Last evening I noticed some moderate pain when I changed shoes. The pain was on the outside of my left foot behind the toes across the bone and up to the top. During the night, I woke up several times with discomfort in the foot.
This morning, it hurt to stand and walk on it. None of my shoes, even the biggest ones, were comfortable. The foot appears to be swollen. So, I've spent the day in a slipper, hobbling around.
I walk three miles most days, but not today. I experienced no trauma that I'm aware of.
Any thoughts about what the problem might be or how I can ease the discomfort would be appreciated.
Hi Karen, Off the top of my head I can think of 3-4 things that might be causing your foot pain. If you can tolerate it, take some Advil or Motrin for a couple of days, if the pain does not improve, then I would suggest a visit to a footspecialist. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Pain on the outside of the front of my left foot
my daughter hurt her foot over 17 months ago, an mRI was performed and shows a small non displaced fracture and a small area of bone marrow edema. The orthopedic surgeon says it is "growing pains" and not a fracture. We have decided to place her in a walking cast- surgoen does not want to see her again! she has been in the walking cast for 8 weeks, and still has pain in the foot- it has completed changed what she can do, how she walks etc. She is in a great deal of pain-day and night. What can we do?
Hi, The smart money would be to see someone else. The area in question is the growth plate of the fifth metatarsal bones and fractures do occur there but also sometimes they are mistaken for the growth plate. Based on the history,17 months of discomfort is probably not from "growing pains" but rather a fracture. The other problem with this particular area is that it is poorly vascularized meaning if there is a break, it can take forever to heal, or sometimes not at all. Your daughter deserves better care than the care she has received. Marc Mitnick DPM
a small, vermillion spot on outerside of my left foor
Hello, I have had this spot on my foot for as long as I can remember, on the outer side of my foot just below the bone that pokes out. It has not ever really cause me any pain, just seemed very odd to me. Earlier today while sitting on my leg, this spot kind of had this twinging pain. I have always sort of suspected it had something to do with blood considering its dark brownish red color, but I really am not sure.
I am a 16 year old female, I do not play sports or run, but I am of a healthy body weight. I have always had extremely poor circulation in my hands and feet, which I inherited from my mother. I do not recall any sort of injury that might be related to this spot.
Thank you, Katherine G.
Hi Katherine, The picture is difficult for me to make out, but if you are at all concerned about it, go see a doctor and let he or she tell you what it is. Marc Mitnick DPM
Can you tell Me if this is serious and should I go to a foot doctor? 2 weeks ago I strained the rightside exact opposite of navicular area on top foot area . It was a 4 out of 5 on pain scale but only if I moved foot in an upward not flat position when flat I had no pain. I'm on a strict excercise schedule and low protein low sodium low iron diet due to chronic kidney disease and have continued my exercise program. 4 hours swimming & 3 to 4 hours walking per week. The knot just appeared suddenly today no apparent reason. On the navicular area. Should I be concerned. Not painful in this area do far.
Hi, If the spot in question is not painful you could probably do nothing, but should it not disappear or perhaps even enlarge, then a trip to a podiatrist would be indicated. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello, I am a 27 year old runner and am experiencing some left lateral foot pain. I am about 5'6" and weigh 135 lbs and run about 20ish miles a week. I first noticed the pain after a half marathon last year and followed up with my family doctor. I had an xray and it was unclear if there was a fracture at the 5th metatarsal bone. I wore a rigid shoe and took it easy for a few weeks and it got better. I never believed that my foot was fractured and I believe that I have a tendonitis. The pain has recurred since then mostly after races and is mainly around the styloid process. I don't have pain while on my tip toes and there is no weakness in my foot or ankle. I do have pain while walking and running and also when I point my toe. I wear stability plus shoes which are evenly worn and are replaced every 400 miles or so. I am planning on running a full marathon soon and would love some advice. Thank you so much!
Hi Lauren, In order to properly treat a condition you need an accurate diagnosis. I would have another xray and compare it to the previous xray to see if there are any changes. Based on your story it sounds more like a partial tendon tear than a fracture since the pain has not been consistent. In addition to wearing good shoes and possibly an orthotic to better balance your foot, if it is deemed you have tendon problem (as opposed to a broken bone), you might even consider having physical therapy. Marc Mitnick DPM
Sharp pain on the outside of the baby toe on the left foot
I was stretching in bed one night and felt a sharp stabbing pain in the outside of my baby toe. I thought that a needle had punctured the skin. Within a few minutes the pain subsided and I was able to sleep. The next morning I could barely get out of the house, the pain was so intense. It felt like a needle was being jammed into the nerve! After a day or so the pain stopped. But three weeks later, it had returned. The pain is intermittent and I've started to favor the foot so as not to put too much pressure on that toe which is causing me to limp (in addition to the limping that I already do from degenerative arthritis).
I read your piece on Morton's neuroma. The difference in my situation is that the pain occurs only in the baby toe and so far no other toes are involved. FYI: I'm a non-insulin dependent diabetic.
Hi Deb, I do not think it is a neuroma and in fact since I cannot examine you I do not know what it is, but the first thing that comes to mind is an inflamed bursal sac in the toe, but I do not know why that would start to hurt while stretching. I think the big issue here is that since you are a diabetic, any abnormal sensation in the foot should be checked out by a podiatrist just to make sure it is nothing serious. Marc Mitnick DPM
Constant foot pain and occasionall intense burning from the inside at night
I am petite, 108lbs, OR nurse who works ten hour shifts. I'm on me feet constantly, often with the added weight of radiology lead aprons. By the time I finish my shift, I am practically hobbling. My pain is mostly around my entire forefoot bilaterally. I have several pairs of shoes I alternate wearing- clogs, burkenstocks, sneakers, regular Cherokee nursing shoes, etc. I purchased a pair of Good Feet orthotics, sometimes they help, sometimes they kill my feet. Occasionally I wake up at night with intense burning of my feet. It is so bad, I have to put an ice bag between my ankles or put my feet under cold running water. It feels like the heat is coming from the inside, my feet are not terribly hot to touch when this happens. I don't have any serious health issues. I'm at the end of my rope- my feet just hurt all the time. Can you please help? Thank you.
Hi Kathleen, The first thing that comes to mind is tarsal tunnel. That could cause burning on the bottom of the foot and seems to make sense since you spend long hours standing and because you state that the inserts sometimes help. This burning may also be coming from the lower back in the form of a radiculopathy which also may occur because you stand long hours. I would suggest you consult with a neurologist since burning is generally a neurological type symptom. Marc Mitnick DPM
My son had an injury to the outside of his right foot early March playing basketball. He stepped down on the outside of his foot, couldn't walk on it, Xrays determined no fracture, but he took about 6 weeks to fully heal. He then started playing soccer and found that the inside of that same right foot is causing him pain, especially when he kicks a ball. He would come home from practice limping and then it would go away in a couple days. He'd go back to practice/game, he'd limp off the field, again would be fine again in a couple days. About 2 weeks ago, he reinjured it kicking a ball to the extent now that he can't walk, run, kick anything. It swelled up this time and he's been in pain ever since. Not so much when you touch it and he's not putting weight on it; but, when he does put weight on it. We've been giving him 800mg of Motrin every 8 hours and he's been wearing an orthodic support in his shoe for the past week. It doesn't seem to be getting better and my son is anxious to get out on the soccer field. He says it feels tight in that area. Could it be a muscle spasm that we can take a shot for and be ok. Please let me know what you'd recommend.
Hi Theresa, Without the luxury of examining your son I cannot really offer any medical advice. Youngsters usually heal quickly and if this injury is persisting then he needs professional care. Without professional care this injury could continue to linger. Marc Mitnick DPM
fell 2 years ago...had pain and swelling at left ankle and pain across top of foot/bruising...took several months to be able to walk on it. Have had some pain across top of foot and along side of foot when wearing shoes or massaging foot. Can't use tredmill for longer than 20 minutes walking at slow pace before pain is worse. Had x-ray and nothing showed up.
Hi Connie, If your pain is as severe as you state, then you are probably a candidate for an MRI as an xray has limited capabilities. If there are no broken bones, then your pain is probably from a soft tissue injury and an MRI would be more helpful in picking that up. Marc Mitnick DPM
Sharp stbbing pain in back of right heel on the outside
I am having frequent stabbing pains at the rear outer side of my right heel. This happens more frequently when I am sitting or lying down, although I now feel it sometimes when walking. It is very painful and keeps me awake at night. I am also having pain in the lower right side of my back and hip that has worsened along with the heel. About six weeks ago I twisted the right ankle when a shoe broke, but the ankle was only sore for a week and doesn't hurt at all now. My back was never a problem with the shoe incident. The stabbing pain in my heel is so frequent it is almost like a pulse. OTC pain meds don't help much, rest doesn't help, and stretching my legs is no help.
The most common cause of a stabbing type pain in the back of the heel would he a heel bursitis or "pump bump". Read my section on bursitis and see if this sounds like your symptoms. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have slight pain on toeoff and it is tender to touch mainly on the lateral aspects of the foot. I have flat feet. Slight pain when I flex my pinky toe and more pain when I entend it, right in the head of the 5th metatarsal. It is alil tender when I stand on it. It does not seem to raised or inflammed looking like a bunion. I have not had xrays yet. It all started when I went to get a deep tissue massage. I had my feet worked on that day and immediately when I got up I felt alil pain. That has been about 10 days and it is exactly the same. Any suggestions or avenues of treatment.
Hi Chris, Read my section on "capsulitis" and see if that does not sound like your problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
Side of foot pain only while walking with shoes on.
It started approximately a week ago, and I can not recall anything out of the ordinary that would have caused it. As I’m in the military, I wear combat boots most of the time (with good insoles) and when I’m not wearing those boots, I only wear good quality running shoes. Neither have given me problems for the last six years. About a week ago, I started to get a very sharp pain on the side of my left foot about halfway down it when I was stepping. It feels like something is pulling, but there is no residual pain when the step is complete. I got home from work that day, took off my boot, and there was no tenderness, swelling or visible deformities. Also, walking around barefoot is not painful at all. I tried 4 different types of good footwear this week, but the pain is still the same no matter what, and it’s getting worse. But nothing else I do aggravates it. What can I do to stop the pain?
Hi Allison, The most common cause of pain in these instances if from irritation of the tendon (p. longus tendon) that passes down the ankle along the side of the foot and then cuts under the foot to go to the other side of the foot. Where is cuts under the foot it can be subject to trauma usually from a shoe that is too narrow. That would explain why it hurts in shoes but not when barefoot. Because you are in military boots all the time it is hard to know if this pain will subside on its own. You would be wise to see a podiatrist at your base and let he or she look into the problem. Marc Mitnick DPM
Pain along the outside of my foot-does radiate to bottom of my foot as well.
I had plantar fascitis for 5 years and tried all of the conservative treatments and finally underwent surgery for it. The plantar fasciits pain is now gone but on pod#1 I developed pain along the outside of my foot below the area which you would normally present with bunion. I am a nurse and usually am in either tennis shoes but only wear nursing shoes at work and rarely wear dress shoes. This pain I felt like was caused by the fact I was in a cast after surgery and my foot was in the cast awkwardly and I was placing a lot of my weight along the outer aspect of my foot. I also started having a lot of nerve pain kind of all over the place in my foot. I was having nerve pain, stabbing, throbbing, muscle spasms so it was really hard to determine where all of this was coming from. I went into a cam walker for several weeks with no real change. I ended up having a tarsal tunnel exploration and release eight months after the first surgery. The nerve pain is now gone but I am left with all of this other pain. The pain is mostly a throbbing pain 24/7 but does have episodes of very intense pain. If I squeeze my foot together or even touch my foot in that area with my other foot it causes a very sharp pain. I am now taking Alleve several times a day with no relief at all and it seems to be getting worse. This pain did ease up quite a lot while I was off for the tarsal tunnel surgery but is now back now that I am back to my regular ADL's. It also is always swollen. I did undergo a MRI-Impression: evidence of recent plantar fasciotomy with mild subacute edema/inflammation. Marrow edema in the distal lateral aspect of the intermediate cuneiform is nonspecific and may reflect bone contusion, stress reaction or marrow ischemia. My doc now says that it is my shoes and I need to with a wide toe box shoe, however, some of these shoes I wore before my original surgery with no pain whatsoever in these areas. I am at a complete loss at what to do, this is affecting me while I am at work, I limp a lot and have been unable to workout. Please help!! Thanks, Kim from Kentucky
Hi Kim, The first thing that strikes me is a very common problem with plantarfascial releases and that is what is known as lateral column destabilization. what happens if too much of plantarfascial ligament is cut it causes an imbalance on the lateral side of the foot. If that ends up being the actual diagnosis then it may take a while to remedy itself; physical therapy can be very helpful. Rather than go on and on with this, I would suggest you seek a second opinion from someone familiar with the post op consequences of a plantarfascial release and go from there.
I stepped wrong a couple of weeks ago and noticed that it made my foot hurt quite a bit. There was a little swelling and I put ice on it. The next day it seemed a little sore but I was able to go about my daily activity. This weekend, I "stepped wrong" again and it caused immediate pain. I had my husband buddy-tape my little toe, thinking maybe that would help. It did keep me from walking directly over the painful part. Now 4 days later, it is hurting again. More constant now. I stepped on the outside of my foot again. I am wearing sandals today. Do you think this is a jones fracture? Should I be seeing my podiatrist? Please inform because I hope to go camping at the first of August. Thank you
Hi Rita, If you stepped "wrong" there is always the chance of either a fracture or soft tissue damage both of which will result in pain. Since the incident occurred a couple of weeks ago and you still have foot pain, you should certainly visit your podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
Pain on outside of ankle (right foot), under the bone.
I've had an ongoing feeling in my right ankle for a couple of months. It all seemed to happen after a treadmill session when I was running. There was no fall or trauma, but after this session I have on and off had this feeling.
It is under the ankle bone on the right ankle. There is also some feeling on top of the ankle and occassionally there will be some feeling radiating down towards the toes. I've been getting physio on it, and have tight calves, which I'm stretching twice a day.
I'm trying to run 3 times a week (no more than 30mins), and strap my ankle up, usually through the run it feels fine, but then afterwards there will be some feeling under the ankle bone on the right foot. It's not a debilitating pain or anything like that, but I don't want this to continue on for years.
The physio is giving it some acupuncture and massaging in the area. Plus I'm doing some calf strengthening and stretching. I was also doing some wobble board work etc, but the physio has said to give that a break and stop any kind of eversion.
It just seems this problem doesn't want to go away.
Hi Jamie, Generally pain just below the ankle is the result of an injury to the lateral ankle ligaments which are the ligaments that are injured when you sprain your ankle. Even though there is no history of trauma you may be over inverting or everting your foot as you run thus creating either a strain on the ligaments or a jamming effect on the ligaments. I would suggest you try an orthotic in an effort to better align your foot to your ankle. If that does not help, then a trip to a podiatrist would be indicated. Marc Mitnick DPM
pain on the side of my right foot. Looks to me as still swollen, there is a lump also
I fell down the stairs almost 6 weeks ago. The fall was pretty intense. I do not believe I broke anything. I probabley fractured a few ribs but that pain has finally gone away. My right foot on the oset of the fall swelled up very badly and I could barely walk on it the first couple of days. After that it was still swollen and very black and blue for a while. The pain I am having now is on the side of my foot, there is also a lump that doesnt seem to have gone away yet. It also still hurts. I can walk on it but it does still hurt. Is this going to take a longer time to heal, or is this more serious that I think? I would appreciate your feed back. Should I see a doctor for this. Or is this just going to take a long time to heal? I am 56 years old. Do you think my right foot will never be the same again?
Hi Patti, I have been examining traumatized feet for 30 years and I cannot tell if a bone is broken without an x-ray, so I do not believe you can either. Pain that has been persistent for this long a period of time needs to examined by a doctor. An x-ray should be taken and if that is negative for fracture then you may also require an MRI. You are really not doing yourself any favor by prolonging treatment, because the more chronic this pain becomes, the harder it will be to remedy. Marc Mitnick DPM
Hello, last week I had a fun-filled day at an amusement park. But unfortunately, it's left me with an extremely sore foot! The pain is on the outside of my rt. foot and runs the length of below my little toe all the way to where my heal area begins. It has been 1 week and the pain hasn't got any better. I don't think it's from walking around all day, because my left foot is fine. It actually started about 6 hours after we had started our day at the park. I was thinking I somehow tweaked it getting on and off rides. But I'm just wondering at what point I should think I did something more to it. There is no swelling, but when I flex my toes and move my ankle, the whole side where the pain is makes a horrid "squishy" type sensation as if there is think goo inside my foot. I don't know how else to explain it. It doesn't hurt to the touch, but does hurt upon walking and even when I'm not walking around, if I move my ankle, my foot hurts. Any ideas of what I may have done? Should I see my doctor? Thanks!
Hi Becky, Go get an x-ray to rule out a stress fracture. If there is no fracture then apparently you strained your foot while walking all day and that should respond to some immobilization and anti-inflammatory medication (if you can tolerate that type of medication). Marc Mitnick DPM
I have heel pain as well as pain on the outside edge of my left foot. My ankle also gives me pain sometimes and feels like it "goes out". My left knee has arthritis. The pain in my foot radiates into my calf at times. I just purchased HTP heel seats and hope they can help my pain. What is causing the pain on the side of my foot?
Hi Leslie, You don't mention if your heel pain is on the bottom of the heel or the back of the heel. If your heel pain is in the back of your heel than the most likely cause of pain into your calf would be an achilles tendonitis. If your heel pain is on the bottom of the heel there is a possibility of a heel neuroma which is basically a nerve entrapment in the heel which may also send pain into the lower leg. Your best bet would be to see a foot specialist and let he or she sort out the various foot and ankle pains you are experiencing. I hope this helps. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am having pain on the inside of my right foot.it starts at where the leg meets the foot and goes diagonally to the inside of my foot.there is redness along there,looks like a red line.hurts when i touch it and when i try to stretch it ,it feels tight.I havent injured it and i'm not a runner.any ideas of what it could be and how i can treat it?
Hi Kimberly, Assuming there is no local break in the skin then I do not think you have an infection. The next thought would be the possibility of a superficial phlebitis. or inflammation of a vein. I think the smart money would be to go see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
About a week ago someone stepped on my foot on the little toe pretty hard and it is causing quite a lot of pain especially when I put on closed in shoes. I can move it and feel very little pain but when I touch the top part of the toe there's a lot of pain. It was swollen at first, I soaked it and it felt okay for a day or so but now it is paining again. Moving it back and forth does not hurt but wearing shoes and pressing on the top is painful.
Hi Dorothy, You need to get an x-ray of the toe to make sure it is not broken. There is no way to tell just by looking or feeling the toe. Marc Mitnick DPM