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Top of Foot Pain? Here Are the Likely Culprits – Get the Scoop on Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments!

April 7, 2022

You might not realize just how complex your feet are. Did you know that almost 25% of the bones in your body are in your feet? They aren’t only made of 28 bones, but there are 19 muscles, 107 ligaments, numerous tendons, and nerves as well. Plus, the foot has a surprising amount of joints – 30 in fact! All of that leaves a lot of room for possible pain. 

Top of foot pain can be a bit disconcerting, because if it’s not a visible injury, the pain might seem puzzling. Let’s break down some potential causes, symptoms, and treatments. 

Top of Foot Pain Causes Are Many, Which Is Why You Should See a Specialist for Persistent Pain

There are multiple conditions that can cause pain on the top of the foot. Some of the most common issues that cause foot pain that an orthopedic specialist can address include:

  • Bone spurs: These are growths that form along joints in your feet near your toes.
  • Extensor tendonitis: Caused by ill-fitting shoes, tendons that run along the top of the foot become inflamed, causing pain. 
  • Ganglion cyst: The cysts form below the skin and are sacs filled with fluid that will cause pain if pressing on a nerve, muscle, or joint. The cause is sometimes unknown, but they can result from injury. 
  • Gout: Due to a build-up of uric acid, this can cause intense pain suddenly at the joint at the bottom of the big toe.
  • Stress fractures: Fractures in the metatarsal bones located at the top of the feet can cause pain and swelling. 
  • Peripheral neuropathy: Commonly caused by trauma, conditions such as diabetes, infections, and even exposure to toxins, this can cause pain from the top of the foot and into the legs.
  • Peroneal nerve dysfunction: Associated with sciatica, this dysfunction can cause top of foot pain along with weakness of the foot and leg.

Getting a Proper Diagnosis for Your Foot Pain Is Essential to the Healing Process

Any pain on top of foot that has lasted longer than a week inhibits your ability to walk, or if you experience burning and numbness should be properly diagnosed by an orthopedic specialist. 

Be clear and specific with your symptoms as well as provide details about your normal activity. The doctor will then examine your feet and may have you walk and perform certain exercises such as rolling and flexing your foot.

X-rays and bloodwork may be needed to get a complete diagnosis and treatment plan.

Here’s Why It’s Important to Follow Your Treatment Plan From an Orthopedic Specialist

Your treatment plan depends on the cause of your discomfort. Our feet support our body, so following through with instructions from your doctor is crucial for healing.

Frequent courses of treatment include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs, including NSAIDs
  • Home remedies (such as the RICE or MICE method – rest or movement, ice, compression, and elevation, depending on the injury)
  • Pain management, which may include therapies such as steroid injections, PRP therapy, and psychological behavior therapy
  • Physical therapy (PT)
  • Walking boot or cast in the event of broken bones or fractures

Direct Orthopedic Care Successfully Treats Foot Pain, So You Can Comfortably Stay Mobile and Active

Our team of orthopedic specialists offers a full range of services, including immediate access to pain management, PT, and other treatment modalities. For your convenience, we are open 7 days a week and accept walk-ins. We also offer TeleHealth for after-hours emergencies. Give us a call today at 855-921-0799, and let’s safely get you up and walking again. For more information on the cost of care, click here.

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