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

Outer left foot pain about 1 inch from little toe

For two months I have had dull pain on my outer left foot. I do not have swelling or discoloration, so I have put off going to the doctor. I can walk on my foot and notice the pain more so when I am sitting down. I have not worked out since this pain started for fear of greater injury. I keep debating about going to the clinic for an x ray. My foot problem sounds simular to all listed above.


Without the luxury of examining you I do not know what you have but I will discuss the two main problems that I see in the area of the foot that you described. One inch behind the little toe and on the side would represent what is known as the head of the fifth metatarsal bone, in this case being the outside of the fifth metatarsal head.
The first thing I see a lot of is what is known as a
bursitis . Depending on the types of shoes that you wear and your activity level, a bursitis can develop in that area due to constant pressure. In this case the area many times will be slightly red and mildly spongy when pressing and certainly painful. This is certainly a condition that may also hurt when seated.
The next condition that I see a lot of is what is known as a
tailor's bunion . In this case the head of the fifth metatarsal bone is mildly enlarged and because of that, once again shoe pressure will cause the bone to start hurting. Now there is always a chance you may have suffered
a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal head, but quite frankly, I do not see that very often and in general terms if that were the case, the foot would hurt the more you walk and less when seated.
Another condition that I see a lot of and most non foot specialists would never look for, is what is known as a
porokeratosis .
This is basically a plugged sweat gland. Because feet perspire they of course have tens of thousands of sweat glands and quite often excessive shoe pressure will cause one or more of these glands to become very hard and thus painful. These plugged sweat glands can be found on the outside of the fifth metatarsal head as well as on the bottom of the bone.
Obviously, I know nothing about you in regards to age, sex, weight, etc. but I would be curious to know if the pain is present when walking barefoot. If there is no pain on the outside of the fifth metatarsal head when walking barefoot then I would be leaning less towards a tailor's bunion, bursitis or even a porokeratosis on the lateral side of the foot.
Since this pain has been going on for two months now, it is probably safe to say it is not going away on its own. If it is keeping you from doing things you enjoy, like working out then I think it is time you went to see a foot specialist. As I mentioned earlier any doctor other than a foot specialist might not make a diagnosis of porokeratosis as he or she would not be looking for such a condition.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Outer left foot pain about 1 inch from little toe

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Aug 01, 2018
Me too!
by: Susan

I also have this pain - and noticed it after a long walk in sandals.

What did you find out? Anything?

Oct 29, 2015
Slight Foot Pain
by: Anonymous

I first thought I stepped on a small stone or pebble or something went into my foot like a thorn from a bush. I walk barefoot a lot. But my wife examined the bottom of my foot and she could not see anything there, so I surmize it must be in the bone. I am an active senior, and walk 3 times a week with New Balance sneakers, cross trainers. I have done this for the last 40 years.
It almost feels like a small sore, and I keep thinking it might go away in time, especially if I take it easy for a few days.

Jun 20, 2013
same as you, what did you find out?
by: Anonymous

I have exactly the same problem, like to know what's finally is your condition?

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