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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #1
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cdoubled05 HB User
Third toe, left foot - sharp pain when bearing weight

Hello everyone,

I have had this pain in my third or middle toe for at least the past three years. Over the course of time I have determined that it hurts the most when I wear shoes that do not have any support (Chuck Taylors or dress shoes) and when I go bare foot. It is getting to the point where I walk around in Crocs all day while at home and wear running shoes when I go out. Sometimes I completely forget about the pain and get by just fine. However, once I hurt the toe I have to stay off it completely. The pain is very sharp! It only hurts when I am applying pressure to the toe area.

I can not recreate the pain by manipulating my toe with my hands. It only hurts when I put my foot on the ground and push off the toe. When I wear cushioned shoes (such as the Crocs) I don't feel pain, but sometimes the toe feels agitated.

I am 25 and lead a pretty active lifestyle. Unfortunately, I am unemployed and without insurance at the moment or I would go have it checked out. I have been trying to self-diagnose my problem for a while now. It sounds like I might have Morton's Neuroma or possibly a fracture. I am not sure.

If anyone has any advice, I would be so grateful if you would share with me. Soon as I find employment I am getting my butt into a doctors office to have it checked out.

* where does it hurt
The base of my third toe on my left foot.
* how long has it hurt for
For at least three years now, the pain is off and on.
* how bad is the pain
Very sharp! I limp around because I am afraid to put weight on the foot once I hurt it.
* what where you doing when it started
I have no idea. It has been like this for a while.
* what have you done for it so far
I stopped wearing shoes without cushion. I stopped walking bare foot also.
* anything relieve it
Staying off it for a day or two
* what have you been told about it so far
My mom is a nurse and has no idea what is wrong with it.
* is it affecting your ability to work or play sport
Yes. I can walk/run and do P90X plyometrics when wearing my Nike running shoes. It still is annoying however.
* do you have any other sorts of symptoms
I have experienced cramping in my feet when doing squats with a barbell at times. I also have numbness in my toes every now and again.
* what country you are in (different countries have different health systems; different scopes of practice of different disciplines; access to care might be different)
I live in the USA, FL.

***I was just doing my P90X plyometrics workout and hurt my bad toe during jumping knee tucks! I wasn't landing softly enough. I will limp around the rest of the night and avoid putting any pressure on the foot until tomorrow. Usually one night of rest is all I need.

This is really starting to bum me out.

Warm regards,
cdoubled05

 
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Jane EC HB User
Re: Third toe, left foot - sharp pain when bearing weight

Hi there,

It sounds a bit like a neuroma, but probably more like a bursa between the metatarsals.

I had a neuroma in my right foot caused by needle trauma to a nerve following an injection. The pain is very sharp, like an electric shock firing through the toe (mine was the 4th toe), but it comes from the neuroma between the bones being squeezed and not the toe itself. It generally doesn't fire on every step either, it could be 3, then 10, then 5, etc. The toes can go numb and tingly. There are more symptoms, but I didn't get them because I was operated on shortly after, which was disastrous and I am now permanently crippled! That was 4 1/2 years ago.

Last week I had an ultrasound scan of my left foot which shows two bursas. Bursas occur when you over use the foot and can appear similar to a neuroma. This makes a sort of sharp pain, but rather more like the bones rubbing together in my toe. It also makes the foot ache if I put pressure on the ball and toes and it can also make your toes feel numb and tingly because the bursa puts pressure on your nerve. The toe pain goes immediately I lift my foot up, but the sole can ache for a time. I too get cramp.

Whichever condition it is, you will not recreate it by manipulating the toes. Try sticking your finger between the bones underneath your foot between the 2nd and 3rd toes, then the 3rd and 4th toes. Do it slowly and try different pressure points. You might find the source of the pain this way.

Usually a neuroma doesn't hurt barefoot because the bones are spread out and the nerve has more room. A bursa on the other hand usually hurts more barefoot.

You really need to see a doctor because both conditions will progressively worsen and if it is a bursa and it bursts you will need surgery as it will displace your toe. When you do see a doctor make sure you get an ultra-sound because you definitely don't want to be treated for a neuroma if you have a bursa. It seems to me that the bursa is not so bad because with physio and orthotics you can completely get rid of it, but the earlier the better and you have left yours far too long.

Please keep in mind I'm not a doctor, just someone who has experienced all the same symptoms and been accurately diagnosed with each condition. I hope this helps.

 
Old 08-17-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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Re: Third toe, left foot - sharp pain when bearing weight

If it's a neuroma you should be able to squeeze your foot (by grasping with your thumb on the side of your big toe joint and the little toe joint with your index finger) if there is a "click" or pain, it's most likely a neuroma. Go see a sports med ortho who does feet.

 
Old 08-18-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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cdoubled05 HB User
Re: Third toe, left foot - sharp pain when bearing weight

I tried squeezing my foot the way you described and don't seem to notice any clicking (feeling or audible sound). I tried it on both feet just in case too. A bursa you say!? Something new for me to research now. I just realized one of the cub scout parents I know is an orthopedic doctor. Next week when I take my son to scouts I will ask him what he thinks.

Thank you both for your replies.

 
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