week ago. No swelling or bruising and only hurts certain ways I move my foot. Don't know whether to rest the foot or continue walking since it doesn't always hurt when I walk?

May 29, 2010
similar pain
by: Anonymous

hello i been seraching everywhere to find out the injury to my ankle. it sounds similar to this i ahve no brusining and pain only when i do certain movements that i have to put allot of load in the ankle for example: if i position my ankle and the shin like this _\ or like this _/. but if i walk normally i dont feel it at all even if i jogg lightly i dont feel it.again no swelling no bruseing. thank you- Til

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(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
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I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
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Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


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Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



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I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


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You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

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Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

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Unknown location

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Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


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New Zealand

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I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


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South Carolina
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unknown location

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Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

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San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

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location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


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Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


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Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


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Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


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Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

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San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


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Jill S.

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Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


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Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


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Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


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Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

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Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

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I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


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