To ask your question, go to the bottom of this page and leave a reply to this blog.

There is a lot of confusing information on the web about foot problems and foot pain.   We find much of it is misleading and some of it is patently false.

We have tried to remedy this by providing a website with foot health information based on evidence in the medical literature.

If, however, you cannot find the answer to your question on our website, you may ask us questions about foot problems by replying to this blog.  We are not able to provide specific medical advice but will do our best to answer your general questions about foot health.  If you have any foot problems we recommend you see a podiatrist.

Disclaimer

Please read our disclaimer here.

This blog entry is designed to give you a chance to ask any questions you might have about foot problems.  To ask your question, simply go to the bottom of this page and leave a  reply to this blog. We will answer questions via the blog. It may take a week or so for us to get back to you.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Larry Huppin, DPM         Doug Hale, DPM

Dr. Larry Huppin
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Dr. Larry Huppin

Podiatrist specializing in biomechanics at Foot & Ankle Center of Washington
Lawrence Z.Huppin, DPM is an internationally recognized lecturer and teacher on orthotic therapy and biomechanics.In his Seattle private practice his focus in on treatment of mechanical problems such as heel pain, bunions, ball of foot pain, athletic injuries and children’s foot conditions.In addition he specializes in toenail problems including ingrown and fungal toenail conditions. He is always focused on helping patients avoid surgery if at all possible and keeping your medical costs as low as possible.
Dr. Larry Huppin
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124 thoughts on “Ask Us Your Foot Health Questions

  1. I have a pain on the outside or top of my foot that I feel most after about 15 min or bike riding or use the elliptical machine at the gym. It’s near the base of the little toe. It’s a chronic problem I’ve felt for years when exercising that always went away after the ride or workout. But lately I’ve sometimes felt it while resting or when moving my little toe out. It feels tender to the touch at times, too. I’ve started wearing orthotics and flip flops from your store to help with faciitus on that foot and doing exercises recommended in the Five Minute Plantar Faciitus Solutions. Both of these are helping with the arch pain on that foot. What do you think could be going on near the little toe?

    1. Hi Amy,

      There are many potential causes of this type of pain – a bursitis, metatarsalgia, hammertoe, fracture, etc, etc. A good podiatrist could probably figure it out in about 30 seconds, however. There is probably no reason to live with this, I would get in to see a podiatrist as soon as you can. One piece of advice is that most pain in this area can be treated without surgery. If anyone suggests surgery right away, RUN to get a second opinion.

  2. I was born without the little bones below the big toes (sesmoid, I think) and have started having consideral pain. It didn’t start until I was 52. The doctor has given me inserts but I have to wear really ugly shoes with them. I work in a professional office and it is quite embarrasing. Is there some exercises or something else to avoid having the pain?

  3. Hello,
    I have been diagnosed with Sesamoiditis in my right foot. I had a few questions about it. Does sesamoiditis eventually go away with rest. If so how long. Is surgery a good remedy for it. What is the impact on walking, balance, big toe, etc. How long is the recovery period for returning to work and daily activities.

    I would appreciate your input.

    Thank You.
    TJF

    1. This page on on sesamoiditis will answer most of your questions. Use the link there for ‘total contact orthotics” as that is a critical part of treatment.

      There are a lot of causes of sesamoid pain, so I can’t answer any of the specific questions. In general, however, surgery is rarely necessary. For an inflamed sesamoid rest, casting, ice, injections, and other anti-inflammatory techniques can help get rid of the inflammation and the use of correctly prescribed orthotics, cushion and rocker shoes can help prevent return of the problem. There is no way to predict time to return to activity without a complete examination.

      Again, there are a lot of causes and treatments for sesamoid pain, so we recommend seeing a good podiatrist for a complete evaluation and treatment plan.

  4. I have been told that I need joint replacement surgery on my big toe. (I have bone on bone). I am trying to avoid the surgery as long as I can walk and am not in too much pain. I’ve given away 30 pair of shoes and bought 12 new pair of (what I call ugly) shoes. I have a custom orthotic insert and I’ve mostly bought MBT (rocker) shoes, Birks, etc. I’m not too happy with the fashion of them, but I can walk. Do you have any suggestions that might help…shoe types or sources, surgery (or not) recommendations, etc. ANY help would be most appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Bone on bone in the big toe joint is called “Hallux Rigidus”. We have a complete page on hallux rigidus here that should answer most of your questions. It is a frustrating problem as treatment options can be limited.

      Rocker shoes are often helpful because they act as a splint to prevent the toe from trying to bend.

      I always recommend that whenever considering surgery for severe hallux rigidus to get several surgical opinions and make sure that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of both joint replacement and joint fusion surgeries.

      After you the read the hallux rigidus page and rocker shoe page, post any other questions you have. Good luck.

  5. For about a year, I have been experiencing posterior tendon dysfunction (left foot). The orthopedist said it is due to flat feet. (I’m 58, overweight) I was given cortisone, an air cast, fitted for UCBL’s, and told to take anti-inflammatories. To complicate the problem, I have lymphedema in both ankles and feet. Since it is hard to manage the swelling, I have not been able to use the UCBL’s. The tendon has improved significantly, but now the right foot hurts (in a different place), and I think it is due to overuse of this foot to protect the left foot tendon. Can the lymphedema be causing the orthopedic problems? Surely the excess swelling can’t be helping. I am wearing good quality athletic shoes, but at the end of the day my feet are so swollen I can hardly stand. I don’t know what kind of doctor would be best with these different issues. Also, I think there may be arthritis. I need relief. Wish I could come to Seattle!

    1. Hi Dianne,

      This sounds like a very complicated issue and I can’t give specific medical advice in this forum.

      I would recommend, however, that you seek some other opinions regarding orthotics and bracing. Often, when a foot orthotic is not adequate, an ankle-foot orthotic may be helpful. A podiatrist with expertise in orthotic therapy should be able to give you some good input. Anyone with swelling of the legs should also seek a consult from a vascular specialist. Best of luck

  6. Dear Doctors,
    First of all, I would like to thank you so much and tell you that I am very grateful that you have this site for people w/foot problems to access. I have Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus for the past 6 years. I have done all sorts of things to make my feet feel better – half orthotics, Merrill shoes with very stiff soles, Dansko shoes, etc. I now have a Morton’s extension full orthotic and I sometimes wear “Drew” sneakers which have a “rocker bottom” sole, but they are disguised to look like regular sneakers. I wear the orthotics in these sneakers and I have found relief from my pain. The sneakers have a very wide toe box and are comfortable. I have done a tremendous amount of research in this area to try and help myself. I am even able to walk and listen to my IPOD with these sneakers.
    My question is: Is there anything else that I can do to slow down the progression of this condition? Also, what is the best kind of exercise to do without aggravating this condition? Currently I use an elyptical machine frequently. I don’t want to have surgery. I am 55 years old.
    Please share this information with other readers or patients to see if it will help them in the future. I would definitely be your patient if I lived closer, but I live in Florida. Again, thank you so much for all that you do with your website. Take good care.
    Linda Nagler

    1. It sounds like you have had great treatment so far. From a conservative standpoint, there’s probably not much more to do.

      In the presence of hallux rigidus (big toe joint arthritis), most patients are most comfortable avoiding activities that require flexion (bending) of the big toe joint. Exercises like squats are obviously very difficult. Since the elliptical doesn’t require bending that joint, it is usually not too bad.

      Our recommendations on when to consider surgery for hallux rigidus is only when someone has tried ALL conservative treatment and pain still limits what that person wants to do. For example, if joint pain stops someone from exercising, for many people there is more risk in not exercising than there is from the surgery. That might be a time to discuss surgery with your podiatrist.

      Good luck Linda!

  7. Hello Doctors,

    I have been struggling with foot pain for the last 5 years. I am 42 years old and have been trying to stay active with my exercise routine. I very narrow feet and pain in the balls of my feet. It feels like I am stepping on bones, my foot pad is very thin. I have been to the podiatrist and he suggested to wear over the counter othodics. I use Lynco with metatarsal support and additional foot cushion. I also only wear Dansko,and sandal made by Montrail that molds to my foot. For my running shoe i went to a specialty running store and was fitted with a pink superfeet and Asics running shoe. I also stretch and message my foot daily. Is there anything else i can do to help or heal my foot problem?? Help… at the end of the day I have to stop and get off my feet. I wish my feet could keep up with me.

    Thank you,

    Diana

    1. If a person has a thin fat pad and pain under the ball of the foot, the goal with treatment is to transfer pressure off of the ball of the foot and provide cushion. This means that you must have an orthotic that conforms very tightly to the arch of the foot. Read more here about total contact orthotics. Also, check out this page here on metatarsalgia and this page on what makes for an expert in orthotic therapy.

      Then go find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in orthotic therapy. Pain under the ball of the foot usually responds very nicely if treatment is done correctly. The key is to find a true expert in orthotic therapy. It’s frustrating, but there are a lot of people making orthotics who do a lousy job.

  8. For years I have experienced burning of the bottoms of both feet and pain in the bone structure from heel to toes. I have been to several foot Dr’s but have not as yet been able to correct. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  9. The best things I ever did for my YEARS of previously PAINFUL feet were to get custom orthosis from DR Hale, buy the best quality shoes I’ve ever worn from SHOES AND FEET and stop wearing cotton socks. Now I need to deal with an ingrown toenail. (Left foot, big toe, outside:( Do you think I would be able to drive a stick shift 20 miles home directly after surgery or should someone drive me.
    Thank you for you time.

    1. After ingrown nail surgery the toe is numb for several hours. Most patients do drive home themselves. Glad to hear everything else has worked out well for you. Give us a call if you want to discuss the nail problem.

  10. What shoes work best from women with metatarsal pain resulting from stress fractures? I have slight osteopenia and would like to find shoes that are comfortable yet support the arch and offer firmness in the sole. Thank you for your time.

    1. The key in treating metatarsal pain is to reduce the pressure on the metatarsals and the most effective way to do that is to use orthotics or arch supports that conform tightly to the arch of the foot. This has been shown to be true in many studies, including some studies on stress fractures in military recruits. Any of the shoes on our shoe list should help, but walking or running shoes will provide the most protection. Use the sign up form at the top of this page to get the shoe list.

  11. Hello,
    I have a history of sprained ankles from years of playing basketball. My ankles are much stronger, but i still wrap them for security. Before playing two nights ago, I wrapped my right foot with an ACE bandage. During the game the bandage started feeling tight, so I rewrapped it so it would be looser. By the time the game was over the bottom of my foot was throbbing and as soon as I took the bandage off I could barely put any weight on it. I followed RICE, but my foot hasn’t gotten better. The bottom of my foot is swollen, I can’t put any weight on it and I can barely move my little toe. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

    1. We cannot provide individual medical advice on this forum.

      Anyone who experiences acute foot pain after activity should have their foot evaluated by a podiatrist or an orthopedist as soon as possible. Acute onset of pain could be any one of 100 different problems – some serious, some not serious.

  12. I am a 52 year old male and for the past 7 years I’ve had pain in the bone directly below my pinky toe on my right foot. I have been to numerous doctors and they all have a different opinion. I’ve tried foot pads, custom orthopedic shoes and surgery to make my pinky toe straighter. Nothing has worked so far. Recently I heard that overtime people lose their fat pads and I am wondering if that could be my problem. What do you think?

  13. I was recently diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma. The Podiatrist injected it with cortisone and gave me an orthodontic to cushion my foot. What else can be done to alleviate the pain associated with this condition? What type of shoe is best to wear? Is there a specific orthodontic for this condition?

  14. I have sever arthritis in both feet and I walk about 11 to 13 miles a day because of my job. Is there anythin I can do for the pain. thank you

    1. There are a number of studies showing the benefit of biomechanical treatment for arthritis of the feet. In particular, custom orthotics that conform very close to the arch of the foot (total contact orthotics) act to reduce motion of arthritic joints and thus reduce pain. Find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in orthotic therapy to ensure you get the best possible orthotics. In the meantime, you can try these home treatments for arthritis of the feet.

  15. HI. I have been diagnosed with hallus limitus. Is there something else I can do to keep it from becoming rigidus besides treating it as if it were already limited? Or is it always a normal progression?
    Thanks,
    Ann

  16. I have mortons nueroma on one foot. I have prescribed orthotics for my feet and good comfortable shoes. Does it eventually go away and if so, how long does it take for it to heal?

    1. The truth is that we don’t really know if neuromas completely go away – they may just get smaller. What we do know is that about 85% of people will get relief of their pain without surgery. Time really varies. Some get better with orthotics alone and others require a series of injections that can take several months.

  17. Foot Problem
    • Started hurting due to bad shoes, excessive running without proper stretching
    • Hurting for about four years (sometimes worse with periodic improvement)
    • Never fully recovered
    • Hurt significantly last August while sprinting (felt like fascia tore away from bone)
    What I have tried
    • Good shoes
    • Good inserts
    • Lots of stretching (towel stretch/wall stretch/ calf stretching etc)
    • 1 shot of cortisone
    • Very little running for months
    • Ice
    • Heat
    • Ultrasound
    • Shockwave Therapy
    • Message
    • Iontaporesis ? (electric charge of steroid to heel)
    • Bone scan (no major damage showing/dr. said maybe stress fracture)
    • Rolling ball under foot
    • Sleeping with night splint
    • Extra moal foam padding in shoes
    • Heel cups
    • Wearing arch support (elastic band around middle of foot)
    • Wearing muscle soothing cream on calf to keep tendons relaxed and loose

    What I think the problem might be
    • I feel a knot under the skin on the heel. I know that is the problem I just don’t know what exactly it is or how to get rid of it.
    • This are better now (seeing that I have not been able to run for months) but I am afraid things will continue to get worse if not fully corrected
    • This knot moves around and hurts when I push on it. This leads me to believe it is scar tissue attached to the plantar fascia. However, I thought again that maybe it only feels like it is moving and may be a bone spur. Maybe the tendon moving around over the top of the knot makes it appear to be moving.
    • Ultrasound/ night splint have been most effective treatment but problem never completely goes away
    Questions
    • I read that only about 50% of surgeries are successful and usually not necessary. Not sure about my case (if it is only other option)?
    • I have never tried acupuncture. Is it likely that this would help?
    • Could this be a nerve trapped under scar tissue? I used to feel a sharp pain in the back of my neck simultaneously with a heel pain. I read up a little about the calcaneal, planter, and tibial nerve and thought one of them might be being affected. Or possibly Tarsel Tunnel Syndrome
    • I have been diagnosed previously with planter fasciitis but not for sure if there are stress fractures.
    • What are chances of tumor or cist given my description?

    1. Unfortunately, we can’t make diagnoses in this forum. I do agree that plantar fascial surgery should be a very last resort as there are a lot of potential complications. What city are you in? How many opinions have you had so far? We might be able to give you the name of a good foot specialist.

  18. For the last year I have a growth about the size on a dime on the back of my left Achilles tendon. It is firm, but not hard. It is not painful and does not appear to have any noticeable impact. I had my regular doctor (not foot expert) look at it and she said it was not a problem. Any advise on what it is or if I should be concerned?
    Thanks for your assistance.

  19. Dear Doctors,

    I just had a Triple Arthrodesis, Jan. 14th 2011. My question is what type of sneaker or athletic show do you suggest for maximum comfort and support? I’m 41 year old male, returning to college for Nursing. My hope is to be able to stand and get around without pain for a full shift. Thank you for your response.

  20. I currently have a problem with my right foot. When standing or if seated with foot hanging down I have blue toes (2nd & 3rd toes especially the tips and on the bottom are affected) with the blueness primarily the ball and even the rim of my heel print. Top of foot isn’t blue, My history: 49 year old female, normal weight and good health. I’ve had a bunion for years (no real discomfort, careful to wear good athletic shoes for work). Last fall (Sept 2010) I was diagnosed with stress fracture of 2nd metatarsal bone. Podiatrist had me wear short aircast boot for 3 months. Blue toes and seeming venous insufficiency not noticeable until December. Vascular evaluation shows all arterial and venous circulation is ok, and no clots. All blood work done by PCP is normal. Only abnormal test is bone density (Jan 2011) osteoporosis. Orthopedic consult says recent X-rays show no further ortho problem. I’m wearing toe socks to keep skin of toes from irritating each other. All testing completed in the last 2-3 weeks. Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks

    1. For the first year or so following a triple arthrodesis we usually recommend that our patients wear a custom gauntlet type of AFO (Arizona is the best known brand) with a stable athletic shoe. Almost any of the athletic shoes on our shoe list will work This provides a lot of support that helps prevent much of the pain and swelling that occurs during the first 12 – 18 months of healing. Once past that period, most of our patients receive a very controlling foot orthosis and a stable shoe.

      1. I will be having this surgery next month (Triple Arthrodesis) – I live in Florida and cannot stand to be in a closed shoe. After the surgery heals, are there orthotic sandals that I could wear?

  21. Hi

    I have been experiencing foot problems for years and i am just beyond my sixties. The pain is usually in my feet and i find that warm water soothes the pain. However, any sort of movement can prompt the pain, like a beginning of a cramp, but it stays. At one point the pain spread to both legs where i could not stand still nor walk. The walking around actually did help some but it was excruciating pain on both legs.
    I am curious to what your opinion as a podiatrist is, because i have never heard of this and whether it is something you have encountered before. I have recently purchased some orthopedic footwear for the pain. Is there any sort of advice?

    Thank you for your time and having this section for your subscriber’s questions.

    1. I wish I could offer you more insight, but this really requires a full work-up to determine the problem. I could easily name 20 potential causes and that would do you no good at all. Go see a podiatrist in your area or your primary physician. Best of luck!

      1. Sorry, the reply button refused to work…

        Thank you for the input. I will consider that there are some 20 causes for it, something i never considered before.

        Thank you again 🙂

  22. I have chronic plantar fasciitis. I haven’t tried wearing a walking boot. Have you found this to be an effective treatment?

  23. ACTIVE RELEASE THERAPY FOR TARSAL TUNNEL. I have been diagnosed with tarsal tunnel and the doctor recommends that I have surgery, but I’ve read mixed reviews about the efficacy of this procedure. I’ve also heard of Active Release Therapy and I’m wondering how effective this is. I’d prefer to try something less invasive.

  24. I have dropped foot and wear a brace. I excerise daily and do a lot of stretching.Is there anything that will cure dropped foot and let me walk normal again. I had bcak surgery about a year ago and have seen much improvement.

      1. I have heard sometimes acupuncture can help with the peroneal nerve for drop foot, if it’s early on, in the injury. Also, depending on where the nerve is injured, if it’s like at the brain level, then I think there are some muscle or nerve stimulators that can help.

  25. Do you recommend a Morton’s extension orthotic or just a regular orthotic for a person with ‘flat feet’ and Hallux rigidus?
    Is Hallux rigidus related in any way to Morton’s toe? (I have both).
    I see that many people like the Dansko or rocker-bottom footwear for the rigid big toe, but I find them quite painful as they curve up too much for my comfort. Any other footwear suggestions?

    1. Home treatments for hallux rigidus can be found here.

      For a great selection of women’s shoes with rocker soles check out http://www.luckygirlshoes.com

      The following is a blog entry I wrote explaining hallux rigidus orthotics to podiatrists. It should answer your questions:

      We have spent a lot of time in our lectures, articles and on this website discussing orthoses for hallux limitus, in particular functional hallux limitus (FHL). Our goal with these devices is to decompress the first MPJ and enhance hallux dorsiflexion. Some orthotic prescription items we use for this problem include a minimum cast fill, cast inversion and reverse Morton’s extensions. You can read a number of articles and suggestions on orthotic prescriptions for hallux limitus here.

      We have spent less time, however, addressing hallux rigidus and I think it is worth discussing how your orthotic prescription might change in the presence of a significant structural loss of first MPJ motion.

      The mechanics of hallux rigidus, in most cases, is the same as hallux limitus. In fact, hallux rigidus is usually a sequeala of long-term FHL. Long-term compression in the first MPJ leads to joint degradation, arthritic changes and a decrease in available dorsiflexion.

      Theoretically then, the same orthotic prescription makes sense in that we still want to try to decompress the first MPJ. But in the presence of osteoarthritic changes of the first MPJ, using an orthosis to decompress the joint can lead to pain by encouraging increased motion of an already damaged joint. So what to do?

      One option is to use the same prescription (see the Hallux Limitus Pathology Specific Orthosis) to decompress the joint inside the shoe, but then stop motion of the joint by prescribing rocker soled shoes. This is my preferred treatment as I am both decompressing the joint and limiting motion.

      If the patient can’t or won’t wear a rocker, then consider using orthotic modifications to stop, rather than enhance, first MPJ dorsiflexion. The easiest way to do this is to prescribe a Morton’s extension. Warn your patient that this is being used to treat the pain and won’t protect the joint. In fact, you are likely increasing compressive forces in the first MPJ with this modification. This could itself lead to pain or further degradation of the joint.

      ProLab clients are encouraged to call one of medical consultants for questions regarding specific patients.

  26. Hello,
    I have had a few foot injuries the last few years. The result is an injury to the deep peroneal nerve on the dorsum of my foot. Positive Tinnels sign at times. Also, a recent sprain resulted in sural? nerve irritation on the lateral side of my foot, possible ganglion cyst near the anterolateral tibio-talar joint, and morton’s neuroma between about 3rd and fourth toes on the bottom of the foot. I have tried just about everything (orthotics, ionophoresis, therapy, ultrasound).

    A nerve conduction test, showed some reductions in amplitudes and velocities for peroneal and sural nerves, on both legs. Possibly worsening over the last few years, but only considered a ‘mild neuropathy.’ I have a high arch. Only about -2 degrees dorsiflexion on the right/problematic foot, and about 2 degrees left foot (tight calf). Can certain hereditary neuropathies cause tight calf’s, neuroma’s, neuritis, and SWELLING of foot?

    I’m trying to figure out if my foot is still treatable, or if my residual issues are related to a neuropathy of sorts.

    Thanks.

    1. I wish we could get into specifics here, but the reality is that this is simply too complicated to comment on without a full examination. Given that, we are believers in getting multiple opinions. We might be able to help you find someone in your area – where are you located?

      1. Ahhh…. Yes, I’m sorry you can’t be more specific here, as that could have really helped me! I have been to podiatrists, rehab doctors, neurologists, arthritis doctors, and even a genetic counselor to see if CMT or HNPP was possible.
        CMT Type 1 and HNPP were ruled out genetically, as my parents tested negative. This did not rule out other types of CMT like type 2, or certain other neuropathies.

        However, the Doctor thought most forms of CMT were symmetrical and I have a left knee issue and right foot issue. Both originated after injuries, but they’re taking several years to heal (if that). I don’t know if I should still expect recovery, or pursue surgery for my knee, when the Mri’s don’t show much. So I’m not sure if you know of anyone wiser in the area that you can refer me to? I’m in South Seattle, but can travel a bit for the RIGHT person. It just seems like everyone refers me to someone else, and none of the Doctors try to answer my questions themselves. So I’m left contemplating surgery for my knee, and perhaps injections for my foot.

        Tried orthotics, physical therapy and more…

  27. In 2001 I had bilateral bunionectomies with arthroplasty of the 2nd toes. I had Bio pro titanium implants in both great toes. Subsequently, because of several complications including failure of pinning of second toe on right foot, three more surgical revisions were indicated.

    I was prescribed custom orthotics and for the following 6-7 yrs. I did fairly well. However, in the past year my right toe developed whqat I thought was a bone spur at the phalangeal joint and is fused. My second toe has become a Mortons toe. My 5th toe is painful related to a Tailors bunionette and a recent visit to a Podiatrist revealed I had Metatarsal Adductus.

    He told me that the bone spur was actually the implant that had dislodged and has all but broken through the skin. He further states that my foot being as it is, is one of the most difficult foot disorders to correct.
    What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Curt,

      This is just too complicated to comment on without doing a complete history and examination. I would recommend that you get at least three opinions from experienced foot and ankle specialists in your area before you decide to move forward with anything. Best of luck.

  28. I would like to know what would be the best possible course of action to take in repairing my ‘flexible flat foot’ condition. I have had problems with my feet all my life. I would like to walk like a normal person again.
    I am afraid that I will have serious mobility problems as I reach my older years.

  29. I have two questions:
    1. I have had a callus on the ball of my left foot since I was about 14, up until a few years ago I had no real problem with it as along as I took care of it by, shaving off the dead skin. Then everything changed and I dont know why..now I cant shave it it seems to have gone deeper in. It also seems to be pulling on my third little toe causing great pain off and on. The only way I can now deal with it is by putting a large amount of acid on it, covering it for a few days and then peeling off a large amount of layers which is then sensetive (since so much skin as been taken off) for a bit, but lasts a good three to four months before having to do it again. What is going on, how do I better take care of it, what can I do about the pain, pulling on the middle toe?
    2. The little toe on both feet, worse in the left are pulling toward the other toes, thus creating an open portion of the foot as if there should be a sixth toe. On the left foot it is forming a hard type callus. WHat can I put inbetween the fourth and littel toe to make it more straight and having a normal gap between the toes. I have tried the ear plugs, face sponges, and a number of other things. Any long term working idea would be welcome.
    Thank-you very much,
    Junshi

  30. I am writing for my husband. His right foot started to give him pain on the top after putting down some tile floors. The doctor told him his ligaments were stretched and to wear a support boot for the ankle. This has been going on now for 7 months with no improvement. Now his left foot has started giving him the same pain. When he gets up from sitting or laying down he finds it very painful to try to put any weight on either foot. Now he is wearing a support boot on both feet. What do you think the problem might be and what should he do? X-rays showed nothing wrong with his bones.

    1. Hi Mary,

      We try to answer once or twice per week.

      Unfortunately, there is no way to diagnose any medical problem over the internet. There are a hundred things that this could be and only a good foot doctor doing an exam can provide the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

      He needs to go see a good podiatrist. If the first one doesn’t give you a good answer, get a second or third opinion.

      Where are you located? We might know someone near you.

  31. My sister, age 57, suffers with drop foot as a result of damage to a nerve during hip surgery about 2 years ago. She wears one of those plastic braces to help her walk better. It is a miserable condition for sure. Both her orthopedic surgeon and neurologist have said that the condition is permanent since so much time as gone by and the nerve has not repaired itself. So here is my question: are there doctors that just specialize in drop foot conditions? I am frustrated because no one is really “treating” this condition. She lives in California (San Francisco Bay Area)…perhaps there is a doctor or center in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in these types of problems that you can recommend. I have always wondered if this plastic type of brace is the best brace for her and am wondering if there is somewhere in the area that she should go and be evaluated to see if there is a different type of brace that would work better for her. I realize that there is no “cure” for drop foot but I just need to know all of the treatment/therapy/etc. options to help make my sister’s life more comfortable and productive and happy. Thanks so much.

  32. I was wearing sandals and an exit door slammed shut and went over the top of my big toe really pressing down hard over it. Within seconds, I saw blood forming under the nail. The school nurse (I am a teacher), pressed on the nail to get the pooling blood out, then sprayed on an anti-bacterial and bandaged the toe. I called my doctor’s office and spoke to the nurse. I elevated the toe, iced it, soaked it, put on neosporin and kept gauze and a band aid on it when I went out of the house. In the house I kept it free of bandages. For 2 1/2 weeks I wore very comfortable sandals (merrills) that allowed me to put my foot into the sandal without touching my sore toe. The toe nail was lighter than my other nail and slightly raised while it was healing and it was sore. Finally the nail seemed to settle in place and it turned a reddish purple but is still attached to the skin and is growing. As soon as it no longer was sore, I immediately noticed a pain I hadn’t felt before under the ball of my foot (where the area between the big toe and the next toe meet the sole of the foot. This pain occurred with each step when my foot touched the ground and lasted about one week. I put on Dankso clogs and this seemed to alleviate the pain (but made my big toe a bit sore again (although not nearly as sore as previously). I can wear a normal variety of shoes now, but do not want to have this pain come back. What are possible causes of this pain? Do you have a possible explanation as to why it happened right after my big toe was no longer sore? How can I prevent this from reoccurring in the future?

    1. Hi Gayle,

      Unfortunately, we cannot answer individual medical questions on this forum. There are a number of things that could be causing the pain. A good podiatrist would likely be able to figure it out in a few minutes or less. I would suggest you make an appointment with a podiatrist in your area. Until you can do that, keep wearing the Danskos. You can learn more about the causes of pain under the ball of the foot here.

  33. I have plantar fasciitus which is being treated with custom orthotics and I recently had the laser therapy which did quite well for me. In the last 6 weeks I have suddenly developed pain across the top and underside of my foot at the upper foot area spreading into the toes. I had been exercising more vigorously to try and lose weight in conjuntion with dieting. I had an xray to rule out hairline fractures and went on advil therapy for 3 weeks in case pain was due to tendonitis. Pain has somewhat subsided but now my big toe feels cold/icy although circulation is fine. Some pain also spreading into 2nd and 3rd toes, bottom two a little stiff also. Going for another xray and soaking in epsom salts seems to help for a day or two. I need to walk to lose weight but walking is painful – any suggestions?

    1. Hi Gail,

      You are having a large collection of symptoms – too many to give you any sort of accurate diagnosis on a forum such as this. My recommendation is that it’s time to see a specialist. I would find a good podiatrist in your area and let them do a full work-up of the problem. Best of luck.

  34. Dear Doctors,

    many thanks for providing the opportunity to ask foot health related questions in this blog.

    I am looking for a way to straighten my toes, in particular my second toes, which are slightly turned outwards and my little toes, which are curled inwards.

    I have been practicing yoga for about 5 years and regained a lot of flexibility in my ankles and toes, but aforementioned toes don’t seem to change on both feet.

    I have tried Vibram 5-fingers shoes, I sometimes tape these toes when excercising and have a weekly foot massage (Thai Style).

    I feel that these toes are also related to my wobbly knees (I used to be a long distance runner in my youth and am now in my early 40ies), which I sometimes dislocate.

    What is, in your experience, the best ways to straighten these toes?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    1. Unfortunately there is nothing in the medical literature that indicates that you can straighten your toes (except with surgery – but surgery should only be considered in the presence of pain that cannot be relieved with conservative treatment). I hate to give you bad news, but you’ll just have to live with the crooked toes. Best of luck.

  35. I had bunion surgery on both feet over 18 years ago, just in the last 2 to 3 years I have started having severe pain in the ball of my left foot. This happens when I am on my feet alot. I have orthotics from when I had my surgeries. but they are very worn. Was wondering if new orthotics might help my situation. Is this common after a long period of time for this to happen?

      1. Dear Dr Hale and Dr Haupin,

        At my recent visit with Dr Hale, I came away with the understanding that there isn’t much that can be done for severe Hammertoe, beyond providing for a generous toe-box in the shoes. Can you explain this a little further — Is there anything else that can help to reverse Hammertoe, short of actual surgery?

        Thank you!
        David J. Ross

  36. I had a cheilectomy in March of 2011, also had some drilling done to promote cartilage growth and a corner of my bone was shaved off, To date I am still having pain. In November I started experiencing a cold sensation in my toe area, which spreads to my entire foot. I used a moist heating pad for about three month. It did not help and went back to my doctor and he recommended a lotion. That was it! I suggested heat and physical therapy, neither of which he did, and started ultrasound and annodine treatments. I have had 12 of each and and it has not helped. My foot feels like it is submerged in ice water. The therapy is helping my joint a little bit, which is very tight. Have been told if I would have had physical therapy right after surgery, it would be better. It hurts to walk, but the worst part is the cold. Is there anything you would suggest for this.

  37. I have 2 problems. A large plantar fibroma on the bottom inside portion of my left foot and a bone spur on the top of the same foot about midway on the foot. I have been to the podiatrist and received a total of 5 cortisone injections. 3 to the top and 2 for the bottom. My pain is now a 2-3 but I really can’t play any sports. My goal is to play some basketball or tennis again. I’ not sure what to do next. I’ve been reading on you website and it is helpful. Thankyou for that. I have been looking at your list of shoes and trying to decide which are best for me. Also I have flat feet and pronation worse on the left.Thankyou

    1. You would benefit from a complete biomechanical examination and likely from properly prescribed orthotic devices. The orthotics would need to accommodate the fibromas in order to be comfortable. You most definitely should get a 2nd opinion. Are you in the Seattle area?

  38. I was diagnosed with Hallux Rigidus by a local podiatrist. He said that I am at the stage where I will have to have fusion 5 to 10 years from now. My question is can an articular cartilage transplant work in the big toe joint? I have noticed online that this procedure is performed on knee patients. If this is possible, would you be able to tell me who in this country does this procedure? Thank you so much!

  39. Hello,

    I had a bunionectomy (with a titanium screw) on my left foot in Nov 2010. Everything seemed normal with regard to healing until this past spring (2012) when I started getting back pain & shooting nerve pain through my arms. My primary doctor ran a series of tests to determine the cause w/o results when one day the 2nd metatarsal on my surgery foot gave out and I was in extreme pain. As it turns out, I was inadvertently putting too much pressure on that area rather than evenly distributing my weight on the 1st metatarsal area which caused all of the symptoms I was experiencing. My podiatrist said my 2nd metatarsal was extra long and apparently couldn’t take the stress.

    In March, I had two cortisone injections into the joint & was in a boot for 3 months. After X-rays & foot scans determined that my left leg was now 1/4″ shorter post-surgery, I was fitted for custom orthotics which relieve the metatarsal pain; however, it has been 6 months & I still cannot walk barefoot without hobbling & feeling discomfort still. I am beginning to experience the same joint pain in the metatarsal area of my right foot now; the podiatrist noticed the same issue on scans of my right foot back in March & predicted that I might have problems with that foot down the line.

    I have developed pronation or over-pronation (?) where I’m favoring walking on the outer sides of my foot. I have hardwood floors at home so I have been wearing Orthaheel Tide slip-ons with an added gel pad on the ball of the foot part for extra relief when I’m not in my orthotics.

    I am 39 years old, 105 lbs, & prior to the surgery I never had foot ailments besides the bunion pain. Is it normal that I am now unable to walk without orthotics post-surgery? I’d like to explore my options but am unsure if I should get another opinion?

    Thank you!

    1. Overload of the 2nd metatarsal is a common complication after any sort of bunion surgery. We always use orthotics after surgery to distribute weight more appropriately.

      Absolutely get another opinion, but try not to let anyone else do surgery on you if it can be avoided. Try to find someone near you who is an expert in orthotic therapy. If you let us know where you are located we might be able to give you some suggestions.

  40. I developed foot pain about 8 months ago, mostly along the 5th metatarsal in both feet, as well as some right at the junction between the main arch/heel of my right foot. Previously, I was diagnosed with Raynaud’s syndrome about 2 years ago.

    I have been to my podiatrist 2-3 times, had xrays to show no stress fractures or any other kind of breaks/fractures. I have seen a rheumatologist regarding the Raynaud’s and been told this pain is NOT from the Raynaud’s. I have seen 2 different cardiologists to check for blood clots in my belly or in my legs via ultrasound. I have been to the neurologist and had 2 EMGs done to check for tarsal tunnel and neuropathy. I went to a chiropractor for 2 weeks to check for a pinched nerve, and had full spine xrays. I have been to an orthopedic surgeon to check again for tarsal tunnel, and he suggested physical therapy. I am now doing the PT, but so far it has only increased the pain.

    I have tried approx 20 different pairs of shoes/slippers, 2 different kinds of non-custom orthotics.

    I have lived all my life in carpeted dwellings, until June of 2011, and this problem started roughly Feb of 2012. I am now on all hardwood floors and am curious if this could cause the problem? We got some “test” carpet yesterday and have laid it around the house in a walking pattern for me, to see if it helps. I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 & 4 yr old girls, and do much cooking from scratch, so I am on my feet a lot, and walk roughly 3-3.5 miles in the house each day (with lots of breaks).

    If I have to be standing or walking for very long (mostly out & about, shopping trips etc), then I use a motorized cart or a wheelchair.

    I have a high arch that does not collapse when I walk, and I supinate when I walk.

    I am 5’4 and 120 lbs. Since I have been unable to walk for exercise since May, I have gotten an exercise bike to help take the 10 lbs back off that I gained while relatively immobile.

    Can you think of any other things that the dr’s don’t seem to have checked for already? I’m considering going to Cleveland Clinic or Mayo, as I just feel very frustrated that none of the dr’s I’ve seen have been to able to help at all.

    I know you can’t provide direct advice, but just curious if you’ve ever heard of someone in my situation?

    1. This is too complicated to give good information online. You need to get a second opinion from another podiatrist. You’re situation does not sound that complicated, but I don’t think you have had an adequate diagnosis yet. Best of luck.

  41. First, thank you for your fabulous website – I love the shoe list and great info. I have a question about flat feet. I recently saw an orthopedic surgeon and he took multiple weight bearing x-rays of both feet – which have been flat all of my life. The x-rays of my left showed a 26 degree angle where their should be none and I can bearly lift my heel off of the floor – cannot properly do a heel raise. I gained 30 lbs within 2 years and it seemed to trigger problems I had with my left foot, tendon soreness. I was hoping that losing weight and more PT would fix my foot but was told that at this stage I would need surgery. I have never had an MRI done of either foot but was told that my liagments are stretched out and doing nothing to support my foot. First – should I have an MRI to see what shape the liagments and tendon is in? Second – With “weight bearing” x-rays showing 26 degree angle – wouldn’t losing 30 lbs make this degree less – maybe not make it go to 0 degrees – but improve it? I have already lost 6 pounds over the past month – should I wait to lose that extra 30 pounds and get the x-rays re-done to see if the angle has improved?

    1. I’m not able to give you specific information online, but I can give you some general information. Your description of your foot problem sounds like a condition called posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or adult acquired flatfoot.

      Almost all the information you need should be on that page.

      We usually recommend the use of either foot orthotics or ankle foot orthotics as first line treatment and only consider surgery as a last resort. You can learn more about orthotics for flat feet at this link.

      If you are carrying extra weight, read this page on orthotics for those who are overweight.

      Losing weight is probably the most important thing you can do to avoid surgery. But don’t worry about the “angle”, you want to eliminate the pain, not treat the angle.

      I would recommend finding a podiatrist near you who has special expertise in orthotic therapy.

      Best of luck!

  42. What is the best way to strengthen the posterior tibial muscle/tendon ? I can’t stand for more that a minute or so before my PTT start to get painful from the middle of the tibia down around the medial malleollus. Any tips are appreciated. (I’m trying to strengthen the PTT rather than use custom orthotics. I do wear power step insoles) Thanks…

    1. Hi Brent,

      Most studies show that strengthening the posterior tib tendon is not effective at reducing this type of pain. The reason is that the muscle is already working extremely hard to support the foot and is likely already very strong – but your foot structure and body weight is still too much for it to handle. Without seeing you, it’s hard to say for sure, but support is usually much more effective than strengthening for the PTT. This is not true for every tendon in the foot. In fact, I would say this is really only true of the PTT.

      Our primary goal to reduce this type of pain is to reduce tension on the tendon. Think of it as a rope that is being overstretched. As soon as you reduce tension you reduce pain. Good OTC arch supports like Powerstep work for a lot of people, but sometimes do not reduce enough tension to reduce the pain. If that is the case a custom orthotic (if made correctly) can be much more effective at reducing the tension and the pain.

      Also, studies have shown that the use of orthotics does not weaken the PTT. In fact, EMG studies with and without orthtoics show that on flatter feet the use of orthotics can actually help strengthen the PTT because by putting the foot in a better functioning position the PTT tendon is now functioning how it should.

      If you do want to try strengthening the PTT,however, your best bet is to do calf raises but invert your foot (turn it so the soles are facing each other) as you do the calf raise. Over time increase the weight you are holding while doing the calf raises just as you would for any strengthening exercise.

      The take home on this is don’t live with the pain. With the correct orthotic device this is usually an easy problem to treat. It’s like being nearsighted – sometimes you just need glasses to see better and have a better life.

      Here is more information: https://www.footankle.com/posterior-tibial-tendonitis/

      Good luck!!

      1. Thank you for your reply Dr. Huppin. I will try strengthening for awhile and if that doesn’t seem to be helping, my plan is to try support. I understand that you are an expert at crafting full contact orthotics that work for this issue. At the moment, I am hoping that day to day activities and walking a few times per week will gradually restore my TPP. I know it is a long shot.

        1. Best of luck Brent. Keep in mind that the tendon will heal better and faster when not under constant tension. You may find that wearing a good orthotic for 6 – 12 months will allow the tendon to heal and that you may not need the orthotics as much (or at all) long-term. It is always harder to get these to heal initially than it is to prevent future flare-ups. LH

          1. I called your office today and left a message. I’m hoping to come in for consultation and assessment during the week of March 14 – 18. I’ll be coming from BC so I want to pack as much into the meeting as possible. I will bring prior MRI results, other assessments and samples of failed orthotics I’ve tried. I can fax you the reports ahead of time so you have more time to review them. To help get the most out our time together, I am including a brief summary here of my current symptoms for your perusal. I am trying to be as brief as possible. Please let me know you received this. Where can I fax the reports to?

            normal gait
            high arch, tight calves/hams
            neuromas possibly on left plantar fascia.
            occasional pain on top of foot, especially left
            metatarsalgia, especially left. Met pads help.
            numbness along inside of left big toe
            occasional mild jamming of top of left big toe joint
            painful Tib Posts bilaterally / cannot stand / disabling (key issue)
            30 year history of plantar fasciosis (not currently painful if I avoid aggravating it)
            Tried everything out there including a tenotomy with Dr. Hale. No improvement.
            A forefoot varus wedge helped reduce the pf pain for years. Stopped using it.
            Gave up on orthotics. Tried to go back to letting the foot strenghthen “naturally”.

            I’m currently only wearing powersteps plus a felt insole with met pads to try to “walk” my feet back into shape naturally. This has been going much better than I thought but my Tib Posts still can’t support my weight.

          2. Hi Brent,

            Once you have an appointment (you can make that online at http://www.footankle.com or on the phone) you can log into our patient portal. You can copy the information above into the portal. When you make the appointment tell my staff that I would like you to have a 45 minute appointment. You won’t be able to make a 45 minute appointment on the portal so best to make that on the phone. Our fax number is 206 860 0907. Once you have the info above copied into the portal we can remove your info from the blog.

  43. My big toe on left foot was hurting around the cuticle, but there wasn’t a cuticle anymore and the nail stopped growing. Went to podiatrist and he numbed my toe and scraped and dug in there.. said he was getting debris out. Put me on antibiotics and said if it wasnt better in a week he’d have to take my whole nail off. Well its been a week and it way worse but its worse where he was digging. The other pain is gone. Should I get a second opinion about taking my nail completely off? Is there anything else I can try?

  44. I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis about 79 weeks ago. I have bought the inserts, have been stretching, icing, bought one of those foot rockers for stretching, etc. I am an avid hiker but this has put a huge damper on it. My question is this….24 hrs ago I went for a cortisone shot in my heel……..I still feel a little pain there…would this be from the injection itself?

    1. Hi Gary,

      The injection itself can cause some pain for a few days. In addition, the cortisone usually doesn’t take effect for about 3 days although this does depend on the type of cortisone. Give it a little more time. If it still hurts find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in biomechanics / orthotic therapy and/or sports medicine.

  45. Hello! Thank you for taking your valuable time to read & respond to all of our questions. About 2 years ago I was diagnosed with leg lymphedema (something I had never heard of before my diagnosis). In the last few months I’ve been getting a severe burning pain in my right foot that stops me in my tracks & brings tears to my eyes due to the severity. It can happen if I’m sitting, standing, reclining….etc. The exact area is where the 3 outside toes meet the ball of my foot. I’ve tried injections, special shoes, special shoe inserts, special wraps. I guess I’m just hoping to hear what it COULD be, what treatment MIGHT work and become optimistic that we ARE on the right track to figuring this out and at least lessening the affect it has on me. Thank you again!

    1. A couple of things I didn’t put in my question & info – I have a vascular surgeon that told me to see a podiatrist. I’ve seen him a half dozen times and seems very qualified but he tries pressure points in my right foot to try to get the pain but isn’t able to create it. It happens at any hour of the day or night, standing or sitting, just got up or up for awhile, I’m sure frustrated…..

    2. From your description the first thing I think of is a Morton’s neuroma – but I’m guessing you have already had that diagnosis as many of your treatments sound like they might be for a neuroma. I would first recommend a 2nd opinion. Burning pain is often found when the problem is due to a nerve condition. So it could be a neuroma, but it could also be due to a nerve problem in your back. Get a second opinion from both a podiatrist and a neurologist. Good luck!

  46. Hello doctors! About 3 years ago and I was diagnosed with a fracture of my sesamoid bone in my left foot. It took a while for the pain to go away. My podiatrist told me then that it doesn’t fully go away and that the bone never heals completely. Well, the pain went away but ever since my left foot felt like it was weaker than my right one and I had to be careful all the time. Last week I got a new car and it’s a stick shift. After a few days, I noticed a very slight pain/discomfort coming from the same area. The movement of my toes is fine and when you normally press on the foot, it causes no pain but you walk you can feel it. Is this condition back? Will I not be able to drive a manual transmission? What can I do?

    1. Hi Paul,

      It’s hard to tell you without an examination whether it is back or not, but a good podiatrist will be able to tell you very quickly simply by seeing if pressure on your sesamoid causes pain. Before you go in, however, take a look at our Guide to Sesamoid Pain page. You will likely find all of the information you need about sesamoid injuries there. If you still have questions let us know but the best recommendation we can make is to find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in orthotic therapy.

  47. Hi, I am a 54 year old female , overweight and feeling at the end of my witts with foot pain. I have had two neroma surgeries with the 2nd being done as a nu step procedure. I originally had a bunion surgery with the first neroma surgery and they shaved down my big toe. also they moved my little toe 1st surgery because it was on top of another toe. I had tarsal tunnel surgery done the first time too. I followed the healing period but was stil in a lot of pain . A year later went to the nu step podiatrist. . He said I still had a neroma and he also did another tarsal tunnel release also going in by my knee to open the tarsal tunnel. Again I stayed in my boot and felt no relief. The dr. told me he felt I had a stump neroma and so we tried abation. with alcohol injections. That did seem to help a little at least for awhile. The last time I went he inseted a needle in the middle of my foot down from my big toe. It hurt so bad I wanted to cry and after that I did not go back. It is another year now. I wrap , tape , inserts , and ice my foot and still so much pain. In dec. I had injured the middle of my arch and since then my foot constantly feels like someone is ringing it. It feels like it is sweling and if I put a compression wrap on it my toes and top of foot turn purple .I have no idea what to do for myself next. was hoping you could offer some advice. I also have a tens unit at home that I put on my foot but it doesnt help. The only relief is off my feet overnight up on a pillow. Sure hope you can make some recommendations. Thanks , Colleen

    1. Hi Colleen. I would love to help but this isn’t something that can be figured out online. If you tell me what part of the country you live in, however, I might be able to make a referral to someone good in your area who could help you.

  48. I had implants put in both my big toes over 4 months ago. I went through therapy and did very well. However, I am experiencing pain on the top of my right foot and my feet are constantly swelled plus the promised mobility is not there. My foot doctor never gave me any other options and neglected to inform me of the long recovery period. I am pretty certain this was a unsuccessful operation since I am more debilitated than before this operation. Also the surgeon never saw me after the surgery. What can I do if anything to alleviate this problem? Thank you, Rochelle

    1. Hi Rochelle. I’m so sorry you are having this type of problem. You really should see another foot doctor and get another opinion. There isn’t much I can tell you without doing an exam but one thing to keep in mind is that putting the implants in doesn’t decrease the forces that caused the problem in the first place. You should be wearing shoes and orthotics that reduce damaging forces through those joints. At the very least you should probably be wearing some good arch supports. Some of our favorite arch supports you can see here.

      It can take up to a year for all of the healing to take place. We tell our patients not to go barefoot at all during that time. Always be wearing good shoes with arch supports or the arch support sandals.

      Also the use of rocker bottom shoes can help a lot at reducing force on the joint during healing.

      You may also need a custom orthotic to reduce the damaging forces even more. A good podiatrist can help you with that. Here is a list of podiatrists throughout the US.

      Most important is to get a 2nd opinion right away. Good luck!!

  49. hello sir,

    i have to ask one question if you could help me out with it that would be highly appreciable.
    my wife has little toe pain or pinky toe pain and that pain is below the toe it seems that pain is in the soft tissues right below the little toe when press that part she feel to much pain.we also went to the doctor who was specialized in romotholoy and other one was specialized in orthopedic they said she has no fracture bone just pain in the soft tissues .they give us some medications and gel but its not getting better even taking medication and gel .its been 6 months the problem is still there .we couldn’t see swelling and corn .only soft tissues pain.could you please sir help us out to cure it.your kind help would be highly appreciable and we would be thankful a lot.we have spent too much money but we couldn’t get the any cure of it .please sir write us here we are waiting for your reply.

    thank you sir
    take care

  50. I have avery severely pronated right foot. I have been diagnosed with posterior tendon dysfunction stage 3-4. I can no longer walk without severe pain. I have also had 3 total knee replacements (one was to correct an existing implant that was only 6 years old but had imploded). I don’t want ankle fusion surgery. It sounds horrible and I can’t use a knee scooter because of my knee implants for the lengthy recovery. Orthotics and cortisone shots no longer help. Are there any other surgical options to correct my foot? I feel totally disabled by this. Thank you.

    1. You first want to make sure that your orthotics were made correctly. You can learn how orthotics should be made for this problem on these two pages:
      https://www.footankle.com/orthotics/condition/flat-feet/
      https://www.footankle.com/posterior-tibial-tendon-dysfunction/

      You may also do well in a gauntlet AFO. More info on that here:
      https://www.footankle.com/orthotics/ankle-foot/

      As far as surgery goes there is no way to determine what procedures might help without a complete examination. You should get a couple more opinions on surgery from foot and ankle surgeons in your area.

      Best of luck!

  51. I have pain under the ball of my big toe and some times i get little nubness and shocks into my second and 3 toe so i was looking up on what it could be on the internet and it points to mortons nueroma and when i rub the section under my big toe it feels like a inflamed vein and it hurts, but the mortons nueroma CAN it be seen where im hurting?

  52. Hello,
    I was diagnosed with a second metatarsal stress fracture about 6 weeks ago. Regular x-rays didn’t pick it up but a bone scan did. I was put on crutches and a boot and was told to use them for four weeks then just use the boot for 2 more. I’ll admit that I did not use the crutches as much as I could. My foot still hurts almost as much as it did when I got the bone scan. I went to a podiatrist and he x rayed my foot again, only to find nothing. He told me to continue walking in the boot(mind you I’m in a lot of pain) for 2 more weeks then just wear a normal shoe. I feel like I’m on my own now because I really can’t stand the pain. What should I do? Also, I am only 18 years old so this is a lot for me to take in.

    1. It sounds like you have a stress reaction. This is like a stress fracture but is only a weakening of the interior of the bone. It never breaks through the outside of the bone so it doesn’t ever show up on xray. Are you using an arch support in the boot or in the shoe? A good arch support will help a lot in redistributing force to decrease pain. You can find more information here.
      Don’t go barefoot at all. Wear either the arch supports or the arch support sandals at all times.
      If the pain continues then an MRI might be called for.
      Also, get another opinion from a sports medicine podiatrist.

      Good luck!

  53. I recently tweaked my foot which caused a burning feeling on the inside of the pinky toe when it happened. After a few mins the burning sensation went away. It’s been two days since the incident and I’m having almost a sharp/burning pain only when I walk. I have bent, pushed, and prodded around at the area thinking I may have broken something but I have no swelling or pain other than when my pinky toe starts rolling as I let off of a step.

    1. It’s a good idea to get it checked out by a foot doctor if it still hurts. Only xrays can tell you if it is broken. The best treatment for a sprain or a break is to wear a walking boot to stop all motion so it can heal.

  54. I have pain and swelling on the outside of my left foot, midway between toes and ankle, Swelling goes down after wrapping my foot, and heel spur inserts like my family doctor said, but I am on my feet all day and its been months of off an on pain. Xrays showed only a heel spur. My heel has no pain. She says the heel spur can cause the pain in other areas of the foot. Also on 500mg of prescription Naproxen once a day, down from twice a day. Can heel spurs really do this? She said she could send me to a foot doctor, but said they would tell me the same thing. If pain doesn’t go away she recommended shots.
    Thank you!

      1. Thank you so much!! I am still in pain and going in for a follow up this week. I will definitely ask for a referral to a podiatrist.

  55. Hi there,

    While walking in a field 3 weeks ago I stood on a very small lump in the ground. I felt a shot of pain go from the ball of my foot between my big and second toe and shoot up and around my ankle. It was a sudden pain but didn’t really last and I walked around for the rest of the day and didn’t really think much about it. It ached a little over the next few days but I then had a busy few weeks and with a lot of standing and walking and it’s now very painful on the top of my foot, just above the toes. It swells significantly sometimes but is mostly just a little swollen. I ice it regularly which numbs the pain but hasn’t really aided recovery. It feels minor but ongoing and incredibly annoying. It’s making me walk wonky and my whole body is starting to feel out of line. Is there anything I can do?!

  56. I had surgery several months ago for a ruptured Achilles tendon on my right foot. I went through 8 weeks of physical therapy. During that time I put a lot of my weight on my left leg and hip and now I am experiencing quite a bit of pain in my left hip, knee and groin on my left side. What could be the problem? Overuse maybe?

  57. Dr. Huppin,

    I have had 2 tarsal tunnel surgeries, 1 st in DEC. 2016 which failed and made my pain worst. 2 nd surgery was much more extensive in DEC. 2017 and I am now 7 months post op. with not much relief. My question is how long do I give this before I start looking at possibly a 3rd surgery ? Also what is the best method to reduce or eliminate scar tissue in the area of the incision which apparently I have a propensity for building up.

    Thanks
    Mark

    1. Tarsal tunnel can be very frustrating. Read this page on Tarsal tunnel and make sure you have had all of the conservative treatment mentioned. As far as scarring goes, please discuss that with your surgeon.

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