Painful 3rd toe on both feet (at the same time) at the first joint
I am a 44 year old female and have painful 3rd toes on both feet at the
same time, in the same first joint for 7 years now. I have attributed it to wearing high heels for years in the office, but I haven't done that for a number of years now as it's too painful. And also the structure of my toes is strange. My third toes are not straight like the others, they kind of point outward, toward my little toe. The toes don't act like they have gout as they are painful all the time when I walk and when I don't. My 2nd and 3rd toes are about the same length as each other and longer than my big toe. I have seen an Orthopedist and he said it is not a Neuroma but could tell me nothing more about my condition. Some times the pain is worse than others, but there is always some form of pain there. I can't walk barefoot as that is painful as well. I also can't walk normally as those toes are too painful. I almost swing my feet inward like I am pigeon toed so my toes hurt less when I walk. Sometimes when the pain is really bad I curl my toes and walk with them curled in a ball. Once in a while the toes will swell, but that is rare. Usually they are just painful and to look at them you can't see a thing. No redness, no nothing, they just hurt. I get both very sharp pains in them when I walk and a burning sensation too. Any suggestions or help? Thank you for your consideration.
Hi Chris, Consider seeing a podiatrist as they are generally better at diagnosing more obscure foot problems. If your toes are mal-aligned and it is determined this is the source of your pain, then you may have to entertain surgical intervention in order to straighten the toes to reduce your pain. Obviously, because you have had this pain for such a long period of time, it is not going to go away on its own. I am making the assumption you have attempted to wear very conservative shoes and are still having pain. Marc Mitnick DPM
I had surgery for Lisfranc injury 10 weeks ago. I am still having sharp, shooting pain in my foot. Am still in air boot. Are these healing pains of the nerves?
Hi Elizabeth, Without examining you I have no idea what the pain is from, which means you should call your surgeon's office and ask he or she if this is anything to be concerned about as they would know best. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but I have nightmare feet and have had several surgeries, mainly metatarsal osteotomies/phalanegeal exostectomies type stuff.
Just recently, I developed two new (but somewhat similar) problems. On the underside of my big toe, more towards the nail than the base, I have a dime sized something-or-other that is very painful, but not the same type of pain I've had with all my other issues. It's super sensitive, almost as if I'm hitting raw skin when I touch it. It's not raised much at all and has a very thin layer of dry skin on to.
I have a similar thing on the side of my other big toe that is even more sensitive, but is raised a bit more and may even have a bit of a core. This one hurts so much it can't even be touched from certain angles.
Do you know what these might be and if I can handle them myself? I'm ready to take a blowtorch to them!
More than likely you have an accessory bone (extra bone) underneath the big toe , it is a fairly common problem and you have had it your whole life. It is usually made of cartilage but probably due to a change in your gait, either through age or all the surgeries you have had, you are putting excessive pressure on the bone and now it hurts and has made the overlying skin very sensitive as well. The most common reason for this happening would be due to lack of upward motion of your big toe when you ambulate. It is a treatable condition but unfortunately you will once again have to see a doctor. If you wear a lot of high heels, you might try flats for a while, this may allow the inflammation to "calm down". Marc Mitnick DPM
When I was out for a walk back in September of 09 with my friends, I stepped into a hole in the ground and rolled my ankle. At first it really hurt, but after a few minuets the pain went away and I continued to walk.
A few weeks later I became involved with a big christmas production at a nearby church. This commitment invovled me Choreographing, Teaching, and Preforming a solo and a group dance. I practiced about 9 or 10 hours a week. That is when the pain started.
I began getting pain in my right ankle (the same one that I rolled) about a 1/4 into the practiceses. The pain was sharp and strong. I twould feel like it was growing all around my ankle area and than it would die down only to flare up again within seconds of the first flare. At first this would only happen while I was working out, or practicing. I love to dance and exercise so I could understand why it was sore because I was in constant movement. However i soon started to notice it throughout the day, while I was in class, watching a movie or writing a paper. It would start to hurt with no help at all.
I started using ice and taking Ibprofine, which helped. But after a while this treatment would prove ineffective and not strong enough to stop the pain.
It has been 11 months now, and the pain is stronger than ever. It has put me in tears severl times adn has even made it difficult to accelerate or brake while driving. I saw my family doctor and they just that I had overworked it and said to ice it and contine taking ibprofine. But this is not working anymore.
I am in serious pain nearly everyday, and I cannot get in to see my doctor for another two weeks. Any information you could give me would be very helpful and much appreciated.
Hi Alyson, Until you can see the specialist one other thing you can do is immobilize the ankle with a brace, they are readily available in drug stores. If the pain is very bad you could even try keeping weight off the foot using crutches. The fact that you waited so long does not work in your favor but obviously without medical intervention this problem is not going to go away. Marc Mitnick DPM
Pain, tingling, numbness and ice cold feet and lower legs (below knees)
My name is Sara and I am 24 years old and was in almost perfect health before I became pregnant with my first baby daughter who is now a year old. I was having a lot of pain all over (long story short) and was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Here is my question: 3 days ago, both of my feet and lower parts of my legs became extremely cold... I have always had slightly cold hands and feet, but this is beyond discomfort. Then they started getting numb and tingling and painful. The pain is now in my lower legs. I can't move my feet, ankles, or toes without feeling like they will cramp up as my ankle did yesterday (it turned inward and was stuck and hurt really bad). I have had the thickest socks on and my home is warm (in fact the rest of me is really warm) My husband suggested to soak my feet/legs in really warm water. I did as he said and it seemed to help. I immediately covered my feet back up after soaking them and I had some relief, but about 15 minutes later they were in the same bad shape again. I have tried everything I know to do and they are still not better. This is so uncomfortable and painful that I have not slept very well at all the past couple nights. I don't know if you have any answers, but I would really appreciate any help. I am already suffering from severe joint pain, chronic fatigue, and depression all while trying to be the best young mom and wife. I am so frustrated, please help!
Thank you, Sara
Hi Sara, Your symptoms are highly suggestive of compromised circulation going down to your feet. I obviously cannot diagnose the cause, but these are symptoms that should not be present in a 24 year old. I would strongly suggest you make an immediate appointment with your doctor and let he or she determine the cause of your symptoms. Marc Mitnick DPM
I was woken during the night by a really sharp pain, like i was being stabbed in the ankle by a needle. It hurt so much I tore my bed apart looking for something that might of bitten me. Nothing. There is no mark on my ankle and no swelling. It now feels oddly a little cold and my ankle hurts a bit if i lift my foot towards my leg. There is also a light ache. Pain seems to be aching up to my knee.
I am 27 yrs old so am young and I was lying down when it happened.
Thank you and I really appreciate and help.
Hi nd, I have no idea what might have caused that kind of sensation but I am also willing to bet it will disappear in a very short period of time. Sometimes we all experience quirky pains that we cannot account for. However, if the pain persists, then a trip to the doctor will be necessary. Marc Mitnick DPM
Back in October, I noticed that when I sit for even a few minutes, the bottoms of my feet turn a dark, dark purple. There was no pain at that time. I mentioned it to my GP and he said to wiggle my toes. Not thrilled with that answer. Now both of my feet hurt most of the time, including when I get up in the morning. My feet seem to be a little purple when they are elevated. They are normal colored when I walk but still hurt. I am a school teacher so I am on my feet all day but that never bothered me before. My legs began to ache not long after my feet started to ache. I went back to my vein doctor to have things checked out. I had a varicose vein closed last summer with great results. Vein doctor said everything looks good. He doesn't know what is causing the purple feet. My feet and calves have been cramping too. I should also mention both of my hands have started to ache but are not purple. Tylenol or Ibuprofen help a little. I started on tamoxifen in April because of DCIS breast cancer. I'm going through menopause since August. I'm 52 and active. I was walking for 45 minutes everyday this spring, summer, and fall but stopped when it got cold out. Also, for most of my adult life, my feet have always gotten very hot when I wear almost any kind of closed shoe. What do you think could be the cause of my purple feet and pain? Thanks!
Hi Diane, I think a vascular specialist would be better equipped to answer your question. Sometimes certain medication can cause this problem but because the discoloration may be an indication of a circulatory problem I think you would be best served to see a vascular specialist, perhaps someone other than the vein doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
Second toe leans toward big toe sometimes overlapping and leaving space between second and third toes
by Mary Ellen
second toe leans toward big toe
I bumped my foot on the wooden, carpet-covered base of a cat scratching post. The result was a neuroma which caused my second toe to move toward my big toe leaving a space between my second and third toes. My podiatrist injected the area with cortisone but this did not resolve the problem. Then a bump formed on the joint in my second toe. My podiatrist described a procedure where he would remove a wedge-shaped piece of bone from my second toe (and the bump, I believe) which would make it be straight. However, this would leave this toe without support. I don't want this surgery. He also suggested taping the 2nd and 3rd toes together. This does work but becomes quite painful after about 8 hours. Recently I saw a procedure on television--tightrope--for bunions. Would this work to straighten up my toe? If not, what would you suggest be done? The toe normally does not hurt as long as my shoes don't put pressure on it; but it is a condition I am always conscious of.
Hi Mary Ellen, If there is a neuroma between the second and third toes, the second toe will always deviate toward the great toe. The obvious course would be to remove the neuroma, however, the argument would be if the neuroma itself does not hurt you might be better off leaving it alone. I am not sure what kind of procedure your podiatrist wants to do on the second toe with a "wedge" shaped piece of bone, but typically we do remove bone directly under the lump as seen on the picture you enclosed. This will not leave the toe unsupported, as what happens is scar tissue fills in the void that is created by removal of the bone. The tightrope procedure would not be indicated for your foot.
Severe Stabbing and Burning pain in Toes and forefoot
(Bonney Lake, WA)
I recently had my fifth foot surgery on my right foot at the great toe joint. The most two recent surgeries including June 2010 fusion of the 1st metatarsol. January 13 they went in to shave a jagged part of the bone and take out the hardware. While they were in there they discovered that the bone was very soft and changed my discharge orders to non-weight baring from bare weight as tolerated.. They told me that if I was to step down onto my foot it would most likely break. Since the surgery things have gone relatively well, not a huge amount of pain, just the normal to be expected post-surgery. They have me using a bone stimulator 1 time a day for 30 minutes to try to promote healing of the bone. 3 nights ago, I was awakened by a very bad stabbing pain, then continued on to be a mix of pins and needles and a very intense burning sensation that I could best discribe as feeling like I had my foot the toes upto right past the ball of my foot in a fire. This is a very intense pain, has kept me awake for the last 3 nights and is starting to come more frequently. Even on Oxycodone 5/325 the pain is unbareable. Any ideas on why this might be happening?
Hi Jennifer, Any time pain becomes disproportional to what is expected, you have to start thinking outside the box. If this severe pain is continuing the first thing I would want to rule out is CRPS (read my section on this subject), this might be part of the problem particularly if you have been wearing a cast boot. Since I am not your doctor, I think this is a problem that you should bring to the attention of your doctor. Always let your doctor know when the healing process seems to veer off course. That is what he or she is there for.
My 12 yr. old son has foot pain. He has a condition called Proteus Syndrome, very rare. One foot is extremely large and has a very large, big toe. He has two sized feet. One a 12 4E and the other is a 10 2E. It's very hard to find shoes for him but since he's in Middle school he want's to wear skate boarder shoes and they seem to work fairly well. Everyday he comes home and says his feet hurt badly. What can I do? He's worn orthotics, but he's growing so fast it's hard to keep getting new one's. I know you probably can't help me but is there any direction you can give me?
Hi Mary, Unfortunately there is very little that can be done. In these kind of cases you have to accommodate the deformity generally with the use of special shoes and orthotics. It should be determined if your son has any soft tissue tumors on the bottom of his foot which might be the source of his pain and perhaps they could be excised. Also, in addition, if there is abnormal bone structure in his foot that too may also be addressed surgically. If either of those situations exist I would strongly suggest that the surgery be of a limited nature because I do not think extensive surgery would serve him well over the long run. I am assuming orthotics give him some sort of relief and I assume you have prescription orthotics for him and thats where the expense comes in. If the orthotics he wears does not have extensive modifications in them and they more or less just "cuhion" his feet and give him better support, perhaps you should consider non-prescription orthotics which could be replaced on a regular basis and would eliminate the expensive cost factor. Good luck. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am 40 year old female with pain in my left foot which started 9 months ago with spot tenderness on the lateral portion of my foot between the little toe and the ankle. I had fallen 3 months earlier but did not have acute pain at that time. I did RICE and stopped walking/running. The pain continued but it didn't inhibit my normal activities; it was more of a nuisance.
Three months ago I began working out more with treadmill/eliptical and weight lifting plus a lot of walking. The pain became unbearable and I stopped all extra activity. I was limping. I went to see my doctor who did x-rays (negative) and MRI (complete rupture of the peroneus longus tendon with a gap of 2.5 cm). My pain on the side and in the arch is 24/7 now, worse with any activity, and I have a tingling pain on the top of my foot as well. Surgery is scheduled next week as the surgeon says this is the only option.
What is the prognosis after this surgery? I assume I will be non-weight bearing for 6 weeks and then PT. Will I be able to return to running/working out? Will I likely have recurrent problems with this in the future? My doctor has a good reputation but doesn't see this injury often and he doesn't say a lot (he is straight to the point). I am terrified of having surgery on my foot and even more afraid that my foot will never be the same again. Thank you in advance for your help.
After reading your whole account the thing that bothers me the most is that you state your doctor does not have much experience with this condition. Your chances of success are almost (but not guaranteed) to be proportional to the experience of the surgeon in treating this type of condition. My best advice to you would be to get a second opinion from a doctor who is experienced in this type of surgery and perhaps let he or she perform the surgery. Marc Mitnick DPM
In January of 2009 I noticed that the large joint located at the base of my big toe on the right side would hurt when I was running or would ache at night but warm foot baths or ice packs would help. Eventually the pain got worse and during my final run I was unable to finish 1 mile and could not walk after. I went to the doctor who stated I have sesamoiditis and put me in an aircast for 8 weeks. My foot is no better 8 weeks later (it may even be worse) and during my follow up yesterday the doctor said I need to stay in the boot 8 more weeks.
To make matters worse, I have started noticing the exact same pain in my left toe and last night I could barely walk on either foot by the end of the day yesterday. I took 4 Aleve and nothing helped.
Jodie, Find another doctor. If eight weeks of immobilization did not make you any better, why assume another 8 weeks will help? Secondly, if the pain is on the side of your foot like you state, then you do not have sesamoiditis, it occurs on the bottom of the foot. Lastly, since this pain began as a result of running, someone needs to address that issue, otherwise you will continue to have pain (one you start running again). Marc Mitnick DPM
First a little history on this foot/toe. When i was in elementary school i was playing a game, went to go kick the ball and a kid jumped right in front of my kick and instead of the ball,i kicked him. My toe hurt for a long time after that.
I am now 21 and two days ago i started getting some minor pain right above this same toe (right where the toe begins) I didn't really pay any attention to it until last night when i went to lay down it was just a throbbing pain, i guess from walking around all day. When i woke up the next morning i could hardly stand with that foot.
It is the second toe on my right foot.My foot looks slightly swollen and there is some redness above the toe and when i apply some pressure to that area it hurts, i can't bend the toe up or down at all without a pretty nice shot of pain happening. I have not bumped it into anything or can think of any other way i could have aggravated it. It's always been real stiff and given me minor pain if i moved it ever since that day, but now it is just hurting for no reason.
So what do you think? Just some over the counter pain meds and some ice every now and then? I really don't want to go to the doctor, i have no medical insurance and already have a hefty bill to pay thanks to a kidney stone.
Any help will be greatly appreciated!
Hi Casey, If it is nothing more than a bruise of some sort, you certainly can try ice and some advil (if you can tolerate this type of medication), give it seven to 10 days, however, if the pain persists beyond that then you might have to see a doctor. Additionally make sure your toe had enough room at the end of the shoe, because if the shoe is a little too short, it will keep aggravating the toe. Marc Mitnick DPM
Sharp pain in top of big toe, usually when walking
On 1/8/11 I slipped in a pool of water at a hotel. My left leg extended out in front of me and was uninjured, but my right leg went behind me. I had a scrape on my knee and on the top of my foot just below the ankle. My big toe was overextended (downwards, I guess, but I can't totally recall). Upon arising, I knew I was injured but didn't know what to make of it. Now, 30 days later, I am left with a very painful big toe. The pain occurs when I try and walk through a normal step - I can generally avoid the pain by slightly altering my step towards the outside of my foot a bit, but this has its obvious limitations, as I am very active and work out every day.
The thing that makes the pain worse is when I am wearing a stiff leather shoe - like a clog. When trying to walk with a clog on, the pressure from the shoe hitting the top of my toe creates an very sharp, needle-like pain straight through my toenail and down to the underside of my toe.
I went to my family doctor who suspected turf toe. Xray was negative.
Is there some other explanation? Something different I can do?
Hi Valerie, If the xray is negative for bone pathology then obviously your pain is from soft tissue trauma. You state that you think your big toe plantarflexed (bent downward), if this is the case then you overstretched all the structures on the top of the toe. The most common structure to be affected would be the tendon that actually brings your toe upward. The pain shooting into the nail area suggests to me, at least, the possibility that the tendon is partialy torn. An MRI would bare that out. I would say that pain in the area six weeks post trauma would require the services of a foot specialist, someone who is familiar with the anatomy in that area. Most simple sprains or strains would have cleared up by now.
Sharp pain in tip of my third toe, right foot while walking. More painful without shoes.
Two years ago I had bunion surgery on my right foot. The surgery was done by Kaiser Perm. During the recovery stage of my surgery I accidentally kicked the curb - hard with my right foot. Although I had an ex-ray taken of my foot - the surgeon said there was no fracture. For about 3 months now I have been dealing with extreme pain in either my 3rd or 4th toe (It's actually hard to tell which one) only while walking. This pain is worse when I am walking without shoes, and or with flat shoes. It seems to be stemming from the ball of the foot although there is no pain there. Any advise would be very much appreciated.
I am not so sure that the trauma of two years ago has much to do with your present pain. Your symptoms sound very much like Morton's neuroma which is a nerve entrapment that occurs slightly behind the toes, usually the third and fourth toes and in many cases will send pain into those toes. The symptoms can be aggravated by being barefoot or wearing flimsy shoes. I would think the prudent move would be to see a foot specialist who should be able to make an accurate diagnosis and offer treatment.