About four weeks ago I looked down at my left foot and noticed a bump on the top, just below the third and fourth toe, it mostly only hurts when I bend or stretch my toes; it is firm, but also has a little bit of give to it, as if there may be some fluid in it. There was never any kind of known physical trauma or bruising, and I don't know if it makes a difference that my feet have been feeling quite painful all over and it seems to me that they have been a little swollen also for several months prior to this. This prior pain has been so severe that I can hardly bare to walk at times, and starts from the moment I open my eyes, even before getting out of bed. Also, 2 and 1/2 weeks before I noticed the bump on my foot I went to the ER because i had been having pain in my left calf that was constant for about a week; most of the time it was a dull/achy pain, but sharp pain came and went as well. They did an ultrasound on my leg for a bloodclot and found nothing. I'm not sure if any of this is connected, but just to be safe.
Thank you for your time and any help/advice you can provide.
Hi Carmen, The most common cause of a lump in the area of the foot that you mention would be due to a an enlargement of the tendon that either goes into the third or fourth toe, such as in the case of a cyst. Of course I am only guessing because I cannot examine you; I would suggest you have any lump of unknown origin examined by a doctor just to be sure it is nothing serious. Marc Mitnick DPM
Several days ago I developed significant pain on the top RIGHT hand side of my RIGHT foot. The pain runs from the area near the toe joints to near the ankle. I have a heel spur and am still recovering from plantar fasciitis on that foot; have been wearing prescribed orthotics for the past few months to assist in its correction as well as for pronation. I suffer from synovitis/ psoriatic arthritis in three of my LEFT toe joints for 6 years, but not in my left foot. This new pain has lasted a few days and is sensitive to the touch, painful to walk and even bothers me if I am lying on my right side. It appears to have occurred a few days ago, after wearing for several hourssome older, but comfortable Rockport walkers without my orthotics but with an excellent insole. I have been icing it, but not intensively as it is uncomfortable. That feels a bit better temporarily afterwards.I have put a splint of sorts on the middle part of the foot, to see how that affects things. However the pain has not subsided. This seems to suggest a bio-mechanical trigger, all things considered?
I am allergic to several anti-inflammatories naproxyn, ibuprofin, possibly aspirin as it is related--break out in hives The others- Voltarin etc don't work for me.
What could be going on? How should I treat it? With thanks Anne
Hi Anne, My "guess" would be tendonitis of the tendons that allow your toes to bend upwards as that is the most common problem in that area of the foot. It may be due to the plantarfasciitis and the fact that many times people walk in a guarded gait to avoid pain in the heel and sets off pain elsewhere. The fact that you did not wear your orthotics one day may also play a role. You can try warm compresses in the area for a couple of days, if that does not give you relief then you may want to see a doctor for a cortisone injection (if it ends up being tendonitis). A lesser possibility might be a stress fracture so an xray would have to be taken to rule that out. Marc Mitnick DPM
TENDONITIS, BONE SPURS AND ARTHRITIS....TOP AND SIDE OF FOOT
I was told many years ago that I had tendonitis on the tops of my feet causing swelling and pain. Recently x-rays have shown bone spurs (also on the top of feet) and arthritis. The tendonitis on my left foot has now spread to include the inside of the left foot just below and forward to the ankle bone. My podiotrist has said he doesn't like to use cortesone on and near tendons as they can become "like spagetti". He made me orthodics which I cannot use at the moment because they cause additional pain to the tendonitis. He said acupuncture might relieve some of the pain and I have an appointment for that. I have been told that if acupuncture doesn't work I may have to have surgery. PLEASE HELP!! This has been going on for years and only getting worse. If I do have to eventually have surgery....who is the best doctor and hospital in the country? I am an airline retiree and can travel anywhere. Hi Joan, I am not sure I follow your podiatrist's logic. He does not like cortisone injections but is suggesting surgery? Does not make much sense to me. If given properly a cortisone injection will not cause your tendons to become like spaghetti. Properly, means one or two injections around the inflamed tendon, not into the tendon. The first option you should try would be four weeks of physical therapy along with anti-inflammatory medication, assuming you can tolerate it. If that does not help and the arthritis part of your problem is really bad, then you would need to consider surgery. Marc Mitnick DPM
I get pain on the top of my right foot where the bone is and it is a throbbing pain that will last for quite awhile sometimes. i can't sleep when this is happening at bed time.
Hi Michelle, This type of foot pain is asked of me quite a bit. Read my section on "midtarsal fault", specifically neuritis which is an inflammation of the nerve that passed down the top of the foot. Marc Mitnick DPM
i had fusion s1 to l5 and then couple weeks later my big toe felt like a ice pic was poking it .i was put on steriods and it went away. after the pills gone it came back and was worse now my toes and top of foot
Hi Rob, It sounds like a nerve impingement at the level where the fusion occurred. Speak to your surgeon, it make require further medication. Since it sounds like your surgery was not that long ago, the more aggressive you are with treatment now, the better the chances of improving on this. Marc Mitnick DPM
This all started last year, June 8, 2009. Pain began that morning in my big left toe where it bends up ( I'm not sure if it had something to with me standing on my tip toes alot on the friday June 5, 2009) . I gave it a week or two and then a few months. Didn't heal. Went to the doctor had x-rays done found nothing. Doctor said it was a soft tissue pull. Okay. So I let it go wearing a hard shoe they gave me.Iced it constantly. Still not much changed but it didn't hurt as bad. December came 2009 and it began to hurt again. I started massaging my foot. I think I might have massaged it to hard, I'm not sure. Now all along my foot where the toes bend it hurts when I walk and bend my foot up wards or push off when walking. My ankle hurts along with this including the ball of my foot.(Continue putting ice on).The pain feels like a huge cramp in my foot that needs to be popped, that's why I massaged it. I also bought diffrent shoes recently, still no change. PLEASE HELP ME!!
Hi Amanda, My first question is, did you see a foot specialist intially or just your family doctor? Generally when the big toe joint hurts for a period of time, assuming you are not having a gout attack, it is usually from a bone spur in the big toe joint. Why the rest of your toes now hurt, without the luxury of being able to examine you, I would "guess" is because you have been favoring the foot due to the pain in the big toe joint. You are going to need a proper diagnosis and then some treatment. I would recommend you see a podiatrist in your area as it appears this problem is not going away on its own and icing and massage is certainly not the answer. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for Top of my left foot hurts near all five toes.
I had an ankle fusion about 6 yrs. ago. While doing a triathlon yesterday, at the start of the run, I felt pain across the top of my foot, something I had never felt before. I am not able to apply pressure today without a lot of pain. What could this be? Is it possible the screws were jarred? Or could this be something new?
Not really swollen. Less movement than I had previously.
Hi Dianne, I am surprised that you could even attempt a triathlon with an ankle fusion, but people never cease to amaze me. The problem with any joint fusion is that it puts excess stress on the surrounding joints and in your case may have done some damage to the joints in the foot. I would recommend having the foot x-rayed and examined by a podiatrist or an orthopedist to see the extent of damage if any. Do not let it linger. Marc Mitnick DPM
pain on top of foot STILL months after big toe injury
I had a small mishap where I literally tripped over my own feet- my right foot got bent down- specifically my big toe- the big toe on my right foot was pushed backward -like a ballerina , but back further as if it was trying to touch the sole of my foot. I imediately fell to the floor-the pain was so intense. the pain went from my toe all the way up to the top of my foot above my affected toe. it hurt that way for a good while. I couldnt even bear weight on it. the intense pain continued for a few days. I had some briusing later that day , not on my toe but on top of my foot. that was 3 months ago and I still have pain on top of my foot on the bones above my big toe ;localized right at and/or slightly below the cuniforms bones . It is a constant dull pain when I am active and a sharp pain when I apply pressure there. could I have injured the actual bones in my foot? Or is that a ligament injury? It seems odd that trauma to my toe could cause so much pain in the top of my foot-especially 3 months after the fact!
Hi Barbarann, The nature of your injury is such that you "overstretched" the ligaments and tendons on the top portion of your foot and of course there is always the chance that you broke a bone. Three months is way too long for your foot to still be hurting if it were nothing more than a strain. You should seek medical care as it appears this problem is not going to get better on its own. Marc Mitnick DPM
I HAD FOOT PAIN ( ON THE BOTTOMS OF MY FEET) SO BAD I COULDN'T WALK & TALKED TO A FOOT DR. WHO SOLD ME ORTHORDOICS. I WEAR WORK BOOTS & WORK ON SOLID CONCRETE FLOOR ALL DAY LONG . THE ORTHODICS WERE MADE OF HARD PLASTIC & WERE UNBEARABLE TO WEAR AS THEY WERE HARDER THAN THE FLOOR I WALKED ON . I TRIED SMALLER SIZE BOOTS & SEEMED TO WORK FOR A WHILE ,BUT NOW HAVE PAIN ON TOP OF FEET WHICH EXTENDS TO THE OUTTER SIDES OF MY FEET .IT IS HARD TO WALK BUT ONCE I GET GOING I CAN GET THRU IT , BUT IF I STOP TO SIT OR DRIVE & GET BACK ON FEET ,SEVERE PAIN AGAIN. THE PAIN IS IN THE CENTER OF THE FOOT (ALSO GOES DOWN TO THE TOES) & WRAPS DOWN THE SIDES TO WHERE YOUR CHART SAYS THE "SURAL NERVE " IS . WHAT CAN I DO ? I CAN'T WHERE THOSE ORTHODICS , THEY ARE BRUTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. PLEASE HELP !?
Hi Steve, I cannot believe someone sold you plastic orthotics knowing you walk on concrete floors all day. I do not know how big you are or how much you weigh but assuming you are 200lbs or less, go into a drugstore and buy the most cushioned arch support you can find. People who work on concrete floors generally have foot problems because the shock created by walking goes into the feet and legs and none obviously is absorbed by the concrete. So, by wearing a cushioned orthotic, that device will absorb some of the shock and cushion your feet, it will also help maintain your foot structure and allow your foot to function in a more normal gait. Beyond that, without being able to actually examine you, I cannot offer any more advice. If the pain continues, see a DIFFERENT podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
Top of foot pain and swelling. Base of toes bruised after fall.
Hi, Last weekend I was walking and I fell off a curb into a small pot hole( my foot was folded sideways behind me). I had tight knee high boots on and my husband helped me limp to the car. WHen I got home I took off my boot which did not come off easily on the account that my foot and ankle were swollen. It is five days later and my foot is still swelled and I have bruising on the base of my toes especially the big and second toe. I cannot totally weight bear it but have forced myself since I am a stay at home mom of 3. Is it serious ? What kind of doctor should I see? I can send a picture if needed. Thanks, Jen
Hi Jen, No need to send a picture, you need to go for an xray. With that type of mechanism of trauma there is a possibility that you may have fractured your ankle and even the fifth metatarsal bone. There is also the chance that you injured the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Wearing boots probably helped diminish the overall damage. Go see a podiatrist or an orthopedist as they are the ones best suited to treat this type of injury. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am a distance runner and have been training for my first 1/2 marathon. Two days ago I started running and shortly after I began, the top of my left foot felt extremely uncomfortable, as if I tied my shoelaces way too tight. I loosened them once and it still felt uncomfortable, so I loosened them again. Within the first mile of my six mile run, the discomfort dissipated. I felt no additional discomfort that day.
The following day I experienced no discomfort upon starting my six-plus mile run. However, somewhere after mile one, the discomfort returned and caused me to change my pace (slower). After mile four I experienced no additional discomfort-until I stopped running. The rest of the day the top of my foot felt uncomfortable.
Overnight, it has since become swollen and is somewhat tender to the touch. I experience the most discomfort when, as in running, my heel strikes the ground. The pain occurs at the top of the foot, in line with the shin, but just below the ankle joint. It is not as noticeable during a walking-type gait as it is when I simulate running. Occasionally I feel a numbing sensation.
To help clarify, I did not fall or otherwise injure my foot recently.
Hi William, My first impression would be a tendonitis of the tendons that bend the toes upwards. These tendons run from your ankle down to your toes. You may also want to have an xray just to rule out a stress fracture, but your "story" does not seem a fracture. You may review my section on tendonitis for suggestions on how to treat this problem. If you do not get any relief you will have to see a doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
Top /side of foot about half way down between the 4th and 5th bone
(Madison, Wi. )
4 days ago started feeling pain, not all over, just at a specific spot. Went to Urgent Care. Some redness at pain site. Negative x-rays. Got a post-op boot with crutches and pain meds. Still hurts a lot. Ruled out gout or arthritis with blood tests. Is this a bone problem or are there any tendons involved? I see online where x-rays don't show stress fractures for a couple of weeks after the break. Have been using some heat which helps a little bit. I do not remember doing anything traumatic to foot. I am 55 years old and don't do much extensive excursive. I am 5'8" 185 lbs in pretty good shape other than this foot issue. I have always been on my feet a lot and maybe they are wearing down. Thanks for any help. Bob
Hi Bob, Assuming you can tolerate them, I would go on a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication on a continuous basis for 7-10 days. If the pain is gone, fine; if not I would then have another xray because as you have read, stress fractures do not alway show up on initial xray. If the xray is negative and the pain persists, then it might be time for an MRI. Marc Mitnick DPM
My Fiance's sister is having top foot pain between the two tendons over the bone. Pain occurs during plantar flexion when pointing her toes and when coming through the last part of gait as her toes extend to swing through. I tested her strength and she reports that it hurt mostly with her toes in extension. In speaking with the physical therapist I work with, he told me to show her some calf stretches, to gently manually stretch her towards plantar flexion, and use ice. It has been a week, she states the pain is worse, and tonight she noticed a bump-like swelling over the lateral side of the ankle. Even before I found your website I thought it may have something to do with her arch, but she told me that she does not feel any numbness/tingling when wearing tennis shoes. When she applies pressure to the top of the foot, she says it relieves the pain. Do you think she needs to consult a physician for anti-inflammatories or suggestions for foot supports? Thank you!
Hi Angela, Yes, I think a consultation with a doctor would be indicated particularly if she is having pain and it has not subsided over a period of a week and in fact is worsening. I do not know if she needs orthotics but certainly anti-inflammatory medication or perhaps a cortisone injection may be of value. Marc Mitnick DPM
Almost three weeks ago I stubbed two of my toes pretty bad. My doctor x-rayed my foot and said I didn't break anything but yet I have pain just below the second to last toe going towards the top of my foot. If I stretch my toes it hurts in the toe area and onto the top of the foot. If you push around the top of my foot it will hurt just under the stubbed toe area and across foot. My toes also feel like they are swollen even though they aren't. I have stubbed toes before but this is the first time I have had so much pain for so long. The doctor gave me a walking boot and said to check back with him in a week. I don't have any swelling and I am stumped as to why I still have pain. I can't excersise or take long walks or even clean house for too long as my foot begins to hurt.
Have any ideas?
Hi Tish, Sometimes intial xrays will not show a fracture and if the pain persists, the area may need to be re-xrayed. If the xray proves to be negative a second time, then there is a chance you did some soft tissue damage during the trauma and that should be addressed by your doctor. Marc Mitnick DPM
THE TOP OF MY LEFT FOOT HURTS. I HAVE SUFFERED NO TRAUMA TO IT. I WEAR SNEAKERS WITH ARCH SUPPORT INSERTS. I AM NOT A RUNNER. XRAYS REAVELED NO BROKEN BONES. THEY DIDNT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS. EVEN WITH THE ARCH SUPPORT, IT HURTS TO WALK.
Read my section on "midtarsal fault" as that is a common cause of top of foot pain, even though you say you are wearing arch supports there is always the possibility that they are not supportive enough. The other common cause of pain on top of the foot is "tendonitis". I obviously cannot diagnose your problem without actually examining you, but if you got no satisfaction with the doctor you saw, I would suggest you see a competent podiatrist; this is a problem that is easy to diagnose. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have had quite moderate to severe pain on the top of each foot for several months. I have tried everything your previous writer told you she had done. I work full time and walk a lot. It's very, very painful all the time. There is no relief from this pain. Most days it is about a 9 or 10, sometimes it's 7 or 8. I keep on keeping on as far as dancing, walking and acting like I have no pain or problem but it's getting increasingly more difficult to live with. I have talked with an orthopedic man who did remind me that I did have what he thought was a tendinitis around my right ankle but I can't convince him that this is somewhat different in that it is at the bottom of my ankle and around to the whole top of my right foot. This has been present for about 3-4 months. I began to have the same thing on the top of my left foot about 2 mos. ago. It feels like someone has "wrung out" both feet with very, very strong hands and then walked away, leaving me with horrendous residual pain. I thought maybe it was due to Vit B12 deficiency but I take B12 injection q month for several months so no one thinks it's laid to that problem. Otherwise, I am healthy, energetic in my mind and always have been in my whole person but now I can't wait to get home from work and lay down and try to get a teeny bit of relief. What to do???Thanks for your help. Jo Anne
Hi JoAnne, Hard if not impossible to make a diagnosis without actually examining you, but based on the area that hurts my first choice would be tendonitis of the tendons that allow the toes to bend upwards. The problem here is that it can be very hard to get rid of, because every time you walk you just keep aggravating the problem. I think you will need some medical treatment if you ever hope of getting rid of the problem and at the very least will have to reduce your activity until the problem passes. Marc Mitnick DPM
Two years ago I was at work and I thought I was at the bottom of the ladder but I wasn't. So I landed on my big toe on my right foot and had pain after words. I just thought I stubbed it but then I noticed blood under my toe nail. So I thought I just stubbed my toe no big deal get over it, it will go away. I work in retail so I am on my feet all day everyday so I finally got annoyed with the popping sound and pain. So I went to the doctor and he noticed that I had a fracture a little above my big toe joint (kind of in the middle of my foot on the left side) but it healed but there were some bone fragments floating around. So I had surgery to get those removed and all went well. So after the healing process I still have pain. It is numb at the surgery site and often itchy. Most days I have dull pain and I can't put pressure on my big toe when I walk. So I walk without putting pressure on it. And since I have to stand all day 9-11 hours a day everyday at work it hurts. Some days when I get home and put my feet up I get stabbing/dull pains in the area that sometime make me cry. I sometimes get this even when I don't put my feet up and there is no swelling. I have told my orthopetist about it and he said it could be arthritis but he can't see anything in the xray. Is this arthritis or something else? Or should I get a second opinion?
Hi Carrie, You do not mention how long ago you had surgery but your symptoms are consistent with someone who recently had surgery. If that is not the case then you need to have the problem examined. If you liked your first doctor go back to her or she, if you were not happy, then seek another opinion. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have a 14 year old daughter that plays volleyball. She has a problem with her right foot. When she pivots on that foot she feels a "pop" at the top of her foot by the arch. She says it does not hurt that much and the "pop" only occurs when she makes this pivot move-not at any other time. She has had ankle sprains in the past so she uses the active ankle protectors in both of her shoes. Her volleyball shoes are not real old, but she has played in them for a few months with no problems. Her coach thought that it may be tendonitis or a stress fracture. Thank you.
Hi Jo, I doubt it is a stress fracture as I think it would hurt even she wasn't playing basketball; it may just be the movement of a tendon over the bone as she pivots, but I am only guessing. If it concerns you enough take her to see a podiatrist. Marc Mitnick DPM
severe stabbing electric shock type pain on top of right foot
At night after i am asleep. It lassts all night/ I put a lidocaine patch on top of the foot, took a qunine pill- does not help.
Hi Laurie, The first thing that comes to mind would be a nerve entrapment or irritation of the nerve that comes down the top of your foot which gives you sensation on the top portions of your foot. This particular nerve is commonly being irritated from shoes, etc. and will give off an "electrical shock". See a podiatrist, assuming this is the cause of your problem a cortisone shot may be very helpful. Marc Mitnick DPM
Comments for severe stabbing electric shock type pain on top of right foot
I have a history of foot problems since day 1. I was born with an extra toe that was removed at 6 months. At age ten the bone of the little toe on the left foot was removed. At age 20 an arthroplasty was done on the little toe on the right foot. At 29, I was treated for a neuroma between the 2nd and 3rd toe on the right foot. At 45 I severed the tendon behind the big toe on the right foot and had surgery to reattach it. A month later I had surgery to remove a cyst on top of the scar from that operation. A couple of years later I Had a bone spur on the heel of the right foot then several months later had a bone spur on the left foot. This problem was resolved (it went away on its own). Several years ago I had plantar faciatis(I can't remember how to spell it) and resolved that in a couple of months. Things went along fairly well until about 5 months ago when I got another bone spur on the right foot and then plantar faiatis on the left foot. I got the boot thing to wear at night and went to a foot guy (store) and got inserts for my shoes. It helped but now I have pain on the top of my feet (both of them now). If I get up from sitting, they cramp (more like the neuroma feeling)and feel stiff from the front of the ankle area all the way down to the toes. Sometimes it feels like the toes are drawing down and I have to pull them back. Once I have been walking for a while they get better but they still hurt. I am a 53 year old female in excellent health except that I have no thyroid and have to take synthroid and cytomel. I take nothing else and am active (as I can be with this foot problem). I eat well and have no other major complaints. I'm just trying to figure out what this is so I can take care of it and get back to doing things that I like to do.
Hi Cheryl, This is probably not the answer you were hoping for, but instead of getting your advice from a "foot guy" at the shoe store, go see a podiatrist. Even though you have had a multitude of foot problems there may be one common denominator and that is: the way your foot functions when you walk. A podiatrist should be able to give you some advice on the types of shoes you should be wearing and perhaps a real orthotic that will better balance your feet. Marc Mitnick DPM
I am training to walk in a 1/2 marathon the first weekend in October. I was walking a 7 mile course last Saturday and started having pain on the top of my left foot. I stopped to retie my shoe but didn't really think that was the problem and it wasn't. After I got back home the pain traveled up toward my ankle and was more pronounced wearing a sandle with a 1/2 inch heel than with a higher heal of 2 inches or more. It actually hurts less with more weight on the ball of my foot. I didn't walk yesterday but would like to get back to my routine of 2 miles per day and longer walks on weekends. Any advice? Thanks. Sharon
Hi Sharon, The two things that come to mind are tendonitis or possibly a midtarsal fault (you can read about both on my site). A third possibility would be a stress fracture. Since you are preparing for a half marathon and time is of the essence, your best bet would be to seek the advice of a podiatrist, otherwise this problem may continue to linger and could ruin your plans. Marc Mitnick DPM
One evening my left footon top on side of big toe started to gradually hurt. Within an hour or so pain was excrutiating...let up after another hour.Next day hurt off and on a little. Year later, in evening on same foot my big toe (on the right.. to the outerside of toenail)had a similar episode. 42 year old female.What would this be??
Hi Teresa, The first thing that comes to mind is an irritation of the nail fold or the area directly around the nail. This could be due to an ingrown nail, or from a tight shoe that is creating too much pressure. Without actually being able to examine you it is hard to tell what is causing it, but I am sure a local podiatrist would have no trouble. Marc Mitnick DPM
I have a large knot that has appeared on the top of my foot
(Kansas city mo)
growth on top of foot
cyst on top of foot
top of foot growth
I have a knot that is the size of a small golf ball that has appeared on the top of my foot . it is located about a 2 inchs down from between the big toe. Painful if pressed on
I would be doing you a disservice to guess what type of growth is causing the knot on top of your foot. My best advice to you would be to make an appointment with a local foot specialist and have the necessary testing done, to determine what type of growth you may have.
I am looking for some advice I dropped a heavy wooden plank on my foot and it came up as an egg type bruise straight away. I applied ice etc to it. That was a couple of days ago but now it feels worse a yellow/green bruise has appeared with two red marks next to it. It feels really sore, hurts to walk on and is really itchy.
Any advice would be great thank you.
The best advice I could give you would be to have an x-ray. Just by looking at a picture, I have no idea what amount of damage you may have done to yourself.
The fact that a couple of days have passed and it feels worse is not an encouraging sign. Most simple trauma, would have started to feel better after a couple of days.
Get an x-ray and have a doctor examine your foot. Everyone naturally worries about a fracture, but there can also be damage done to the tendons on top of your foot which if not adequately treated could continue to give you problems going forward.